The Rotorua geothermal field contains around 1200 geothermal features, including geysers, hot springs, mud pools and fumaroles. In a geothermal field, rainwater runs through cracks in rocks towards an underground heat source, getting hotter as it descends. It then rises to the surface to create the visible phenomena that have made Rotorua so famous.
Waiotapu, Rotorua: The pool fills a 900-year-old crater which is about 60 metres across by 60 metres deep. The waters are tinted green with arsenic, sulphur and iron compounds. It’s bubbling with carbon dioxide at about 74 degrees C and depositing orange antimony along with traces of gold, silver and mercury on its rim and the huge sinter terraces that drain it. It’s a favourite thermal attraction in Rotorua.
It’s hard to believe the vibrant colours and extraordinary shapes of Waimangu’s volcanic terraces are real but this freak of nature emerged in 1886 when the Rotorua region was shaken by the eruption of Mt Tarawera. The thermal valley is a photographer’s dream with eerie steam filled craters, bluey green lakes, pristine native bush and rare wildlife.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
The volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing never fail to surprise. Within this world of earth tones that were spewed from subterranean magma vaults, wild colours provide visual excitement. Here you can see the Emerald Lakes, explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area.