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Craters of the Moon is an otherworldly landscape of craters and steam vents where hissing clouds of steam rise into the air and hot mud bubbles beneath your feet. Explore this geothermal hot spot by taking the boardwalks and tracks to the edges of large craters.
Craters of the Moon emerged in the 1950s when locals noticed that the earth here was heating up and emitting clouds of steam. Boiling mud craters and other volcano-like phenomena also began to appear. The cause was the nearby geothermal power station lowering the underground water pressure. This activity brought about the drastic changes to the landscape that you can see today.
Get close to the vents and craters from the safety of the walkways which lead to viewing platforms. Listen to the hissing sound of sulphuric steam clouds as they escape from vents in the ground. The scene can appear quite eerie with mists swirling around, a feeling that is enhanced by the minimal vegetation in the area.
Give yourself at least 45 minutes to walk the trail loop through the cratered valley and a further 20 minutes if you want to climb to the upper lookout. The routes are suitable for all ages and fitness levels and have assisted wheelchair access.
The geothermal attraction is located in the Great Lake Taupo region, approximately 4 miles (7 kilometers) north of Taupo. If you are driving, take the exit off State Highway 1 and park in the attraction’s car park.
Craters of the Moon is open every day except Christmas Day, from morning until early evening. Admission charges apply with discounts for family tickets and children aged between 5 years and 12 years. Those under the age of 5 get in for free. Before your visit, go to the thermal park’s website to download the free app. It contains maps, stories, video clips and fascinating facts about the area.
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