Rotorua based Small Group Morning Tour Waimangu and Wai O Tapu

Badge of ExcellenceRotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Morning Tour
Special Offer

From US$87.92

US$109.90 Save US$21.98

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


See the awe-inspiring Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland on a half-day tour, led by a knowledgeable guide. Follow a well-marked path alongside bubbling hot springs and volcanic craters at Rotorua’s most comprehensive geothermal site. Hear a morning presentation about the Lady Knox Geyser and observe the daily eruption before a short drive through the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Numbers are limited to 12 people, providing a more personalized experience with a small group.
  • Half-day tour of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, from Rotorua
  • Drive a short distance from Rotorua to view New Zealand’s largest geothermal parks with an experienced guide
  • Learn from your knowledgeable guide about the geology of the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people provides an intimate experience

What's Included

  • Driver/guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Rotorua Museum
    20 Queens Drive, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

    if you are staying outside the Rotorua CBD, you can meet our guide outside the Rotorua Museum at 8.15 am. There is plenty of free parking in the area. The Rotorua Museum is located in the government gardens and is one of New Zealand's most iconic buildings and is impossible to miss. Thank you

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

08:00 AM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

We pick up from all Rotorua accommodations within the city limits at the following times. We do not pick up from the port of Tauranga and Auckland Black Swan 8.05 am On the Point 8.05 am Koura Lodge 8.05 am Cosy Cottage 8.05 am Bella Vista 8.05 am Awa hotel 8.05am Tasman HP 8.10 am Novotel 8.10 am Regent 8.10 am Ibis 8.10 am Aura Accommodation 8.15 am Accolades 8.10 am Pullman 8.15am Princes Gate 8.15 am Museum 8.15 am YHA treks 8.15 am Lava Lodge 8.15 am Quest 8.15 am Millennium 8.20 am Sudima 8.20 am Rotorua central backpackers 8.20 am Rydges 8.30 am Four canoes 8.25 am Silver Fern 8.25 am Regal Palms 8.25 am Devonwood 8.25 am Capri on Fenton 8.25am Sport of Kings 8.25am Emerald Spa 8.25am Arawa Park Hotel 8.25am Thermal Holiday park 8.30am Red Rock Thermal Hotel 8.05am Rock Solid BP 8.25am Arawa Park Hotel 8.25am Arista 8.25am Kings of Peace 8.25am Distinction 8.30am

What To Expect

Following hotel pickup in the morning, depart Rotorua by minivan for the 25-minute scenic drive to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, considered New Zealand’s most extensive geothermal site. Disembark here for a guided walk along wide and well-groomed trails that border volcanic craters, natural springs and bubbling mud pools in a vibrant range of yellow, orange and turquoise technicolor.

Listen to your guide describe the area’s geothermal activity since the 1866 eruption of the Tarawera Volcano, and see how the surrounding native bush has regenerated. Learn about the Lady Knox Geyser before you witness its fountain of water exploding into the air. 

Your leisurely stroll allows for plenty of time to ask questions and take photos as you marvel at the surreal beauty of Wai-O-Tapu. After, hop back into your vehicle for the short drive through the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and discover how New Zealand’s indigenous Maori made use of these geothermal hot spots.

Your 4-hour tour ends with the return to your Rotorua hotel.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Lady Knox Geyser

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not recommended for participants with heart complaints or other serious medical conditions.
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

Pick up from the motel, followed by a visit to the mud pools and 2 different geological parks, Kay was brilliant, walking briskly so we could make it in time to see the lady Knox geyser at 10 15!


