"Hell in Paradise" Waiotapu by Assenczo

Waiotapu Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 22 photos

Thermal palette

Wai-o-tapu is part of the thermal wonder world of Rotorua and its environs. It is a destination on its own as far as the NZ parks are concerned and a separate ticket is charged for the entrance. There are no surprises here – practically every hole in the area is fenced off and exploited. What is good about this state of affairs is the fact that the nature lovers are supplied with the stuff NZ was famous for – its bush. No more sheep and grass in sight. All the indigenous species of flora have been reintroduced for the best back drop a geyser might want. To avoid paying many times for more or less the same thing (if money is a concern of course), one needs to plan more carefully. Many of the similar “venues” offer entertainment – folk shows with Maoris just pulled out of oblivion, and promises for gourmet climaxes coming out of earth pits. While one might wonder about the authenticity of similar activities, nothing can overshadow the natural brilliance of the thermal action. In this sense Wai-o-tapu is touted as “the best” of its kind and without knowing the competition I have to admit that I was stupefied. The area includes a mighty geyser, huge hot lake, numerous bubbling “pans” and many wildly coloured cool basins.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Two for one - hell in paradise
  • Cons:Cordonned off and charged up
  • In a nutshell:NZ at its most original
  • Last visit to Waiotapu: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated Nov 9, 2007
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