Other Geothermal Systems
Aside from Tauranga, Rotorua and Kawerau, there are several other geothermal areas, some of which may be made up of multiple interconnected systems. The following list covers those areas where there is information available to Bay of Plenty Regional Council, however there may be other small surface features or warm water springs outside these areas which are not known to Council.
Refer to the Management of Geothermal Systems page for more information on the classification of individual systems.
Mayor Island (Tuhua)
Mayor Island is a dormant shield volcano located 35km north of Tauranga. It is classified as a low temperature system with no recorded surface features, however there have been intertidal warm water springs noted.
The Island is significant in that it is a source of obsidian or volcanic glass. Tuhua is the Māori term for obsidian, and the Island had a long history of occupation by Whanau a Tauwhao, a hapu of Ngai Te Rangi, of Mataatua descent. For more information about the island, see the Department of Conservation website.
Whakaari/White Island lies 48km off the Bay of Plenty coastline. It is an active volcano with a protected geothermal system. There is no evidence of long-term occupation by Māori due to its rugged terrain, lack of fresh water and continuing volcanic activity.
It was visited regularly though for the purpose of obtaining birds, especially gannets and mutton birds, and for the fishing in surrounding waters. The island is now privately owned but about 10,000 people visit the island a year with tourism operators.
A protected system on a 143-hectare island which is a remnant volcanic cone. There are geothermal hot springs on the island in Sulphur Valley and Sulphur and McEwans bays. The island is a Wildlife Management Reserve for endangered birds and plants. Access is restricted through the Department of Conservation, see their website for more information.
A protected system with numerous outstanding surface features of national and international importance. Waimangu Valley is developed as a tourist attraction, and there are various hot springs across the system that are accessible to the public, see the Rotorua NZ wesbite. This system extends southwards into the Waikato region, see the Waikato Regional Council website for more information.
Taheke, Tikitere-Ruahine and Rotoiti
A series of systems that surround much of Lake Rotoiti. There are numerous surface features, including those at Tikitere (Hells Gate tourist attraction) and geothermal water is used to supply the hot pools at Manupirua Bay on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. The Taheke part of this geothermal area lies to the west of Lake Rotoiti and has flowing springs and other surface features.
A conditional development system, whose main surface features include the Otei Hot Springs on the western shoes of Lake Rotomā, and the Waitangi Soda Spring which is adjacent to the southeast corner of Lake Rotoehu.
There are also some surface features in a small confined area known as the Tikorangi thermal area. Much of this geothermal area has been identified by scientific surveys undertaken in the 1980s and 90s.
This geothermal area was identified from geophysical surveys in the 1980s. Few present-day natural features can be found at the surface.
A conditional development system likely to be interconnected between Mokoia Island and the area in vicinity of Lake Rotokawa and Rotorua Airport. Mokoia Island is a rhyolite dome that has geothermal springs along its outer edge and geothermal water helping to form the Hinemoa pool.
The Island is privately owned by local iwi, who control access in conjunction with the Department of Conservation. It is a wildlife refuge and access is limited to tour parties only, see the tourist information website for more detail.
The area near Lake Rotokawa has some natural hot springs and several shallow geothermal wells used for a range of purposes.
A low temperature system southwest of Whakatāne. The geothermal water is used for the Awakeri Hot Springs bathing pools.
A small occurrence of warm geothermal water has been observed near the Rangitaiki River in an isolated area of native forest adjacent to the confluence of the Waikokopu Stream and Pukehinau Stream.
There is evidence of a warm spring in this isolated area of Te Urewera east of Murupara.
Lake Rotomahana, Rotorua District
Image: © GNS Science