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MVPinBoynton

Orakei Korako thermal area vs Waimangu Volcanic Valley

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Has anyone been to the Orakei Korako thermal area? We had been planning on going on a tour of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, but have found a jet boat ride that also includes Orakei Korako. Any opinions on either of these spots would be appreciated.

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Has anyone been to the Orakei Korako thermal area? We had been planning on going on a tour of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, but have found a jet boat ride that also includes Orakei Korako. Any opinions on either of these spots would be appreciated.

Hi Mike

 

Both are good, though its quite a bit further to the Orakei Korako [OK]geothermal site which is close to Taupo, you would need at least another 30 minutes to get there and if you are doing the jet boat then its a bit further still.

 

OK is a lake which you cross on a small ferry then wander over the geothermal silica terraces up to a cave. Lovely location on the upper reaches of the Waikato River.

 

We took a couple there in one of our Rolls Royce's for a surprise proposal, luckily the lady said yes so the drive back to Rotorua was a happy one [not sure what i'd have done if she'd said no.

 

Waimungo is a good site also and easier to reach from Tauranga. If you want to do a Jet boat then there is a great one at Longridge Park in Te Puke. Details are on my web site which you have the URl for.

 

Just thinking about your time ashore and that you most liklely do not want to be driving all day [unless you fly to OK by helicopter which can be arranged from Tauranga].

 

Let us know if you need any help.

 

Regards

 

Ian [Tauranga]

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I am just getting so confused with the various geothermal sites. Princess also goes to the Wai-o-tapu Valley and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. I am sure that all four of the sites mentioned in this thread are all quite special in their own way; but since we will only be in port for the day, I would like to go to the one that would provide the best experience. This would allow us to spend the rest of the day seeing and doing some of the other things that make NZ such a wonderful place to visit.

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I am just getting so confused with the various geothermal sites. Princess also goes to the Wai-o-tapu Valley and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. I am sure that all four of the sites mentioned in this thread are all quite special in their own way; but since we will only be in port for the day, I would like to go to the one that would provide the best experience. This would allow us to spend the rest of the day seeing and doing some of the other things that make NZ such a wonderful place to visit.

Hi Mike, yes you are spoilt for choice, but each has its own merits. Here goes with some advice:

 

1. Hells Gate, closest geothermal site to the port of Tauranga] just outside Rotorua. Large area of geothermals to walk around, also the only one with a mud bath and spa facility attached [extra cost]. Has no geysers, just mud pools, hot water lakes etc. Pleasant walk through native bush.

 

2. Te Puia [Was the maori arts and crafts institute] and half the Te Whakarewarea thermal valley. Famous for its Pohuti Geyser [ i was there on Sunday with guests from the Seven Seas Mariner] and it was performing well. Also mud pools and silica teraces. Most visited attraction in Rotorua, also has a Kiwi Bird House, Traditional Maori marae [meeting house] where there is a cultural show at 12.15pm daily [included in the price]. Also maori carving school, flax weaving demostraions and newly deveoped walk through geothermal valley. Probably the best value site in Rotorua as you get all the above for $25.00. But it does get busy [by NZ standards].

 

3. Wai-O-Tapu, south of Rotorau 20 minutes. Large site set amongts native bush. Famous Lady Knox Geyser erupst daily at 10.15am so its hard to get there in time from Tauranga. Large pools and lakes of geothermal water, some mud pools.

 

4.Waimangu. Close to the above site. Interesting walk through geotermal valley down to lake Rotomahana. Better suited to those wanting a more strenuous walk [some steep hills]. Can combine this with the lake cruise on Rotomahana [3 hours needed] and shuttle bus back to beginning. No geysers.

 

5. Orakei Korako, further south again and close to Taupo. You catch a small ferry across the river waikato [damed to form a lake] and then walk up the silica terraces formed by the geothermal waters, pleasant but not sepectaucular but in a great setting. A long drive to and from tauranga.

 

6. Craters of the Moon. Even closer to Taupo, close to Huka Falls. Free entry and self guided. No geysers.

 

7. Visit the site of the jan 2001 eruption [200m high] in the centre of Rotorua, its free!!!!. You will wonder why people live and work in such close proximity to this potentially dangerous phenomenom. Mud pools, steaming vents etc. Hot water bathing pools [in victorian times]

 

Find a good local guide and they will show you these less know places.

