5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

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  • Address: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand
  • Hours: Apr - Oct: 8:30am - 5pm (last admission 3:45pm), Nov - Mar: 8:30am - 6pm (last admission 4:45pm)
  • Admission: Adults NZ$32.50, children (5-15 yrs): NZ$11

Rotorua ATTRACTIONS See all

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Tours

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland showcases New Zealand’s geothermal topography at its most dramatic and colorful. Located along the Reporoa Caldera within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the park’s lava-sculpted landscapes are punctuated by hissing geysers, swirling sulfur lakes, and bubbling mud pools.

The Basics
Thanks to a guiding system of boardwalks Wai-O-Tapu geothermal park is easy to explore on your own. For the best value, visit as part of a full-day tour and also see popular North Island attractions such as the Hobbiton movie set from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, or the Waikato River. For a more personalized experience, small-group and private tours run from the Rotorua and Tauranga cruise ports, and include convenient extras such as hotel pickup and drop-off.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The park’s visitor facilities include restrooms, lockers, a visitor center, a small café, and picnic areas.
  • This is an active geothermal area, meaning the ground and water often reach boiling temperatures. Don’t be tempted to break the rules or wander outside of designated areas.
  • Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes, bring sun protection, and drink plenty of water.
  • Of the three walking trails at Wai-O-Tapu, only one is accessible for wheelchair users and strollers.

How to Get There
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is located along Waiotapu Loop Road, 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Rotorua, or 20 minutes by road. The closest international airport is in Rotorua. 

When to Get There
You can visit year-round, but summer (December through February) is the most popular. The park can become very crowded—to avoid large tour groups, visit early in the morning or just before closing.

Geothermal Attractions of Wai-O-Tapu
Stand in awe before massive craters and the thundering Lake Ngakoro Waterfall, watch as the Lady Knox Geyser erupts, and marvel at multi-colored pools known as the 
‘Artist's Palette” for their bright swirls of color—a result of the water’s sulfur content. Additional highlights include the bubbling “Champagne Pool,” a number of cold and hot springs, and elaborate sinter terrace formations.

Tours & Tickets

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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Admission, Rotorua, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 1

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Admission

4.5 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

Explore one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. From the visitor center, walk at your own pace on trails ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: Flexible

From USD $21.96
Private Tour: 8-Day North Island Tour from Auckland Including Rotorua and Wellington, Auckland, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour: 8-Day North Island Tour from Auckland Including Rotorua and Wellington

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Venture from Auckland to the North Island on this private 8-day tour that takes you by private, luxury vehicle to Coromandel, Whitianga, Rotorua, Tongariro ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 8 days (approx.)

From USD $3,485.12
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Morning Tour, Rotorua, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Morning Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 84 Reviews

Explore the technicolor hot springs of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland on a guided half-day tour of New Zealand’s most extensive geothermal site. Walk along ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $104.71
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour, Rotorua, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 31 Reviews

Tour Rotorua's most popular geothermal parks and colorful lakes on a day trip led by a local naturalist guide. You'll see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt, visit ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $199.29
Rotorua Geothermal Wonders and Waikato River Jet Boat Ride, Rotorua, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Rotorua Geothermal Wonders and Waikato River Jet Boat Ride

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Marvel at New Zealand’s volcanic geology as you see the steaming cliffs of Rainbow Mountain, the boiling mud pools near Wai-O-Tapu and the gushing geysers of ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $134.44
Guided Tauranga Shore Excursion to Rotorua Whakarewarewa and Wai-O-Tapu, Tauranga, Nature & Wildlife
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Guided Tauranga Shore Excursion to Rotorua Whakarewarewa and Wai-O-Tapu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Visit Wai-O-Tapu to see why TripAdvisor says it is "One of the 20 Most SURREAL Places in the World" and why it is considered to be New Zealand's most ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $134.44
3-Day Private All-Inclusive Luxury North Island Tour of New Zealand, Auckland, Ports of Call Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

3-Day Private All-Inclusive Luxury North Island Tour of New Zealand

Private charter small group tour! Pickup in Auckland-Hotel or Airport arrival! Accomodation in Rotorua. Experience New Zealand and some of its most popular ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $770.15
Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake : Agrodome Farm Show : Day Tour Around Rotorua, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake : Agrodome Farm Show : Day Tour Around Rotorua

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Combine some of New Zealand's most popular attractions on this full-day small group tour from Rotorua. Begin with a drive through the lush countryside heading ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $117.55
Waimangu Volcanic Valley with Option to add Wai-O-Tapu, Hobbiton or Whakarewarea, Rotorua, Cultural ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Waimangu Volcanic Valley with Option to add Wai-O-Tapu, Hobbiton or Whakarewarea

Experience a half or full-day tour from Rotorua to the Geothermal wonders that the region is famous for. Your options include half or full-day tours to ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 3.5 to 9 hrs

From USD $55.40

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