Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua: Hours, Address, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Reviews: 4.5/5

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
4.5
Hot Springs & Geysers
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9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
"One of the 20 Most Surreal Places in the World" Trip Advisor THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THE MAKING, explore spectacular nature at New Zealand's most colourful natural volcanic area. Walk at your own pace - view the unique Champagne Pool, Sinter Terrace formations, Steaming Ground, Bubbling Mud, Expansive Vistas, Huge Volcanic Craters. The Lady Knox Geyser erupts daily at 10.15am. Excellent facilities at modern Visitor Centre. We are a cashless site, accepting all major credit and EFTPOS cards.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
8,652 reviews
Excellent
5,392
Very good
2,573
Average
525
Poor
110
Terrible
52

Jason S
Melbourne, Australia1,284 contributions
Solo
I really enjoyed the walk around Wai O Tapu, very well set up with boardwalks they guide you in a loop with great geothermal activity everywhere.

They have 3 different loops with the main one the red loop taking about 45 minutes to do it’s easy to add the orange loop for an extra 20 minutes.

$32.50 entry fee not to bad could be a little cheaper but I think it’s worth doing.

Due to Geyer being man made I decided to give it a miss.

Also note that the whole complex is cashless so make sure you bring a credit card for entry and to buy anything.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Victoria L
Adelaide, Australia25 contributions
We were amazed by this geothermal wonder, the champagne lake and acid lake were unlike anything we have ever seen. The powerful sulfur smell takes some getting used to if you have just arrived in Rotorua. However, entry is expensive for even a basic entry ticket (no audio guide, a basic map and limited signage, we obtained the most knowledge from our Lonely Planet guidebook and a friendly tour guide whose tour group was walking around at the same time as us). It's also ridiculous they don't take cash payments at all. But worst of all is the carpark gridlock around the time the Lady Knox geyser erupts. Avoid visiting around then unless you arrive early.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kinx81
Hamilton, New Zealand799 contributions
Couples
Bought our tickets online through their website. Easy. That way we could drive straight to the Lady Knox Geyser to see it erupt at 10:15 am. It is prompted to erupt by the workers adding surfactant to the cone, but still a cool display nonetheless. You get about a 5 min talk explaining the history and significance.
Getting back in the car we drove down to the visitor centre to get our tickets scanned and a map of the park. Clean bathrooms, cafe and drinking water fountain to fill your bottles.
The geothermal Park was much bigger than I expected and we enjoyed walking the easy trails to see the different pools and craters. Excellent signage. Make sure you walk all the way to the end otherwise you’ll miss a beautiful lake and small waterfall.
Cafe served a soup and cheese bread deal for $7. Great value. Definitely recommend getting a snack here after your walk.

Locals should get out and check out these beautiful sights in our own backyard! We drove from Hamilton and also enjoyed the Waikite hot pools afterwards, about 6 km away.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rob A
London, UK22 contributions
Couples
The biggest disappointment of our trip. The geyser was a farce as it was activated by a member of staff pouring some powder into the geyser’s opening to induce the eruption which didn’t so much erupt as just froth a bit. Absolute waste of time - I’d recommend going straight to the sulphur pools while the hordes of tourists are watching the geyser show. The pools themselves - relatively ok, not amazing. If you’re in the area and need something to do to kill time then I’d visit here, otherwise I wouldn’t bother in the slightest.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

