Waimangu World Significance

A completely natural and wholly protected eco system. The only geothermal system created within written history (the last 5000 years) and as a direct result of a volcanic eruption. A unique opportunity to understand Nature. World unique geothermal features. An amazingly diverse environment.

A unique opportunity to understand nature.

Waimangu is the only geothermal system in the World created within written history (the last 5000 years).

When the Tarawera Eruption at Waimangu and Rotomahana ended at 05.30am on 10 June 1886, the landscape had been significantly altered and all life had been extinguished.

This was the beginning of the new Ecosystem.

Because we can pin-point its creation to an exact time and event, it has been possible to exactly measure and record the re-establishment of the new Waimangu ecosystem since its birth. 

Also, because of the area's importance as a tourist attraction prior to the 1886 Eruption, a large volume of historical data exists which we can use to determine the causes and impacts of the 1886 Eruption.

Scientifically, these are very important opportunities.

Because of this importance, Waimangu and Rotomahana have been protected, from development or change brought by man, since its genesis at 05.30am on 10 June 1886.

As a result of the protection, the establishment of the Waimangu ecosystem has happened naturally. Today Waimangu is the only geothermal system in New Zealand that has not been altered by man’s activity.


The Geothermal System’s World and National importance.

The Waimangu Geothermal aquifer is approximately 60 square kilometres in size and at a depth of approximately 2 to 3 kilometres within the Earth’s crust.

The only place where the hot springs, from the aquifer, come to the surface is within the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, which is a small Valley in the south west corner of the aquifer.

Several of the surface features at Waimangu are World significant particularly-

Inferno Crater, the World's largest geyser-like feature.

Frying Pan Lake, one of the World's largest hot water springs.

Silica terraces including unique Warbrick Terrace which is growing in a right-angle shape.

Numerous small geysers and hot springs.

There is a unique and unexplained relationship between Inferno Crater Geyser and Frying Pan Lake.

The pre-1886 eruption geothermal system still exists at Lake Rotomahana, beside the completely new post 1886 eruption geothermal system.

Tranquil Lake Rotomahana is within one of the most active volcanic craters in New Zealand.

Lake Rotomahana is the newest, large, naturally formed lake in New Zealand.  


The Environmental Importance.

Waimangu and Rotomahana are the only examples of a New Zealand native forest that is naturally regenerating from complete devastation.

The re-establishment of plant life at Waimangu and Rotomahana has been completely natural.

The diverse environment at Waimangu supports a huge array of life.

All rare and unusual geothermally adapted plants known in New Zealand, live at Waimangu and Rotomahana.

An incredible diversity of microbes live in the hot areas.

A wide range of native forest plants flourish, attracting many different birds.