Casting an imposing shadow over the Rotorua region, this colossal volcano is responsible for one of the most devastating eruptions ever to occur in New Zealand.
Hike up the remarkable Mount Tarawera and marvel at the huge crater that was blown out more than a hundred years ago. Soak in the naturally heated springs nearby and admire panoramic views across the lake and back toward the mountain.
Imagine how it may have felt here when, after midnight on June 10, 1886, the ground began to tremble and plumes of hot lava suddenly shot from Mount Tarawera. Molten rock buried the majestic Pink and White Terraces nearby as smoke and ash were launched into the dark sky. Learn about the impact this devastating event had on the Rotorua region.
Exploring the volcano with an expert guide is a great way to gain insight into the mighty force of this seemingly benign landform. See the vast fields of rocks that were belched out from the planet’s core and inspect the remarkable crater. Now a deep ravine, the crater measures a staggering 6 kilometres (4 miles) in length.
For an even more breathtaking experience, consider viewing the volcano from the skies during a helicopter tour. A guide will show you the sights and tell you about the enthralling history of the mountain.
After visiting the volcano, head to nearby Lake Tarawera to relax. Sink into the geothermal pools that line the northern shores and feel any tension melting away. As you unwind in the warm, nutrient-rich water, admire the views across the calm lake with the volcano’s dark silhouette in the background.
Walking and helicopter tours of Mount Tarawera can be easily organised online. Most operators will pick you up from your accommodation around Rotorua and drive you to the volcano, which is approximately an hour away. Lake Tarawera is about a 30-minute drive southeast from the city.