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New Zealand Is Home To A Magical Thermal Wonderland

Multi-coloured hotspring pools straight out of a fairy tale

Waiotapu (Maori for “Sacred Waters”) is an active geothermal area on the southern end of the Okataina Volcanic Centre in New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone.

Due to the dramatic spectrum of geothermal conditions surging beneath the earth, Waiotapu features many hot springs of varying colours, including the pictured Champagne Pool.

Visitors can explore the thermal area on their own or with daily tours conducted during the Winter and Summer seasons.

There are a total of three trails, with each taking between 30 and 75 minutes to walk through. Look out for the Lady Knox Geyser (above), which erupts daily at around 10.15am, to heights of up to 20m.

Needless to say, these geysers are boiling hot – definitely not the type of springs you can dip your foot into.

The thermal area is located 27km from the city of Rotorua. Drive south along the State Highway 5 from the intersection with State Highway 30A, and turn left onto either end Waiotapu Loop Road.

Admission is NZ$32.50 (about $32.20) for adults and NZ$11 for children.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, RD3, Rotorua Central, Rotorua, 3073, New Zealand.