The Tikitere-Ruahine geothermal field lies northeast of Rotorua adjacent to the western portion of Lake Rotoiti. Within this area lie Hell’s Gate, Maraeroa, Ruahine and the Parengarenga and Manupirua Springs on the shore of Lake Rotoiti.
Surface geothermal features also occur in the Rotokawau crater 2 kilometres to the south. The Hells Gate area is a major tourist attraction.
The Tikitere-Ruahine Geothermal System is classed as Group 3, allowing conditional development. Several shallow wells exist for domestic or minor commercial use. Selected surface features are now monitored by BOPRC.
The surface expression is widespread over an area of about 3 by 2.5 km. Surface activity is dominated by altered heated-steaming ground with diffusive fumaroles that have sulphur sublimates. This is complemented with bubbling to vigorously boiling steam heated clear-muddy pools (30–100°C).
Use and development
The geothermal resource has been used for domestic and bathing purposes for centuries (reportedly 700 years). Tikitere has had a major tourist attraction at Hells Gate for over a century: people were guided through the area from the 1840s. The Hells Gate area is a major tourist attraction with multiple surface features, mineral and mud baths Geothermal water is used to supply the hot pools at Manupirua Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti.