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Joni Stone   Meet Joni, one of our travel experts for New Zealand.

Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for over 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

Wairakei Terraces

Explore > New Zealand > Taupo > Wairakei Terraces

Wairakei Terraces

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Wairakei Terraces - Wairakei Terraces. Copyright Wairakei Terraces.

Wairakei Terraces are a manmade creation of cascading silica terraces in blues, pinks and whites, fed by the steaming multi-hued waters of the Alum lakes that in turn have been created by a spectacular manmade geyser of superheated waters.

These Wairakei Terraces are attributed to the original ones that once existed here at Wairakei, and are reminiscent of the magnificent pink and white terraces that were destroyed in 1886 when Mt Tarawera suddenly erupted splitting the mountain in two and covering what surely was one of the great wonders of the world.

---Guided Tours
This guided tour begins at the Visitor Centre with a video about one of the worlds most extraordinary engineering feats, the generation of electricity using 'local geothermal energy'.

---Guided Tours of the Geothermal Field
After this, Visitors board coaches and travel a short distance to the borefield viewing point which overlooks the Waiora Valley, the geothermal field and 70 kilometres of thermal fluid pipeline. The geothermal field is entered at Bore 80 where visitors get a closer look at the wellheads, separators and flashplants.

The tour follows the steam pipeline to the Power Station where 192.6 mw's of electricity is despatched to the national grid. Power is purchased from the national grid to service New Zealand. Throughout the tour there will be commentary about Wairakei and how Maori relate to and value the geothermal resource for its healing properties and as bathing spas.

As part of our commitment to ensuring our visitors every need is catered for, the team at the Terraces Cafe offer a range of fabulous kiwi food, good ole home baking and beverages that reflect the special nature of New Zealand's freshest produce.

Wairakei Terraces Video

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From the time of Ngatoroirangi, Wairakei Terraces has been home to the people of Ngati Tuwharetoa. Their history is a mantle over this land. The stories of the land, water and fire , are their stories.

The therapeutic waters of Te Kiri o Hinekai have been used by Maori since pre-European times for healing and bathing. The waters soothed and healed the bodies and limbs of warriors and whanau (family) providing sustenance for the people.

In the 19th/20th Century its pools were touted as bathing and healing spa's and used by tourists, affluent noblemen and women who came from all over the world to enjoy its soothing waters, testifying to its healing powers.

The main bathing pool 'Te Kiri o Hinekai', known later as the 'Honeymoon Pool' was closed in the 1960's when the stream was diverted during construction of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Development.