Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland & Lady Knox Geyser

New Zealand’s thermal explorer highway between Rotorua and Taupo provides numerous opportunities to see geothermal activities like boiling mud pools, steam vents and geysers. The Lady Knox Geyser located at the Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) Thermal Wonderland offers a chance for a front row viewing of a geyser erupting.

Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland Rotorua

Once we arrived at the facility and purchased tickets, they asked that we drive to the viewing platform located 4 minutes from the admissions building.  The geyser erupts each morning at 10:15 a.m. with the help of a staff member and surfactants dropped into the vent opening. The presentation begins with an entertaining staff member discussing background information about Lady Knox. For example, how the geyser received its name. See video!  Within a few minutes of the surfactant poured into the vent, the geyser begins to bubble.  Then the eruption happens quickly shooting up several meters in the air and spraying the first few rows of the amphitheater.  Don’t worry though as the water feels cool and soapy.

(Please excuse quality of the video.  My 8-year-old took it and I do not think she was quite tall enough to see over the wood post and may have her finger partly covering the lens.)

Lady Knox Geyser

Lady Knox Geyser from Amber Herden on Vimeo.

Following the geyser show we headed back to the Wai-O-Tapu entrance to walk along the three pathways. Aubrey insisted the entire area smelled of rotten eggs!  The Champagne pool is the highlight of this facility. The defined color of the water makes a beautiful photo.  Stick to the pathways though as signs all around the walkways claim the temperatures are around 100 degrees celsius.  We saw one tourist step off the path for a photo and the girls were very concerned!  Luckily a staff member sorted it out before it became an issue.

Champagne Pool

Champagne Pool from Amber Herden on Vimeo.

Geothermal Walkways

There are multiple trails off the main walkway depending on how much time you want to spend walking around the geothermal areas.  This is the most colorful geothermal walkway I have been on to date!