Saturday, 22 January 2011

Waterfalls and Fumaroles – Napier to Taupo

North Island to Motutere

Today is a day to visit a couple of the natural spectaculars which New Zealand has to offer. The “volcanic highway” leads the route of of Napier towards Taupo although there is not much volcano until we reach Taupo which is situated on the shores of Lake Taupo. There was a massive volcanic eruption here in 186 AD, so massive that its effects were noted around the world (it is recorded in Roman and Chinese annals) and this contributed towards the creation of the lake which is truly massive.

The Craters of the Moon Park is actually a park full of active fumaroles.

Overview of Craters of the Moon 

Covering a few acres, a managed trail takes you around the park and explains how and why there are fumaroles and their impact on the flora.


The fumaroles are places where water heated by the underlying magma of the volcanic region reaches the surface


Within each fumarole crater is a micro climate which would normally be hostile to any life but over time, ferns have adapted and thrive.

Mud Pool

Some have bubbling super heated mud at the bottom. The

whole area is quite impressive and has a slight “gas works” smell for those who remember such things.

The nearby Huka Falls are an impressive demonstration of water power.

Huko Falls UpStream-1 Huko Falls Downstream
Upstream Downstream

200,000 litres of water per second from Lake Taupo pours down this gorge and over the 9m waterfall at the bottom

Huko Falls 9m drop

Whilst town itself is a mecca for outdoor sports and lake activities, for us it is a place on the way to the Forgotten Highway.

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