The 1- to 2.5-mile (1.5- to 4-kilometer) pathway takes visitors on an easy 45-minute walk past thermal pools, geysers, fumaroles, and fissures to the lake edge. Complimentary shuttles offer rides between stops. Avid hikers can split off on the Mt. Hazard trail to get better views of the valley and gaze down on the lakes, radiant in turquoise and greens. One lake provides one of the best activities in the valley: a cruise on Lake Rotomahana. This naturally formed lake, once home to the Pink and White Terraces, covers 15 separate craters and is a haven for endangered birds.
A guided tour of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley provides more insight into how this exceptionally young landscape transforms by the day. Some tours include the option to explore Wai-O-Tapu, the Whakarewarewa Living Maori Village, Huka Falls, or the Hobbiton Movie Set. A seaplane flight offers otherworldly views from above.