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Things to do in
Mount Tarawera

Mount Tarawera

Mount Tarawera: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rotorua City and Lakes Duck Tour

1. Rotorua City and Lakes Duck Tour

Discover Rotorua city and its lakes on a unique 90-minute sightseeing adventure that takes you over land and into the water by amphibious vehicle. This is the best way to see the city and experience the beauty of the lake region on a single tour. Your tour begins right in the heart of the city, where you’ll see the city’s top sights and learn about the diversity that makes Rotorua such a unique destination. Venture out of town to the spectacular lake region and take in magnificent views of Mount Tarawera. Splash down into Lake Tikitapu and Lake Okareka. The tour is educational and fun for the whole family. Everyone is sure to enjoy this unique adventure in an authentic WWII-era amphibious vehicle.

Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

2. Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails, and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt. Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. The award-winning museum sheds light on the hardships suffered by this once-bustling European and Maori village settlement.  Expect to spend at least 1 and a half hours at the site to get the most out of the experience, which includes audio guides, living history tours, and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt. Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries excavated under the Kaitiakitanga of the Smith family for nearly 90 years. Refresh at Smith & Co, the onsite cafe offering delicious scones with whipped cream and jam, Kiwi's favorite selection of pastry pies, and Devonshire tea. Take the opportunity to dress up in Victorian style clothing. On the waterfall trail, learn about the native flora and fauna and experience the beauty of a land recovering from violent destruction. Experience the Te Wairoa Falls in a special way as you stand in the mist of the waterfall. At the end of the day, check out the wide range of goods at the gift shop and bring home a special memento.

From Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Te Puia Full-Day Tour

3. From Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Te Puia Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your Rotorua accommodation between 8AM and 8:30 AM. Commentated scenic drive to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland for 1hr guided walk. See colourful hot springs, boiling mud, volcanic landscapes and experience the daily eruption of Lady Knox Geyser playing at 10:15 AM.   Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley to learn about the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption on a 1hr guided walk. Relax at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Cafe for lunch at 12:00 PM. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour through Rotorua premiere cultural attraction Te Puia. Learn about Maori culture and history visiting the woodcarving school, arts and crafts gallery, Rotowhio Marae, weaving display, kiwi house, and experience the Pohutu Geyser playing. Finish your day with a scenic visit to the pristine and tranquil lakes of this amazing volcanic region. Blue and Green Lakes lookout and views over Lake Tarawera and volcano. Get dropped back to your accommodation between 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM.

Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

4. Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

Discover Tarawera and Lakes on a unique 2-hour fully-guided adventure that takes place on land and water on-board a genuine WWII amphibious Duck. One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the Rotorua lakes district and learn more about the history of the land, the people, and the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera.  Your tour begins right in the heart of Rotorua and ventures out of town to the spectacular lake’s district where you will experience your first splash down into the sheltered calm waters of Lake Okareka. Your ConDUCKtor will then take you further, exploring the natural beauty of the lakes district with a backdrop of the magnificent volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. After plunging into the deep blue water of Lake Tarawera, the return trip will see you viewing the sacred Lake Rotokakahe (The Green Lake) before splashing down on Tikitapu (the Blue Lake) your forth and final lake visit before the homeward journey back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua’s city centre. This tour is suitable for all ages and the whole family, combining fun, learning and new experiences during a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in an authentic WWII amphibious Duck.

Rotorua: Scenic Flight over Mt Tarawera & Waimangu Valley

5. Rotorua: Scenic Flight over Mt Tarawera & Waimangu Valley

Departing from the Rotorua lakefront, experience the thrill of a floatplane take off, climbing around Mokoia Island and over the ridge to the hidden lakes district. Take in the vibrant lakes and native NZ bush before flying up and over the Volcanic Peaks of Mount Tarawera. At 3680 feet in elevation this majestic dormant volcano dominates the surrounding landscape and plays center piece to the stunning lakes which surrounds it. Your pilot will fly you directly over the 8km crater rift line left by the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory. The 1886 eruption devastated the local area including our famous Pink and White Terraces (once claimed as the eighth wonder of the world). Included in the flight is views over the stunning lakes district and aerial views of the Waimangu Thermal Valley and its vibrant Inferno Crater and Frying Pan Lake. Returning to Rotorua your descent takes you past the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, Pohutu Geyser and over the city before landing back on Lake Rotorua.

Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

6. Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

Take on a thrilling rafting adventure with experienced and local Kiwi guides. Navigate a wildly beautiful landscape while learning about Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and protection of the land. Snake through steep New Zealand bush-clad canyons. Be thrilled by fourteen rapids and tree waterfalls, including the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls. Relive the rafting action through photos snapped by a professional adventure photographer along the way. Throughout the day, your guide will share the history of Mount Tarawera's eruption as well as local myths and legends. On arrival at the mountain base, begin the ascent to the crater's edge in an off-road 4x4 vehicle up through native bushland. After a quick stop at the solar-powered mountain base, continue up to the beginning of the track.  Admire stunning scenic vistas and 360-degree panoramic views as you enjoy the hike up. At the summit, you can leap down into the heart of the volcanic crater for a fun and short run.

