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Experience a geothermal wonderland near Taupo
Make Taupo your next New Zealand adventure holiday destination and experience one of the greatest geothermal natural wonders left in the country – Orakei Korako.
When your historical tour of New Zealand takes you towards Taupo, be sure you head just half an hour north to one of the country's greatest natural treasures – Orakei Korako. This fascinating tourist destination, described by Lonely Planet as 'Arguably the best thermal area left in New Zealand', was officially opened for business way back in 1937, though it is thought that the local Maori tribe, Ngati Tahu, used it as their home long before then.
What is there in Orakei Korako?
After a short ferry ride across Lake Orakei to the park itself, which is included in your entry ticket, you will embark on an hour-long boardwalk adventure through some of the most dazzling geothermal landscape you have ever seen.
Here you can see New Zealand's only geothermal cave, Ruatapu Cave, or 'Sacred Hole'. As you stand on the lookout platform above it, make sure your camera is ready for action. The mouth of the cave itself begins above your head and extends down beneath your feet over 35 metres to its very own hot pool, Waiwhakaata. Though you can't get access to this acidic pool nowadays, once upon a time the local Maori women used it as a sacred place of their own, free from men, for birthing ceremonies, marriage preparation and other spiritual activities.
Surrounding this majestic meeting place is the most astounding, colourful and energetic landscape you are likely to have ever seen. Silica terraces litter the area, painted by breathtakingly luminous algae of yellow and green between pools of gently steaming water. Along the boardwalk you will see the Emerald Terrace, Rainbow Terrace, Cascade Terrace and Golden Fleece Terrace, each with their own unique flavour and characteristics that will leave you in utter awe.
After you complete your walk, have a rest in the Mud Cake Cafe with a cool drink and a delicious treat, taking a moment to review the plethora of photographs you get to take home with you.