Waiotapu boardwalk overview

Image: Lukas Marek | Creative Commons


This magnificent thermal wonderland is perfect for a short stop to view the hot, bubbling mud pools.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

2 min one way Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


This magnificent thermal wonderland is perfect for a short stop to view the hot, bubbling mud pools.

This track is very short it is suitable for all types of fitnesses, wheelchair access is also available.  No biking is permmitted on this short walk. 

Getting there

Waiotapu Track is located 27 km (20 minutes drive) south of Rotorua off SH5, turn left on Loop Rd opposite Waikite Rd for 2 km until you reach Waiotapu Track.

Nature and conservation

Waiotapu thermal area covers about 18 km square adjoining the Rotorua-Taupo main highway about 27 km south of Rotorua.

Steam and gases rising through the pool create bubbles of mud that form and burst.

History and culture

Waiotapu occupies the site of what was formerly the largest mud volcano in New Zealand. The original cone, present until 1925, is now eroded and vigorously active water and mud fill the pool.

Know before you go

Caution: Geothermal hazards!

The geothermal landscape is extremely fragile, and is also a potentially dangerous environment.  Visitors should keep to the tracks. Hazards include falling through thin crust surfaces, being burnt by hot geothermal gases or fluids, and inhalation of fatal concentrations of carbon dioxide and sulphur gases. 

  • Keep to managed sites.
  • Keep to the tracks.
  • Do not walk on silica terraces.
  • Keep childern under close supervision at all times in geothermal areas.
  • Do not pick plants.
  • Do not ride bicycles.
  • Do not drop rubbish or throw stones onto geothermal features.


Rotorua Office
Phone:   +64 7 349 7400
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   rotorua@doc.govt.nz
Address:   99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010
Postal Address:   PO Box 1146
Rotorua 3040
Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Phone:   +64 7 351 7324
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   rotoruavisitor@doc.govt.nz
Address:   1167 Fenton St
Postal Address:   Private Bag 3007
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