Located around mid-way between Taupo and Rotorua, Orakei Korako (also known as the Hidden Valley) is one of the world’s largest geothermal areas, famed for both its geysers and its silica terraces including the jade-green Emerald Terrace.
Although two-thirds of the active thermal area – some 200 hot springs and 70 geysers – were flooded when a lake was formed for a hydro power plant in 1961, Orakei Korako remains the largest geyser field in New Zealand with 35 active geysers.
The most famous geyser is the Diamond Geyser, an unpredictable geyser whose eruptions of up to 9m sometimes last for several hours and other times only for a few minutes.
Orakei Korako is also home to the Ruatapu Cave – one of only two caves in the world to exist in a geothermal field.
Coming and going
The park is around a half-hour drive north of Taupo and is inaccessible unless you have a car.