Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

Learn about geothermal activity and how the Maori people have been living in these intense surroundings for hundreds of years.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve is home to as many as 500 hot springs. See gurgling, steaming hot-water pools along with one of the largest geysers in New Zealand. Find out more about the Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao tribe and watch demonstrations of traditional Maori arts and crafts.

Filled with brightly coloured water of varying hues, the pools of Whakarewarewa emit steam into the air, creating an almost ghostly atmosphere. Walk along the paths leading further into the reserve and look for silica terraces shimmering in the sun.

The reserve also contains 65 geyser vents, some of which shoot water into the air at regular intervals. The most impressive of these is Pohutu. Head for the elevated platform that overlooks Pohutu and observe from a safe distance as hot water sprays as high as 30 metres (100 feet) into the air, as many as 15 times a day.

If all that steam starts to make your eyes water, venture into the Maori village. Made up of traditional carved houses, this settlement has been here for 700 years and remains home to the Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao people.

Follow a guide around the main buildings and enjoy a performance of Maori dancing and music. Listen to stories of how the tribe came to live and thrive in this hostile environment and eat delicious buttery corn, cooked by the natural thermal waters. Consult with a ta moko tattoo artist about your very own personal tattoo design and sign up for flax-weaving lessons to learn how to create garments and tools.

Drive south of Rotorua for just over 5 minutes to reach Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. The reserve and village are open daily and there is an admission fee.


Guide to Exploring around Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve


Best Lodging Options Near Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

See all 555 Properties near Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve
Holiday Inn Rotorua ¥8,467
Holiday Inn Rotorua

Holiday Inn Rotorua

10 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is steps from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Polynesian Spa is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua ¥10,245
    Millennium Hotel Rotorua

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua

    1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the boardwalk, within a 5-minute walk of Rotorua Arts Village and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Central Mall and Rotorua Night Market are also within 10 minutes.

      Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Conference Centre ¥7,248
      Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Conference Centre

      Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Conference Centre

      390 Fenton Street, Rotorua
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly hotel is located in the city center, within 2 mi (3 km) of Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Centre, and Polynesian Spa. Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Rotorua Hospital are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Rydges Rotorua
        Rydges Rotorua

        Rydges Rotorua

        272 Fenton St, Rotorua
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Fenton Street, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Racing Rotorua and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Central Mall are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park ¥5,497
          Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park

          Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park

          463 Old Taupo Road (South End), Rotorua
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in the suburbs, this campground is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Polynesian Spa. Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Rotorua Golf Club are also within 15 minutes.

            Apollo Hotel Rotorua ¥6,853
            Apollo Hotel Rotorua

            Apollo Hotel Rotorua

            7 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Rotorua, this motel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Golf Club and Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Jet Park Hotel Rotorua ¥7,613
              Jet Park Hotel Rotorua

              Jet Park Hotel Rotorua

              237 Fenton Street, Corner Victoria Street, Rotorua
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Fenton Street, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Rotorua Central Mall and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Arts Village and Tamaki Maori Village are also within 10 minutes.

                Regal Palms Resort ¥12,974
                Regal Palms Resort

                Regal Palms Resort

                350 Fenton Street, Rotorua
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Rotorua motel is located in the entertainment district, within a 10-minute walk of Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Golf Club. Polynesian Spa is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away.