Mount Tarawera Historical & Cultural Significance
Mount Tarawera erupted on June 10th, 1886, destroying the surrounding land and killing many people. It also changed the face of tourism for the area, as the Pink and White terraces were buried.
Today, there are a number of ways you can experience Mount Tarawera and learn about it’s explosive history. The top activities include flying above and landing on the summit, boat cruises on lakes Rotomahana & Tarawera, running down volcanic scree slopes to the crater, and eco-walks in the surrounding area. As you can see, a trip to Mount Tarawera has to be on your Must-Do list for Rotorua.
Land on Mount Tarawera in a Helicopter with Volcanic Air
See the full scale of the crater rift on the summit of Mount Tarawera from above with a Volcanic Landing tour with Volcanic Air. The 40-minute flight takes in expansive views of the Rotorua lakes district before landing on the summit of the volcano. Other options include scenic floatplane flights, or you can combine Mount Tarawera with a trip out to the volcanic White Island, off the Bay of Plenty Coast.
4WD and Hiking Tour with Kaitiaki Adventures
Kaitiaki Adventures are the only tourism operator that can access the summit of Mount Tarawera by 4WD. Their half day fully guided tour offers a 2 hour hike, and an optional run down into the crater! 360 degree views of a land sculpted by volcanic activity, including epic views of White Island. This takes moderate fitness as it is followed by a walk back out!
Cruise Lake Rotomahana at Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Lake Rotomahana was blasted to twenty times it’s original size in the 1886 Tarawera eruption. Waimangu Volcanic Valley offer a boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana. You can see unique geothermal features from the boat, travel over the original sites of the pink and white terraces, and soak in stunning views of Mount Tarawera.
Walk or Hike Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Enjoy panoramic views of Mt Tarawera, Lake Rotomahana and Waimangu Volcanic Valley on the Mt. Haszard hiking trail. The trail is part of the many self-guided walking and hiking tracks through the valley. Using the Waimangu App, you can see how the valley has transformed since the eruption.
Walk the Tarawera Trail
The 15km Tarawera Trail walk has stunning views of Lake Tarawera, Mount Tarawera and Lake Rotomahana. Starting at the Buried Village, the trail takes you around and through to Hot Water Beach, where you can bathe in the hot spring water on the edges of Lake Tarawera before taking a water taxi back to the start with Totally Tarawera.
Discover Lake Tarawera by Stand Up Paddle Board
If you’re looking for a different way to explore, Paddle Board Rotorua offer Stand Up Paddle tours on Lake Tarawera. You don’t need to have any experience; their guides will give you expert instruction and have you up and paddling in no time. Travelling by SUP is unique, a quiet, relaxing and yet adventurous to get underneath the imposing Mount Tarawera.
Take an Amphibious Vehicle Tour of Rotorua Lakes with Rotorua Duck Tours
Rotorua Duck Tours take you exploring the Rotorua area in New Zealand’s only WW2 amphibious vehicle. The Ducks travel on the road and then seamlessly splashdown into the lakes, with commentary along the way from the driver-guides. The two-hour Tarawera and Lakes Tour takes you to Lake Okareka, Blue Lake and Lake Tarawera.