 

Hope that helps. Regards ian [Tauranga]

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Ian,

As usual, you are a wealth of information. Thank you so much. I now feel empowered to make better decisions on where to go.:)

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Ian, You are a wealth of information. We will be in Auckland in January. Any information about private guides for the area? Also, my husband is interested in playing golf on Bay of Islands. Do you have any information about the course? Please e-mail me any info you have. Thanks, Vicki luv2paynt@aol.com

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Vicki,

Ian is a private guide. He has been of great help to me. You can access his website at the top of this board where there is a link to Mount Classic Tours. He is on vacation until Dec 3, so don't expect a quick reply to emails until he returns.

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Thanks for the information about Ian being away until the 3rd. I'll access him through his web-site.

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Thanks for the information about Ian being away until the 3rd. I'll access him through his web-site.

Hi all, I'm back.

 

Ian

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Has anyone been to the Orakei Korako thermal area? We had been planning on going on a tour of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, but have found a jet boat ride that also includes Orakei Korako. Any opinions on either of these spots would be appreciated.

 

Hi Mike,

 

We just returned from a month long stay on the North Island and very much enjoyed our visit to Orakei Korako, but if you are only doing one thermal area and your time is limited, I'd suggest Wai-O-Tapu or the Maori Arts and Cultural Center (both near Rotorua) as both are larger areas. Orakei Korako is very beautiful, and if you were on an extended road trip, I'd say go, as the setting is gorgeous, and the park is well set up to maximize what they do have, but it isn't as extensive or spectacular as Wai-O-Tapu, nor does it have the cultural attractions of the Maori Arts and Cultural Center.

 

Something you might want to add to your Rotorua trip is the Zorb - great fun! It's at the Agrodome and involves, basically, getting inside a gigantic double walled beachball and getting rolled down a hill - silliest (and most fun) thing I've done in a long time. Wet Zorb is sort of like finding out what your laundry feels like on the spin cycle!

 

Donna

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Donna,

Thank you for the info. I was considering Orakei Korako, but our tour operator, Ian, suggested the same spots that you did and for the same reasons. My goal in going there was to be able to do the jet boat and see the thermal areas. Now we will be doing the Longridge jetboat which is much closer to the better thermal areas, wich accomplishes both goals. I can't wait get there. We only have 7.5 weeks till we leave. The Zorb does sound like a lot of fun, but I don't think we will be able to fit anything else into our very full itinerary.

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Donna,

Thank you for the info. I was considering Orakei Korako, but our tour operator, Ian, suggested the same spots that you did and for the same reasons. My goal in going there was to be able to do the jet boat and see the thermal areas. Now we will be doing the Longridge jetboat which is much closer to the better thermal areas, wich accomplishes both goals. I can't wait get there. We only have 7.5 weeks till we leave. The Zorb does sound like a lot of fun, but I don't think we will be able to fit anything else into our very full itinerary.

Mike, if you really want to be ZORB'd then we can fit it in. Our suggestion is a WET DOUBLE, thats with a good friend and a bucket of water, heaps of fun, especially for those watching you get out of the ZORB after the run. Though we suggest better undertaken before lunch, regards Ian.

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Ian,

Thanks for being so accomodating. Somehow, I think it might be better to do something that wouldn't make me ill for the rest of the day. :D

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Ian,

Thanks for being so accomodating. Somehow, I think it might be better to do something that wouldn't make me ill for the rest of the day. :D

Sounds like you want to do the Bungee or the Tandem Sky Dive, ideal to get the blood flowing before the Jet Boat trip you have booked. You could also try the grade 5 white water rafting, if you fall out of the raft like i usually do on the 7 metre water fall drop then you can just float downstream over the rapids to join the jet boat. See what fun we can set up for you here in NZ,

 

Regards Ian

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I really know how to pick tour guides that will go out of their way to help me have a lot of fun. For a good time - Call Ian! :D

 

Ian,

I think I will spend more time enjoying the unique sights and beauty of NZ rather than trying to damage my body at the beginning of a wonderful cruise.

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Ian,

 

Do I need to take out more life insurance on Mike before we get down there? :eek:

Might be a good idea to check the small print on your policy, it might specifically exclude the extreme activities of the NZ kind. The Jet boating is pretty tame, max speed is only about 50pmh! Hope you both had a great Xmas and were not too troubled by all this forthcoming excitement. Regards Ian.

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Ian,

I don't have to check the small print on my insurance policy, since the large print on my marriage license says "BUNGEE JUMPING NOT PERMITTED". :D

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Ian,

I don't have to check the small print on my insurance policy, since the large print on my marriage license says "BUNGEE JUMPING NOT PERMITTED". :D

 

AND -- we all know that the Marriage License is what counts!! :)

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AND -- we all know that the Marriage License is what counts!! :)

nuff said!

 

Ian

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