Volcanoes Near Rotorua
Rotorua, Taupo and much of the central North Island lie in an area geologists
call the Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is a very distinctive area of
mountains, lakes and a landscape that everywhere bears the trace of
volcanic activity. Gerald Cubitt and Les Molloy, the authors of
"Wild New Zealand", have the following to say about the area:
"The Taupo Volcanic Zone can be thought of as a southern terminus of
the great Pacific Ring of Fire which extends down the western Pacific
from the Tongan Islands through the Kermadec Islands to the Bay of
Plenty. The Zone contains, in White Island and Tongariro National
Park, some of the most continuously active volcanoes in the world."
Within the Taupo Volcanic Zone there are three volcanoes still active: Ruapehu,
Tongariro, and Ngarahoe (all are located in
Tongariro National Park). All
three have erupted fairly often in the last few hundred years.
Ruapehu and Ngarahoe are two of the most continuously active composite
volcanoes in the world.
Volcanic eruptions have been the cause of two very well known disasters in the
last 150 years. The Mount Tarawera Eruption in 1886 that famously destroyed the
Pink and White Terraces also killed over 150 people near Rotorua. On Christmas
Eve, 1953, an eruption of Ruapehu created a lahar (mud-lava flow) that destroyed
a railway bridge and caused New Zealand's worst ever rail disaster.
Today early warning systems are in place; the monitoring of seismic activity,
and the temperatures and chemical activity of crater lakes provide information
in order for action to be taken before volcanic events.
Featured Rotorua Volcanic Tours and Activities
Attraction - Rotorua
Welcome to the Buried Village. Violent and unexpected, the volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera was New Zealand's greatest natural disaster. It destroyed the eighth wonder of the world - the magnificent Pink and White Terraces. For more than four hours, rocks, ash and mud bombarded the peaceful village of Te Wairoa . Now nearly 120 years on, the excavated village offers a first hand insight into the devastation, chaos and mayhem that transpired on the night Mount Tarawera erupted. More...
Day Tour - Waimangu Volcanic Valley - Starting from NZ $34.50 per adult
Prime Rotorua tourist attraction, Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers self guided tours through spectacular geothermal activity in the world's youngest geothermal system. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is home to wonderful plant and bird life, thermal hot springs, steaming cliffs, volcanic craters and many more geothermal features.We are just 20 minutes South of Rotorua and 40 minutes North of Taupo. More...
All-day Coach Tour - Rotorua - Starting from $230.00 per person
Tour Rotorua's most popular geothermal parks and colorful lakes on a day trip led by a local naturalist guide. You'll see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt, visit the Lake Tarawera lookout and see boiling mud pools and hot springs at Wai-O-Tapu. Along the way, you'll learn all about volcanology, New Zealand's stunning flora and fauna, and Maori history from your naturalist guide. More...
Air Tour - Rotorua - Starting from $215.00 per person
Fly high over breathtaking volcanic landscapes on an unforgettable 30-minute seaplane flight from Rotorua. See New Zealand's world-famous volcanic scenery as you fly over spectacular Mt. Tarawera, the Blue and Green Lakes, and the gurgling geysers of Whakarewareewa Thermal Reserve. Flying at a time to suit you, this scenic air tour will fit into even the busiest of itineraries. More...
Half-day Coach Tour - Rotorua - Starting from $140.00 per person
Take a unique half-day journey through Rotorua's geothermal parks on a morning trip led by a local naturalist guide. You'll watch the Lady Knox Geyser erupt and see boiling mud pools and hot springs at Wai-O-Tapu. More...