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“Great example of geothermal change” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley

Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley
State Highway 1 | P.O. Box 71, Taupo, New Zealand
07 374 8004
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Ranked #16 of 26 attractions in Taupo
Type: Hot Springs/ Geysers
Attraction Details
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great example of geothermal change”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

This thermal valley used to be full of amazing geysers, check out the pictures in the cafe! As you do the walk, imagine how it used to look, and marvel at the change that can occur. Wairakei geothermal plant is just next door...and the geysers started to die right when they started testing wells there (they didn't know the effects of this back then). You do the math! This place is a testament to what can happen to glorious natural features when man gets involved. It is sad, but there are many remnants of the old place still to be seen, and the colors of the steaming cliffs are beautiful. The owner is happy to talk all about it, as he did when we visited. He knows everything and was very glad to hang out with us and talk story!

The awesome menagerie of animals that wanders around as you eat lunch or get in your car is another plus to this special place. I'll never forget it.

I noticed that many of the pictures associated with this attraction are for nearby tourist attractions, not the thermal valley: Wairakei Terraces (which are fake/man-made) or Craters of the Moon/Karapiti (another example of what happens after installing a geothermal plant next door--all that steam and those craters weren't there before!!). So don't trust all the pictures or reviews to tell you about this special piece of NZ history.

Visited December 2012
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Thermal wonderland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

The amazing world of thermals! I am still stoked to see all this steam boiling from under the ground. Kids to be supervised but well worth the effort.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wairakei Thermal Valley”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

This "attraction" is at the end of a gravel road - Wairakei Thermal Valley. Reading other reveiws it seems some are reporting on the attraction located at Wairakei Road as the Thermal Valley has no swimming pools or much else for that matter. The thermal walk is run down and only accessible to people without pushchairs etc. I wouldn't recommend taking young children on the walk as the fences are in poor repair or non-existent. The charge of $10.00 per adult is a rip-off as there are no active mud pools or geysers, just a few small steam vents. The shop and surrounding area looks tired (even the waterwheel outside the shop is broken). On a positive note, the area around the shop has a number of animals and birds for children to look at.
I suggest you take a drive up Wairakei Road past the steam pipes to the lookout - this is free but not signposted so just follow the sealed road for a couple of kilometers and enjoy the view.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“How rude and sarcastic can a cashier get? Horrible.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

This is a copy of the letter of complaint I've written to the owners. This place is horrible and the whole experience really upset us and put us right off of Taupo. For us Taupo seemed full of robbing business owners - waiting to prey on passing tourists:-( Not the New Zealand dream - for sure!

The brown tourists signs led us to Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley.

The sign outside of the cafe instructed us to ‘enquire at cafe for details of the thermal walk’ (no admission prices were mentioned)!

The cashier informed us of the price.

We thought it too expensive.

As we walked away the cashier told us ‘to go on – get back into your little car and go’ (in a most sarcastic manner).

We suggest you provide you cashier with immediate training on how to deal, politely, with the general public.

Your prices should be clearly visible, to enable customers to make a decision prior to reaching your rude cashier; allowing them, the option, of retreating your overpriced walk without being caused embarasment.

Your prices should be reduced!

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Relaxing pool, great value.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Best value all trip. Get a private pool and relax for an hour. The rest the pools are lovely and the place is clean and well maintained. You can rent towel if you need them. Take the walk up to the spring that feed the boiling river and whole complex with hot water.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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