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Craters of the Moon

Experience a strange volcanic landscape where steam clouds swirl in the air and mud pools pop and boil beneath your feet.

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.


Map

Top Craters of the Moon Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 368 properties near Craters of the Moon
Wairakei Resort Taupo NZ$110
Wairakei Resort Taupo

Wairakei Resort Taupo

640 Wairakei Road, Wairakei
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Wairakei hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley, Wairakei International Golf Course and Prawn Farm. Huka Falls is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

    Huka Lodge NZ$3,105
    Huka Lodge

    Huka Lodge

    271 Huka Falls Road, Taupo
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the riverfront, this luxury lodge is within 1 mile (2 km) of Wairakei International Golf Course and Huka Falls. Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley and Spa Thermal Park are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Quality Suites Huka Falls NZ$89
      Quality Suites Huka Falls

      Quality Suites Huka Falls

      56 Huka Falls Road, Taupo
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Taupo, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, Lake Taupo and Huka Falls. Taupo Museum and Art Gallery and Barbary are also within 2 miles (3 km).

        2 bedroom Cottage Near Huka Falls NZ$244
        2 bedroom Cottage Near Huka Falls

        2 bedroom Cottage Near Huka Falls

        56 Huka Falls Road, Rangatira Park, Taupo
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the boardwalk, this holiday home is within 3 miles (5 km) of Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, Lake Taupo and Huka Falls. Taupo Museum and Art Gallery and Barbary are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Falls Chateau
          Falls Chateau

          Falls Chateau

          12 Chateau Crescent, Taupo
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated on the riverwalk, this aparthotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Taupo Museum and Art Gallery, Lake Taupo and Huka Falls. Barbary and Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            LakeEscape
            LakeEscape

            LakeEscape

            28 Vaucluse Drive, Taupo
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Taupo, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre and Lake Taupo. Taupo Museum and Art Gallery and Barbary are also within 1 mile (2 km).

              The Lakehouse Taupo
              The Lakehouse Taupo

              The Lakehouse Taupo

              30 Valcluse Drive, Nukuhau, Taupo
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Taupo, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Taupo i-SITE Visitor Information Centre and Lake Taupo. Taupo Museum and Art Gallery and Barbary are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn NZ$106
                Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn

                Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn

                76-80 Lake Terrace, Taupo
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Barbary and Lake Taupo. Taupo Bungy and Taupo Hot Springs are also within 3 mi (5 km).