Te Puia, located in the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley at the edge of Rotorua features Pohutu Geyser and is home to the impressive New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Visitors can tour the bubbling mud pools with a local Maori guide and choose from among myriad activities.
Admission tickets and guided tours through Te Puia usually include a visit to the Kiwi House for a look at this nocturnal national bird housed in a dark enclosure. In the national weaving and carving schools, you can watch Maori students re-create the traditional arts of their ancestors.
For what is arguably the best evening in Rotorua, come in the evening to experience Te Po—a traditional ceremony and hangi feast (food cooked in a traditional in-ground oven), along with a music and dance performance. Travelers can also visit Te Puia as part of a Rotorua sightseeing tour, an eco tour, or an excursion focused on arts and crafts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Admission fees vary, depending upon the length of stay and various activities involved.
- Child pricing, day passes, and family passes are available.
- It’s best to bring sturdy footwear for a walk around the hot springs.
- The site offers wheelchair-accessible parking, restrooms, and asphalt pathways; however, some of the pathways are steep and visitors with limited mobility may require assistance.
How to Get There
Only five minutes, or 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) south of central Rotorua by car, Te Puia is reached directly from the i-Site Visitor Information Centre via Fenton Street and State Highway 30. The attraction can also be accessed from the Tauranga port via State Highway 36, which takes about an hour. Most tour operators offer round-trip hotel transport.
When to Get There
Te Puia is open from 8am to 5pm daily, with evening operating hours from 6pm to 9pm. It’s best to arrive early to make the most of your time, but tours run until one hour before closing. Book an evening visit and you’ll be treated to a tour of the geothermal area under colorful lights.
Pohutu: the Showstopper
When visitors first catch a glimpse of Pohutu Geyser—which thunders up from the earth and shoots skyward with a column of water that’s nearly 100 feet (30 meters) high—they begin to understand why this geothermal attraction has drawn people for centuries. You can witness the eruption of the Southern Hemisphere's largest active geyser day or night.