The original Round Trip tour dates back to 1903. It marked the return of international tourism to the Tarawera area, previously devastated by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886.
Prior to the eruption, visitors flocked to Lake Rotomahana to see and bathe in the mineral waters of the Pink and White Terraces, thought to be the 8th natural Wonder of the World. The eruption ripped a 17km rift in the earth’s surfaces, blasting Lake Rotomahana to twenty times its original size, burying the terraces and the surrounding settlements.
The Round Trip provided a comprehensive tour of the area, and an opportunity to see the Waimangu Geyser playing at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, a geothermal valley created by the 1886 eruption.
The Round Trip starts with transport from Rotorua CBD, and a scenic drive out to Waimangu Volcanic Valley with Nature Connections. Please advise preferred pick up location when booking.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
A guided walk through the geothermal valley reveals the geothermal attractions uncovered by the 1886 eruption, and stunning lakes in the craters created by the blast.
The walking trail passes by the site where the Waimangu Geyser played between 1900 and 1904. The Waimangu Geyser was thought to be the world’s largest known geyser, regularly erupting and throwing mud, ash and rock to heights of up to 400 metres. The black appearance of this geyser is what gave the valley its name, 'Wai' meaning water and 'Mangu' meaning black. Layers of dirt from these eruptions can be seen in the cliff walls at Waimangu Volcanic Valley now.
At the end of the walk, the tour boards the Ariki Moana boat for a cruise across Lake Rotomahana and over the final resting place of the Pink and White Terraces. Cruise past the stunning steaming cliffs, and active geothermal areas around the lakes edge, including small geysers and fumaroles.
Isthmus Track Walk
The Isthmus Track links Lake Rotomahana to Lake Tarawera. The 1.5km walk takes 20-30 minutes, rising 400m over a saddle, through regenerating native bush and down to the jetty at Lake Tarawera.
From here you will board a boat with Totally Tarawera for an eco-tour on Lake Tarawera. Your guide will enthrall, educate and amuse you with tales of Tarawera’s history and legends, and you’ll enjoy a unique combination of Māori culture, geothermal and ecological elements throughout. The tour includes a stop at Hot Water Beach and the lakeside natural hot pools before heading to the Tarawera Landing.
A short vehicle transfer brings you to the Buried Village, where you will gain a thorough understanding of Te Wairoa, the first ever tourism hub in New Zealand, and the devastating effects of the eruption. The museum area holds original artifacts from the village, postcards from visitors to the Pink and White Terraces, and personal accounts of the eruption.
Continue to explore the archeological sites which reveal the devastation of the eruption to this once bustling European and Maori village settlement.
The trip concludes with transport back to Rotorua, passing by the lakes of Rotokakahi and Lake Tikitapu on the way.
The Round Trip Includes:
- Return transport from Rotorua CBD
- Guided walk at Waimangu Volcanic Valley
- Packed picnic lunch
- Lake Rotomahana boat cruise
- Isthmus Track walk
- Lake Tarawera experience including Hot Water Beach
- Buried Village experience
|Family (2 adults & 2 children)||$750|
Continue the story
Those interested to continue the story may wish to visit the Whakarewarewa Village, a living Maori village, where people still live surrounded by geothermal vents, using this natural resource for cooking, bathing and heating. Many of the survivors of the eruption moved to the Whakarewarewa Valley following the eruption, and some of the guides trace their family tree back to the original guides of the Pink and White Terraces.
This trip requires a minimum of 6 guests to operate. You can book for less than 6 people, but the departure is not guaranteed until minimum numbers are met. We will let you know by 1pm on Friday if the tour will not go ahead. If the tour does not go ahead, your booking can be rescheduled or refunded, or you can change to the Full Waimangu Experience.