Geothermal Uses

Geothermal Uses

Considered a gift from the gods, the geothermal activity in Te Whakarewarewa Valley enabled our ancestors to bathe, cook and preserve food, heat their whare (house) and soothe medical ailments.

Hints and Tips

• Head to Ngararatuatara, our natural cooking pool, to discover our ancient cooking technique and witness geothermal cuisine up close.

• Try our delicious steambox lunch- baskets are filled with a selection of raw food, lowered into a steam vent and cooked to perfection.


Underground water is heated to incredible temperatures by molten rock and magma in our geothermal area. Often up to 300 degrees Celsius, the boiling water which rises to the surface creates geysers, mud pools, fumaroles (steam or gas vents) and hot pools.

Hot pools and fumaroles are still used to cook food today. Fresh ingredients are placed in woven baskets and lowered into the boiling water or placed around steam vents.

The mud found in our valley has soothing properties that ease the pain of rheumatic diseases and arthritis.

Did you know?

As tourism increased throughout Rotorua in 1890, so too did the demand for hot springs and their mineral waters, and bath houses were quickly established. Many of the original bath houses are still found across Rotorua today.