Geothermal Energy in action
Wairakei Tourist Park is part of the largest geothermal field in New Zealand. It lies within the Taupō Volcanic Zone. To observe the beauty and power of geothermal, visit Craters of the Moon where a 45-minute walk will allow to explore geothermal features often wreathed in clouds of steam from the heat just beneath your feet.
If this drives a thirst for more knowledge about all things geothermal, the next stop must be the Volcanic Activity Centre. Discover the fascinating volcanic and geothermal secrets of the Taupo Volcanic Zone through hands on interactive displays that make learning both easy and fun for all ages. A true Volcanic Activity Centre favourite is the Earthquake Simulator; experience the devastating 6.3 Christchurch earthquake of 2011 in the Earthquake Simulator. See how a live geyser works above and below the ground, wait for the build up of pressure and watch it spurt every few minutes. Check the live seismograph activity which will show you current, of the minute earth tremors throughout New Zealand at that moment in time. Control the tornado machine to create a twister of your very own design.
Then head on over to Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa. Maori have a long tradition of natural holistic health practices that have been handed down through the generations and are now being received by a worldwide culture interested in health, wellness and natural medicine. The waters and clays of Wairakei were highly valued by Maori for their healing powers and therapeutic benefits. Visitors can now bathe in a series of hot thermal pools rich in minerals, uniquely situated below magnificent silica terraces that provide a ‘feel back in time’ sensation, leaving you warm long after you have left the water.
You might be inspired to take another geothermal walk at Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley. Discover ancient thermal features amidst a haven for native birds.
At Huka Prawn Park you can see geothermal energy put to good use. Waste heat from the Contact Energy Wairakei Power Station is used to heat the ponds used to grow a tropical breed of prawns in Taupo's sub-tropical environment. Take an nteractive guided tours, where you’ll meet the biggest prawns and hand-feed the baby prawns.