Craters of the Moon - Taupo

New Zealand is famous for its geothermal activity and seeing as though I’d not managed a visit to somewhere like this last time I was in New Zealand, I knew I had to go to Craters of the Moon when I was down in Taupo over the weekend. In which I smell my first “rotten eggs” air at Craters Of The Moon

By Sarah Bennett - Guest blogger

Geothermal times ahead…

Whilst you are paying your NZ$8 entrance fee, you are given the map of the park and told not to stray off the paths. The map is simple and to be honest, if you can’t follow it you shouldn’t be travelling.

Craters Of The Moon Geothermal Activity Taupo


Anyway, the reason why you cannot stay off the path is that the geothermal activity causes some parts of the ground to be very hot and before the path, which now leads away from the hottest areas, visitors used to be frequently burnt by the earth. Ouch.

The last eruption at the park was apparently in September 2002, where the surrounding area was covered in a 5cm layer of mud, ash and pumice. Eruptions occur more frequently after  heavy rain or earth movements blocking the holes created in the surface – we were looking good to get away with one on this day, luckily.

What I found a little disappointing was that it wasn’t as barren as the name, Craters of the Moon, lends itself. Does this look barren to you?

Granted, it is spring turning into summer, so everything in New Zealand is luscious and green.

I wasn’t disappointed by the amount of steam coming out of the ground, however! Lots and lots and lots of it, and it did smell a little like rotten eggs, but it wasn’t too overpowering.

There were a lot of warning signs and barriers, so the route was easy to follow and not step onto dangerous ground.

Craters Of The Moon Mountain Biking Park MTB Park Taupo


Bubblin’ mud…

Lastly, we took a walk up to one of the ridges that overlooks the Craters of the Moon park – you can just about see Lake Taupo from here, but it also gives you a great view of the park and all the steam coming out as well.

Craters of the Moon is a great little introduction to the geothermal activity that is naturally on show throughout New Zealand. I’m definitely excited to see more of it in Tongariro National Park and Rotorua.

Have you ever been to Craters of the Moon? Would you like to?

Craters of the Moon is about 15 minutes drive from Taupo itself and also offers, for the adventurous, a mountain bike trail (and actually looks more moon-like and desolate!)

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