159 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 159 reviews
Educational experience
Gay_W, Sept 2023
A very educational tour, learned so much about the geothermal phenomena! The walk all around the tour was amazing, took plenty of excellent pictures.
A leisure trip with beautiful scenes
Samuel_W, Aug 2023
The scenes are very beautiful. I don't think we can experience that in other places. Also, our escort guide is very friendly and with good knowledge of the area. She provides a lot of information about the scenes so that we have a fruitful idea what we saw in the area.
Geothermal Wonderland Indeed!
Patricia_G, Aug 2023
Our guide, Kay, was wonderful and very knowledgeable. The various geothermal parks we went to were beautiful. Overall we had an absolutely lovely time!
Great Experience
Debra_V, Aug 2023
Our guide was able to connect with everyone on the tour. The location is fascinating and should not be missed. We would not have fully appreciated what we were seeing without the tour. I highly recommend.
Excellent experience!
Donna_R, Aug 2023
Our guide was the best!! She was knowledgeable and made us feel welcome. We loved hearing about the area and how it came to be. Linda provided humorous anecdotes and a personalized experience!!
Very good!
Arvydas_K, Aug 2023
A nice tour where you will be able to see some amazing views of extraordinary nature (the hot water lakes, mood pool etc).
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Thanks so much for your review, we appreciate your comments and highlights of the trip that you enjoyed. Please share your stories and photos with friends and family and let them know of the unusual landscapes we have, thanks again
World class experience
Pamela_O, Aug 2023
From the moment I was picked up to the moment I was dropped off this was a fabulous tour - very informative , well timed , incredibly interesting- didn’t feel rushed - just can’t rate highly enough how spectacular this tour is!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thank you Pamela for your wonderful review, we do try our best to ensure our tours are informative and interesting. We had a perfect winters day too with the geothermal looking stunning, so glad you could join us and enjoys Nzs natural wonders. Thank you again Pamela
Great experience! The...
Matheus_R, Aug 2023
Great experience! The tour was well-arranged, and we had a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend it
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Thanks for your great review, appreciate your opinion and 5star rating
Splendid Morning With Kay!
Jaclyn_D, Jul 2023
Highly recommend this tour. Kay was lovely and really worked at engaging our small group. It was great to be active while taking in stunning views and learning tidbits about the unique area along the way. We were never provided a pick-up time frame, so with being one of the last stops we were beginning to wonder if we’d been overlooked. We also weren’t able to contact the tour operator to confirm pick-up details which was a little frustrating, but Kay did show up. That aside, we really enjoyed our morning.
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Thanks so much for writing a glowing review, Kay is a local treasure alright and we are glad you enjoyed her company. Thanks again!
Great tour. Excellent...
FABIO_D, Jul 2023
Great tour. Excellent guide, friendly and knowledgeable. Beautiful nature, I was really amazed with all the surroundings.
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review, we really appreciate it and was our pleasure to look after while visiting Rotorua!
Wonderful Tour
Silvia_V, Jun 2023
The place we visited is stunning. We were also lucky as the weather was amazing. The guide was super friendly and knowledgeable. He went the extra mile to make sure that we were all looked after properly.
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Hi Silvia, thank you for your wonderful review was great to meet you and i'm so glad you enjoyed your time in Rotorua! Look forward to seeing you again someday!
Awesome experience
YingSoong_C, May 2023
Beautiful scenery, comfortable and good tour guide. Very knowledgeable and experienced tour guide. Excellent.
Response from Host, May 2023
Thanks for your great review, was my pleasure to guide you around and share the knowledge and stories! Thanks again for choosing Elite Adventures
An outstanding tour
Gary_O, Apr 2023
Our tour leader Trent was excellent. His depth of knowledge in geology, biology, and local history and ability to engage with us and easily communicate that knowledge was excellent.
Response from Host, May 2023
Cheers Gary, really appreciate your great review! Was my pleasure looking after you whilst here in NZ and I look forward to seeing you again someday!
Fabulous walk at Waimangu
Trina_B, Mar 2023
Going early morning meant the cloud was still around. Just beautiful! The walk at Waimangu volcanic valley was really interesting and fabulous photo opportunities.
Response from Host, May 2023
Definitely adds to mystery around Waimangu and thermals, the cooler mornings make it extra special! Thank you for your wonderful review!
Great way to learn about the Geothermal Fields
Don_G, Mar 2023
The trip from Rotorua to the active Geothermal Fields to the south was really interesting and Brian was a very friendly and engaging guide. The technical knowledge that he passes on to guests is also very impressive.
Joan_P, Mar 2023
I enjoyed the entire tour. Lady Knox was exciting to see. It was a nice walk to all the bubbling creeks and Valleys. It truly is amazing This has been the highlight of my trip to NZ
The tour guide, Linda,...
Craig_J, Feb 2023
The tour guide, Linda, was excellent. The Lady Knox Geyser, which she did not lead, should be dropped from the tour as it is not of the same high standard as the rest of the places visited.
Bait and switch?
LISA_S, Feb 2023
I wanted to see Wai-O-Tapu and the Lady Knox geyser. We were not informed until AFTER we were picked up that the venue decided to close on some weekdays, including this one. (Apparently the company was surprised by this as well.) They substituted Whakarewarewa so we could see Pohutu Geyser. However we saw it yesterday since we can walk to Whaka and Te Puia from our hotel. HUGE disappointment. The guide did his best and was quite nice, andthe Waimangu part was good, but I really wanted to see Wai-O-Tapu. So the tour was not as advertised and I was not given the opportunity to cancel.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. I am sorry that you had a negative experience with our amended tour. I understand how frustrating it can be when plans change unexpectedly, especially when it comes to travel. Elite adventures like to extend our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused during your tour. Please know that the changes made were due to circumstances beyond our control, such as unexpected closures, which impacted the itinerary. Elite adventure's goal is always to provide safe and enjoyable experiences for our guests, and in these cases, Elite adventures make necessary changes to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved. Elite adventures did message clients prior to the date of the tour but we can understand the frustration and will strive to be better. We value your feedback and would like the opportunity to make things right. If you could please provide us with additional details on your experience, we would be more than happy to discuss this further and see if there is anything we can do to assist. Elite adventures Rotorua
Wonderful experience and tour!
Brittany_G, Jan 2023
This tour was wonderful! Our guide Linda was so great and knowledgeable! We visited multiple sites and gained a full understanding of each location through our wonderful guide. Thank you for the great experience!
Great tour with fun & knowledgeable guide.
Sherry_S, Jan 2023
This was a great tour. Our guide was absolutely delightful as well as informative, and I had a great time.

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