On the 10th of June 1886, Mount Tarawera in New Zealand erupted killing 186 people. The eruption destroyed New Zealand's most famous tourist attraction, the world famous 'Pink and White Terraces' which were submerged under Lake Rotomahana. With the destruction of one of the world's greatest volcanic wonders, came the birth of another, Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley. The site includes Lake Rotomahana.

In 1900 the Waimangu Geyser was created but itself was destroyed by a landslide in November 01, 1904. It is to this day known as the most powerful geyser in the world. Eruptions were observed as high as 460 metres (1,500 ft). To make a comparison, Old Faithful in Yellowstone has been known to reach the height of 56 metres (185 feet) but can be as low as 32 metres (106 feet).

Today the area is full of volcanic wonders. Frying Pan Lake is the world's largest boiling spring which looks more like a boiling lake due to its size. Inferno Crater is another attraction. With its pale blue water, white silica rim, and surrounding green vegetation, it is a sight to behold. There are many other craters and fumeroles, with some emitting traces of petroleum from deep within the Earth. Many of the volcanic features here are ranked as Category A, meaning they are of international significance.

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