Craters of the Moon geothermal walk is located at the end of Karapiti Road, 1.7km from Wairakei Drive

Wairakei’s Craters of the Moon geothermal area is part of the largest geothermal field in New Zealand. It lies within the Taupō Volcanic Zone. A 45-minute walk traverses the main pathway around this cratered valley. Explore interesting geothermal features often wreathed in clouds of steam from the heat just beneath your feet.

The walking surface is on gravel with sections of wooden boardwalk. It is suitable for most people including family groups. The track to the upper lookout takes an additional 15 – 20 minutes and includes a number of steps. The views over the site and the area make this side trip well worthwhile.

The Craters of the Moon geothermal walk is run by a charitable trust. A small entrance fee helps maintain the boardwalks, grounds and other facilities at this low key geothermal attraction.  This not-for-profit organisation works hard to run a low-cost operation. In 2012, when the Kiosk (reception/shop) was upgraded a decision was made to utilise the geothermal resource close at hand for underfloor heating and solar power was installed (8kW solar photovoltaic array with 83kW battery bank storage). Since 2013, Craters of the Moon has become one of only a handful of New Zealand tourism ventures to operate off-grid.

The Craters of the Moon Charitable Trust (est. 1991) donates surplus funds annually to local charities with an emphasis on conservation and the environment.

The geothermal walk is open every day (except Christmas Day)

Opening hours are 9:30am to 5pm (last entry 4pm)

For more information about the Craters of the Moon geothermal walk go to or phone 0276 564 684.

View All Attractions