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Orakei Korako Cave and Thermal Park
Make use of the waterfront setting of the cafe and enjoy a bite to eat, once you finish your tour of this fascinating attraction.
Explore one of nature's most spectacular geothermal parks, with geysers, hot springs and pools, lush flora and fauna, amazing silica terraces and a rare geothermal cave.
So special is Orakei Korako, it can only be reached by boat and, like something from a Jules Verne novel, as soon as you step onboard and make your way across the tranquil waters to the 'Hidden Valley' itself, it's like sailing into another world, a different dimension.
The name Orakei Korako means 'place of adorning' and was where many Maori women would come to prepare themselves for important occasions. New Zealand's largest geyser field, is a wonderland of volcanic, almost lunar, landscape, brightly-coloured mineral pools, and rich vegetation. Visitors are free to wander the pathway and watch as the geysers shoot boiling hot water skywards, some for hours at a time - so be sure to stick to the designated tracks!
Photographers will feel particularly inspired by the Emerald Terrace; a vast shelf of silica (most of which is still hidden under the water), and the largest of its kind in New Zealand. The neighbouring Rainbow Terrace, and the Artist's Palette hot pool, show off a whole spectrum of colours which seem to change each time you see them.
Further into the valley, is the famous Ruatapu Cave, which stretches 45 metres into the earth and contains an incredible hot pool at the bottom, kids will love the bubbling mud pools (that look like chocolate) and also the Soda Fountain; a once-dormant hot spring that suddenly burst back into life in 1984. Maybe on your own tour around, you'll wake up a few more...
In the visitor centre there is a gift shop, and also a fantastic cafe, situated right by the water, and is the ideal place to sit with a coffee and some cake, admiring the steaming, multi-coloured playground around you. The park sits on the Waikato River at the base of Lake Ohakuri, and is easily reachable from both Rotorua and Taupo.
Ticket includes the ferry to and from the valley.
Open all year round (including Xmas Day), 8.00am - 4.30pm (4.00pm in winter).
- Moderately Priced
Best For Whom
- Mature Travellers
- Families With Children
Best For What
- Off The Beaten Path