1886 Eruption & Birth of Waimangu Volcanic Valley

A brief look at Waimangu's short and explosive history.

Approx 400 years ago. Maori settle close to Lake Rotomahana.

1820’s. European settlers arrive in NZ. Explorers, surveyors and settlers arrive in the Rotorua area. They are amazed by the geothermal features and tourism begins. The most important geothermal features are the wonderful Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana.

1840’s. Christian Mission Stations are set up near and in Rotorua . These provide comfortable and safe overnight stops for visitors journeying to visit the Pink and White Terraces.

1840’s to 1886. Tourism to the Pink and White Terraces booms.

10 June 1886. Mt Tarawera and Lake Rotomahana erupt.

Mt Tarawera is broken into 2 pieces.
The Pink and White Terraces are destroyed.
All life within 6 km of Rotomahana is extinguished including 120 people living near the Mountain and Lake.
Lake Rotomahana is excavated to be 20x larger and 170 metres deeper.
7 craters erupt south of Lake Rotomahana. These are named “Okaro Craters”.
Hot springs appear in the eruption craters
05.30am, 10 June 1886. The beginning of the new eco system.

10 June 1886 to 1900. Rotomahana refills with water to its current size.

1900 The World’s largest geyser begins to erupt. The discharge is black. The Geyser is named “Waimangu” meaning black water. The name of the area changes from Okaro Craters to Waimangu.

1904. Waimangu Geyser ceases eruptions

1915 approx. Plants return to Waimangu. Bird life also returns.

1917. Frying Pan Lake forms.

1973. Trinity Terrace eruption

1981. Raupo Pond eruption

2016. Raupo Pond eruption