Discover the thermal wonderland of Ōrakei Kōrako. © BareKiwi

Ōrakei Kōrako: the painted place


AA Members can save 10% on selected accommodation!

Start looking

The name Ōrakei Kōrako means something along the lines of ‘painted place’ in Māori and it’s easy to see why.

A virtually pristine geothermal valley, set on Lake Ohakuri just outside Taupō, Ōrakei Kōrako is a volcanic world of geysers, bubbling mud, naturally heated caves and even hotter springs. 

The landscape is a riot of almost improbable colours, stained by the minerals in the hot water, bubbling up from deep underground.

There are more active geysers here than in any other geothermal field in New Zealand, along with snorting fumaroles, fizzing springs and entertainingly obscene mud pools.

A short bush walk leads to Ruatapu cave, where you can descend into the warm earth and admire the mirror-calm surface of a subterranean pool. Ōrakei Kōrako also has one of the largest silica terraces left in the world, since the Pink and White Terraces were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. 

Explore more…

More stories like this

Find out more

Get outdoors

Four fun things to do in Wairākei

Just outside Taupō, Wairākei is a hotspot of geothermal activity, scenic beauty, crafts and cafés. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Four free things to do in Taupō

Taupō has lots of exciting activities on offer but often the best things in life are free.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Lake Taupō: how did we get so lucky?

It really is all about Lake Taupō in this part of the world, where the water’s mood governs the feel of the day: sunny and sparkling, or grey and intense.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Lake Taupō: the great lake

Lake Taupō is actually the drowned caldera of a super volcano, whose eruption in the first century AD caused meteorological effects noted by sky-gazers as far afield as Rome and China. Read the story . . . 

AA Members save on selected accommodation with
AA Traveller

AA Members
Book now
Non Members
Book now