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Waiotapu is Maori for "sacred waters". This area is about 30 minutes south of Rotorua. It features the spectacular Champagne pools, a series of enormous hot pools that are a rich mixture of gold, yellow and orange. The colours are caused by mineral salts in the water. The pools occupy a crater that formed as a result of a volcanic explosion 900 years ago.

If you follow the Champagne pools down some distance you'll find the water runs over a waterfall that is rather spectacular looking. Multicoloured mineral and silicate deposits give the waterfall an other-worldly appearance.

There is also the Lady Knox geyser that fires out a plume of steaming water each morning at around 10:00 am. Some recent visitors to the sight say that a guide who was showing them around made the Lady Knox geyser erupt by sticking soap down the blow-hole. Apparently this causes the geyser to erupt a few minutes later, and this is done each morning at around 10:00 am. The guide said that some local Maori accidentally discovered this trick some years ago while bathing in the area.

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