Orakei Korako: The Hidden Gem of New Zealand Geothermal Parks – Day 288
New Zealand’s most underrated geothermal park.
Today we are visiting the amazing Orakei Korako geothermal park. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then simply pop into our kinda awesome YouTube Channel and Subscribe!
Today we are going to a hidden valley of geothermal activity at Orakei Korako.
It is raining so much here in Rotorua New Zealand but believe it or not that is the perfect weather to go experience one of it’s many geothermal parks.
Today we’re going to Orakei Korako, which is one of the lesser known geothermal parks around the Rotorua area. it’s a bit of a trek you’ve got to take the car out of the city and then take a boat across a river to finally land on this beautiful natural wonder.
Orakei Korako is also known as the Hidden Valley and as we seem to be the only ones here we can definitely see why it’s called that but that might also be something to do with the rain.
Once we cross the mighty Waikato River we unboard onto the largest silica terrace I have ever seen in my life it’s so large in fact that it seems to divide the whole forest in two. There’s a boardwalk which goes straight across it and all that steam venting up below us keeps our legs nice anad toasty.
This is the largest terrace of this Orakei Korako geothermal park. it’s called the Emerald Terrace and there’s about 20 million litres of silica enriched water flowing over it every single day. All the terraces here have really funky names like Rainbow Terraces, Cascade Terraces, Golden Fleece Terraces and one thing to note about all of them is just how vibrantly colourful they all are.
We get awesome views of the whole geothermal park from various different viewpoints around the walkway and the walkway is this big loop with lots of little side tracks it’s really well signposted with lots of information about every single feature that we’re seeing.
One of the main things why Orakei Korako is so famous is because it’s the largest geyser field in the entirety of New Zealand with over 23 geysers going on at completely random times.
To be quite honest, we actually thought we could come up with a bit of a pattern so that we could update BackpackerGuide.NZ and our guide on all the geothermal activity in New Zealand but after staying among them for about an hour, we actually could not figure out any pattern so basically you’ve got to go there walk around take your’re time and you’ll see one, two, three and maybe 10 geysers going off.
As per the much smaller geysers you’re gonna see so much of them they are basically bubbling super hot water bursting out of the inside of the planet Earth.
Another thing that I really like about Orakei Korako is all the beautiful colourful shade that we can see all amongst the floors and the rocks. They actually come from the sulfur and one of them is so colourful it actually has been dubbed the Artist’s Palette. That’s quite a name.
It’s absolutely amazing the amount of things we get to see while walking around. We could actually stay here for an entire day if we were are not soaked by the rain as we are walking around but to be fair i do really like doing this activity under the rain because all these hot water is creating so much steam under the cold and wet weather it makes it look so much more magical and mystical.
And there is also something called the Elephant Rock which apparently looks like an elephant.
Eye. Head. Ear. And the tusk.
After following the track a little bit further we come to another amazing viewpoint with awesome views overlooking more of those bubbling hot springs filled with steam loads of different colours and of course more silica terraces. In fact the silica terraces here at Orakei Korako are some of the largest left of its kind in New Zealand. There used to be some more famous silica terraces in New Zealand called the Pink and White Terraces which you’ll hear a lot about when in Rotorua, but these were destroyed in 1886 with a huge volcanic eruption completely wiping them out.
Next major highlight that we’re seeing at Orakei Korako is something called the Ruatapu Cave which drops 36m into a volcanic tuff into this giant hot pool at the bottom. It’s only one of two known caves formed by geothermal activity in the whole world.
But for me personally my favourite feature at Orakei Korako is the bubbling mud pools. They are so mesmerising and the viscosity and the just pure thickness of the mud is so mesmerising to watch and it makes a sort of glooping noise thew whole time, it’s really awesome.
After having fun with the bubbling mud we are actually really surprised by the amount of native bush that we find around this geothermal park. in my mind, I rally pictured a geothermal park to be a kind of bare desolated land that looks absolutely unlike anything else in the country but we are nestled in the middle of New Zealand bush with manuka kanuka trees and a tonne of other native plants.
the next place that we stumble upon is Soda Stream it’s probably the most picturesque place in the whole of Orakei Korako and it looks absolutely gorgeous the water is crystal clear and you can see how deep this geyser goes . But although it looks really inviting and looks really cold and wet weather we should really not go nowhere near it because it’s scorching hot.
After that we actually retracing our steps back toward the boat that took us to Orakei Korako it was an absolutely amazing experience to see this place under the wet weather and see how steamy it can get.
But although we’re not made of sugar, we are absolutely soaking wet and we need some sugar to feel better after such a dreadful day. So we are heading toward the Orakei Korako cafe to treat ourselves to some delicious treats.
After arriving back at the Orakei Korako cafe we’re watching the cafe staff feeding the squirming eels in the river below then we decide to feed ourselves with some sweet treats for the end of the day.
At Orakei Korako.
Today we are going to a hidden valley of geothermal activity at Orakei Kokaro. Duck! Duck!