Rotorua: Explore The Lakes Half-Day Morning Tour

7. Rotorua: Explore The Lakes Half-Day Morning Tour

Immerse yourself in New Zealand's natural beauty on a morning tour from Rotorua to the lake district. See Hamurana Springs, Kaiutuna River, Okere and Tutea waterfalls, and explore a cave. Get great photos of the Green and Blue Lake and mighty Mount Tarawera on this half-day tour. Begin your day discovering the beauty of New Zealand's North Island with a visit to Hamurana Springs. Here, enjoy a walk to the largest freshwater spring on the island where 4.5 million liters per hour of crystal clear waters are laced with shades of turquoise, jade, and emerald in a tranquil setting of towering Redwood trees. Your next stop is the Kaituna River for a walk through the Native New Zealand forest with scenic lookouts overlooking the river. See the flowing waters of Okere Falls and Tutea Falls before descending Hinemoa's steps to the caves to experience the awesome power of nature. Continue your half-day tour toward the site of NZ's most recent volcanic eruption at Tarawera. Take in the stunning views of the Blue and Green Lakes, two lakes that sit side by side. There is plenty of time to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and take amazing photos of the colorful location. Finish your tour with magnificent views of Mount Tarawera and Lake Tarawera as you return to Rotorua.

Rotorua: Guided Waimangu Walk and Steaming Cliffs Kayak Tour

8. Rotorua: Guided Waimangu Walk and Steaming Cliffs Kayak Tour

Explore the amazing scenery of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Lake Rotomahana on this spectacular guided walking and kayaking tour. Experience an incredible journey from valley top to bottom, passing the worlds largest hot spring, lakes with vibrant colours and steaming cliffs as you are immersed in the wonders of the worlds youngest geothermal system. Along the way you will learn the story of this incredible valley as you walk and paddle your way past geothermal features exclusive only to this beautiful part of New Zealand. The tour begins at the Rotorua Information Centre, where you will meet your friendly guide for the first time. After a 30 minute scenic drive to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley entrance, you'll head into the Waimangu cafe for a quick history lesson from your guide on the stunning landscape you are about to explore. Following that summary, you will begin your journey down the valley on foot, your guide will be sure to stop at all the best places so you can ask questions about all the weird and wonderful things in front of you. The walk is easy going, mostly gently downhill and your guide will make sure to cater to your groups needs at all times. Once we reach the edge of Lake Rotomahana, it'll be time for some paddling. Your guide will provide you with all the necessary kayaking equipment including personal flotation devices and water shoes. Your guide will then brief you on the important safety aspects of the tour before keeping you entertained with a how-to-kayak demonstration. From here, you will kayak a short distance before being lost once again in this Jurassic type world of steaming cliffs and colourful landscapes. Mount Tarawera watches over you nearby from above and the Pink and White terraces lie beneath the water you paddle on buried as the 8th wonder of the world. Your guide will share the entire story of the valley as you soak it all in. The Waimangu shuttle bus will bring you back to the top of the valley and your wonderful guide will drive you back to Rotorua to complete the trip.

From Whakatane: 1-Hour Volcanic Region Flight

9. From Whakatane: 1-Hour Volcanic Region Flight

Departing from Whakatane Airport, experience the thrill of your 1-hour flight's take-off, before climbing above the local coastline with views of Moutohora Island. Fly towards the hidden lakes district and to the volcanic peaks of Mount Tarawera. Learn about New Zealand's largest historic volcanic eruption as you fly inland, towards Rotorua to the country's breathtaking volcanic region. Enjoy a spectacular view of the 2.5-kilometer-long Mount Tarawera crater onboard this scenic flight. Also see Waimangu Thermal Valley, the Rotorua Lakes District, Mount Putauaki, Matahina Hydroelectric, Dam and Ohope Beach.

Other Sightseeing Options in Mount Tarawera

Want to discover all there is to do in Mount Tarawera? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Mount Tarawera

Overall rating

(36 reviews)

Fantastic Trip. Great views of the volcano. Very helpful team. Good safety briefing given & lots of reassurance given to those of us who were a bit concerned as to what we had signed up for.

The Driver was enjoyable and explainable and knowledgeable to the surroundings. really enjoyed the Tour..highly recommended and would go again if I ever came back to Rotorua.

great day trip, we saw many locations that I might not have visited by myself, and our guide Linda gave great explanations and answered all of our questions.

Fantastic guide, Linda really made our trip fun. Very knowledgeable and just a great person.

Very interesting tour. Some of the signs around the site could be improved