Te Puia is approximately a 1 hour 10 minute drive (80km) from the Port of Tauranga.
There are few places in the world where geothermal phenomena such as geysers and mud pools are as extensive and accessible as in Rotorua. In the past, Maori regarded such phenomena as gifts from the gods. According to local Māori, the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley was one of the sites where Te Pupu and Te Hoata, the Goddesses of Fire, emerged from the earth’s core while trying to find their brother Ngatoroirangi, who was stranded on Mount Tongariro. As they rose to the surface looking for their brother, they left part of the fire they carried, creating geysers, hot springs and mud pools, leaving Te Whakarewarewa with the geothermal activity that remains today.
Tracks in the valley are checked daily for signs of new geothermal activity and while safety is paramount, so is conservation. Native birds are an important part of life in the valley, and more than 500 different varieties of flora support the ecological system.