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The Eruption & Birth of Waimangu

Born in the violence of volcanic eruption... in geological terms, Waimangu Volcanic Valley was created this morning.

The Rotorua region is shaken by the mighty eruption of Mt Tarawera. With a devastating effect on the surrounding areas, Lake Rotomahana explodes to 20 times its size and the world renowned Pink and White Terraces are destroyed forever. All plant and bird life is extinguished as Waimangu Volcanic Valley is formed. Within 15 years of the volcanic eruption, the hot springs of the Waimangu Geothermal System are established. The newly formed craters become the world's youngest geothermal eco-system. Plant life returns to the devastated land 30 years after the eruption.

The largest geyser ever recorded, Waimangu Geyser, erupts blasting black scalding water, rocks and steam 450 metres into the sky. This eruption continues for 4 years until November 1904. Unfortunately, in 1903, four visitors are killed after wandering too close to the geyser, disregarding a guide’s warming

Huge blasts forming Frying Pan Lake, the largest hot water spring in the world, race up the crater walls. These blasts destroy a nearby accommodation house killing the owner’s wife and child. The conditions following these blasts are perfect for plant and bird life to begin again.

Discover the stories of Waimangu as you explore our rich social, cultural and natural history.

Enjoy a boat cruise, walk or hike through the World’s youngest geothermal area. Born from complete devastation, now home to many geothermal features of worldwide importance!
Visitor Options & Prices
Take a self-guided walk or hike around this amazing volcanic valley, join our popular lake boat cruise, or book one of three guided tours.
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