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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Tours and Activities

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14 Reviews
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
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.
Address: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua, North Island 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
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11 Tours and Activities to Experience Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Admission Ticket

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Admission Ticket

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265
Explore the well-marked paths of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and witness Lady Knox Geyser erupt. Your admission ticket grants you all-day access to one of New Zealand’s most popular geothermal parks, located just outside of Rotorua. Stroll past gurgling mud pools, volcanic craters and steaming lakes at your own pace. Consult your complimentary guidebook to learn about the area’s volcanic activity, and view informative displays along the trails and at the visitor center.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.37
From
$23.37
Taking safety measures

Taupo Day Trip with Orakei Korako from Rotorua

Taupo Day Trip with Orakei Korako from Rotorua

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4
Discover New Zealand’s geothermal hotspots on a day trip from Rotorua to Lake Taupo, stopping to explore one of two remarkable destinations. Select Orakei Korako to see terraced pools of steaming water, or opt for Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland’s otherworldly colors. Limited to 11 people for more personal service, this day trip includes pickup and drop-off at centrally-located hotels, as well as entrance fees at the geothermal site.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$180.24
From
$180.24
Taking safety measures

Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Full Day Tour

Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Full Day Tour

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8
Visitors get to explore spectacular nature at New Zealand’s most colourful volcanic area, which has been thousands of years in the making. Visitors will be picked up from Rotorua and transported to Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland. En-route the driver guide will share insights in the region and wonderland. Guests will get to experience the daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser. The driver-guide will accompany visitors through VIP ticketing and then visitors will be able to walk at their own pace (unguided) past the unique volcanic features which include the Champagne Pool, hot springs, bubbling mud, steaming ground and huge volcanic craters. Then off to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, guests will be accompanied through VIP ticketing and then will be able to walk at their own pace (unguided) and enjoy views of mysterious and beautiful Inferno Crater, the unique valley and home of the Frying Pan Lake, one of the largest hot water springs in the World.
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  • 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.78
From
$102.78

Combo Day Tour Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Polynesian

Combo Day Tour Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Polynesian

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2
Some of New Zealand’s most impressive natural sights are just a short drive out of Rotorua, but navigating the back-roads of the Bay of Plenty can be difficult for the unfamiliar. On this day trip to the Lady Knox Geyser and Wai-O-Tapu, two of the most popular and active geothermal zones in New Zealand, your guide will drive you. Visit Lady Knox, Wai-O-Tapu, and the relaxing Polynesian Spa hot pools all in one day.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$134.23
From
$134.23
Taking safety measures

Rotorua Small Group Tour: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser and Rainbow Springs

Rotorua Small Group Tour: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser and Rainbow Springs

Combine two of New Zealand's most popular attractions—Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Rainbow Springs—in a single tour, with all details arranged for you. Take the stress out of planning and ensure you hit these two highlights during your time in New Zealand with this combo tour. With a guide providing engaging commentary, visit the Lady Knox Geyser, ride the Big Splash log flume, and see the local wildlife.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$136.53
From
$136.53
Taking safety measures

Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud

Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud

See the geothermal attractions of Rotorua on a half-day morning tour that fits into most travel schedules. Your guide takes you to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, which is famous for bubbling hot springs, the largest mud pool in New Zealand, and Lady Knox Geyser. Have time to explore the site at your own pace, then have the option to purchase lunch before your guide returns you to Rotorua.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$108.41
From
$108.41
Taking safety measures

Absolutely Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu, Rotorua Sights and Mitai Maori Village

Absolutely Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu, Rotorua Sights and Mitai Maori Village

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Discover the best of Rotorua with a tour that combines daytime sightseeing with an evening of Maori culture. Visit Waiotapu Geothermal Wonderland and see landmarks like Knox Geyser and Champagne Pool, then take a Rotorua highlights tour that includes Ohinemutu, and Sulphur Point. The evening at Mitai Maori Experience features a traditional hangi dinner, cultural performance, and nature walk with glow worms.
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  • 15 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$229.33
From
$229.33

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Option to add Waimangu, Hobbiton or Whakarewarea

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Option to add Waimangu, Hobbiton or Whakarewarea

star-4.5
17
Experience the must-see geothermal wonders of Rotorua at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. This convenient tour is fully customizable, and you can add on a number of other interesting natural and cultural attractions, such as other geothermal sites, the Hobbiton movie set, a Maori cultural village, or waterfalls. Make the most of your time in the Rotorua area by mixing and matching the best options for you.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.27
From
$68.27

Rotorua Small Group Morning Tour Waimangu and Wai O Tapu

Rotorua Small Group Morning Tour Waimangu and Wai O Tapu

star-5
125
See the awe-inspiring Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland on a half-day tour, led by a knowledgeable guide. Follow a well-marked path alongside bubbling hot springs and volcanic craters at Rotorua’s most comprehensive geothermal site. Hear a morning presentation about the Lady Knox Geyser and observe the daily eruption before a short drive through the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Numbers are limited to 12 people, providing a more personalized experience with a small group.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.64
From
$118.64

Rotorua full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu, Buried Village, Whakarewarewa

Rotorua full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu, Buried Village, Whakarewarewa

star-4.5
45
Tour Wai-O-Tapu with a naturalist guide and discover the bubbling mud pools and hot springs of Rotorua’s most popular geothermal park. This full-day tour with a small group delivers you to the shores of several volcanic lakes and includes a bush walk to a waterfall and the Lake Tarawera lookout. Learn about Maori history, volcanology and New Zealand’s native flora and fauna along the way. Numbers are limited to a maximum 12 people to ensure an intimate experience.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$226.50
From
$226.50

Rotorua small group full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu and Te Puia

Rotorua small group full-day tour, Wai O Tapu, Waimangu and Te Puia

star-5
3
Combine Maori traditions and natural wonders on a full-day tour of steaming geysers, colorful hot springs, and local culture. In addition to the spectacular volcanic landscape, you’ll learn about traditional wood carving, arts, crafts, and customs, then see a Maori war canoe. The itinerary includes Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Te Puia, and Rainbow Springs Nature Park, combining top sites to make the most of your time.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$204.93
From
$204.93

Small Group Tour: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Maori Village

Small Group Tour: Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Maori Village

With geothermal landscapes and rich Maori heritage, Rotorua ranks among New Zealand’s must-see destinations. On this tour, hit top attractions including Champagne Lake, Lady Knox geyser, and Wai-O-Tapu with your guide and see the best of Rotorua in one day. Explore Maori history, customs, and craft traditions at the Living Maori Village, and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour—limited to 15 people.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$136.53
From
$136.53
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland hours of operation?
A:
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland hours of operation: Apr - Oct: 8:30am - 5pm (last admission 3:45pm), Nov - Mar: 8:30am - 6pm (last admission 4:45pm). Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 11 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland 2021?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland costs USD 23.37. Guided Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tours start around USD 23.37 per person. See all 11 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland?