As I mentioned in the post prior to this one, the New Zealand city of Rotorua sits atop an area abuzz with geothermal activity. One of the best ways to see this activity above ground is to visit Te Puia.

Here’s a description of Te Puia from the about us section of their website:

Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley, on the edge of town. We are home to the world-famous Pohutu geyser, to mud pools, hot springs, to silica formations to the Kiwi bird and the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. We have shared these with manuhiri (visitors) for 170 years and proudly continue that legacy today.

I LOVED my time at Te Puia. I also loved the fact that, since I visited during the off-season, there were very few crowds. In fact, there were times when it felt like I had all those mud pools and hot springs to myself. Here’s a video of one of the pools. Be sure to listen to the plop-plopping of the bubbling action. I wanted to jump in!

In addition to the geothermal and mud attractions, Te Puia is also an educational center for Māori culture. I’ve been lucky enough to attend two Māori cultural demonstrations so far in New Zealand, but I’m embarrassed that my photos don’t do these wonderful learning opportunities justice. And they don’t even begin to capture the joy and pride that comes across to anyone who attends a performance. I’ll post one of my (lame!) photos below, but I eagerly invite you to read more about some of the traditions here.


As for the geothermals, Te Puia is teeming with them. The Pōhutu Geyser is the biggest draw. And the most beautiful!



Here’s a video of Pōhutu and the steamy, colorful — and oozing! — area that surrounds it.

Just like at Wai-O-Tapu, there are plenty of walking trails weaving their way through Te Puia — as well as plenty of opportunities to see lots of mud, colorful mineral deposits … and more steam. I couldn’t stop taking videos of steam!

But I also took a lot of still photos. Here are the rest of them from my visit to Te Puia:




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  1. […] first cultural demonstration at the War Memorial Museum in Auckland. The second took place during my day at Te Puia. But I knew that no trip to Rotorua would be complete without attending one of the city’s […]

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