I_Love_Holidays20118
Coventry, UK192 contributions
Couples
We visited this yesterday. We got there early enough to see the geyser. We parked by the visitor centre, as this was the only indicated parking, then walked to the geyser This is quite a long way, about 1km. When we got there we were cross to find this had parking too. When I complained to the attendant she said they would have told you at the visitor centre, but we didn’t go into the centre as it was in the opposite direction, and we already had tickets bought online. This may have been helpful in the end though, as when the geyser is finished, everyone in that car park has to move their car as they lock the road. This of course caused a queue on the road and a fight for parking spaces back at the centre - which we just walked past. They can predict the time of the geyser, as they induce it by dropping some kind of soap inside the funnel.
Inside the main site there are a variety of thermal activity. We have been to Iceland and seen some there but none with the variety of amazing colours that these produce (although their geysers are better 😀) The Champagne Pool is stunning. The walk to the lake is worth it too as this is beautiful.
We had a decent lunch of toasted sandwiches at the cafe too.
I would recommend visiting here.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BC
Denver, CO142 contributions
Couples
Went this morning to start by seeing the Lady Knox Geyser with plans to then do the 90 minute walk around the thermal features. Should have known what was in store for us when we saw a long line of cars trying to access the parking lot. Then after paying the entrance fee, we had to get back in our car and drive to the Lady Knox Geyser parking. Sat there with several hundred other people to watch a guide put soap down into the geyser to make it erupt. This has happened so many times over the years that the geyser is caked with white soapy residue- it actually looks fake. So after it erupts for a few seconds, theres a mad dash back to the parking lot to jump in your car and drive back down to the 1st parking lot to try to get a spot, then start the walk with several hundred other tourists. If you like crowds, congestion, confusion, and a logistical nightmare, this is the place for you. We chose to leave and instead visit the Waimangu Volcanic Valley which was absolutely beautiful.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mujer_rebelde
Köln60 contributions
Couples
We went there in mid-January. The colours of the geothermal lakes are not as vibrant during the summer months as they are in winter which was a bit of a disappointment. Walkways easy but one section was closed. Quite boring when you have been to Orakei Korako and/or Waimangu Volcanic Valley which both feel much more like natural surroundings. The worst part of Wai-O-Tapu though is the Lady Knox Geysir where hundreds of people gather to see the geysir (after being triggered with organic soap) shoot up 20 metres into the air for up to an hour. By no means! The whole spectacle went on for about 20 seconds and the geysir reached not even half a metre in height. A truly pathetic sight. The whole audience was left stunned about this lame show. Do not go there unless you like to be ripped off. There are much better places around.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

D&M
Perth, Australia319 contributions
Couples
Thought we would make sure to get here well in advance of Lady Knox Geyser’s 10.15am performance. Well hundreds of others had the same idea and there was a scramble for car parks and perfect positioned seating around the geyser. I wondered how Mother Nature makes this geyser blow at the same time every day until I was surprised by a staff member dumping some sort of soap stimulant into the spout of the geyser to get it to perform. No exactly what we we’re expecting??? Was disappointed waiting all that time for about a 3 minute performance. Moved onto the thermal park with all the crowds which was a little more interesting. A very well laid out land with easy access to the thermal craters, pools and lakes. Our favourite was the mud pools. Soft sludgy bubbling mud making all sorts of funny and disgusting noises. Could have sat there for an hour watching nature make these pools of mud bubble. This was well worth seeing. Overall a good experience but not better than Waimangu Volcanic Park.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chiara
18 contributions
Couples
Make sure you get there when it opens to enjoy a coffee at the café before the visit (the barista made me one of the best coffee I ever had in my life, thanks lovely:) and to experience the blowing of the Lady Knox Gayser at 10am. It was really interesting to listen to the stories behind it narrated by one of the lovely staff members for us. The park is well kept and you can experience different geothermal activities (not only the champagne pool but also the impressive colours of the oyster pool, the fluo green lake, the different shapes created by the blow holes and many other things). I didn't give 5* just because I think the price for the entrance could be a little bit cheaper. Thanks team!
Written June 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sue E
Yukon, Canada167 contributions
Couples
The walk through the pools was very interesting with good interpretive signage. The actual geyser and mud pool was a bit of a let down. The geyser was filled with soap flakes which did add to the effect and smelled better than sulphur. The gift shop was excellent but the service at the cafe was glacially slow. Educational experience that was well worth it. Important to note that if you booked online or you have a coupon from your tour company you should check in with the visitor center for before you see the geyser. You should allow yourself enough time for that. Parking is limited both at the geyser and at the visitor center around 10a.m.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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We recommend booking Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 24 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland tours on Tripadvisor