Explore geothermal features often wreathed in clouds of steam from the heat
Just below your feet!
ADMISSION PRICES AND OPENING TIMES
Craters of the Moon is open 364 days of the year (closed Christmas Day)
10am to 4pm
With last entry being 3pm.
Adult - $8.00 per person
Child - $4.00 per child (5 to 15)
Under 5 years - Free
Family - $20 per family
(2 adults & maximum of 4 children)
Craters of the Moon is now a smokefree and vapefree site.
CRATERS OF THE MOON
The Craters of the Moon Trust was formed at the instigation of Jeremy Nash in 1991 with the
objective of protecting local visitors and tourists against theft and vandalism which plagued the Department of Conservation facilities in the Wairakei Tourist Park at that time. The Craters operation started out in a second-hand caravan.
Over time the original Department of Conservation facility has been gradually developed into the visitor kiosk that is present today. The visitor kiosk at Craters is an eco-friendly off-grid energy user, with geothermal floor heating and an electricity supply provided by solar photovoltaic cells.
The Craters operation was so successful that in 2002 the Department of Conservation asked the Trust to take over management of the Huka Falls carpark and associated facilities.
The Trust is dedicated to providing a safe and informative experience to all visitors at both of these sites.
In 2015, after 24 years of continuous involvement as chairman of the Trust, Jeremy Nash retired.
From 2002 the Trust was required to pay site land rental fees to the government for the Craters area and from that time entry fees have been charged.
While the entry fees primarily cover the site rental and costs to operate and maintain the site facilities – which include the 2 kilometre access road – these funds are also used to support community organisations and environmental work in the Taupo area and to provide scholarships for local high school students who wish to further their studies at Tertiary Institutions.
Kiosk Car Park
Add 20 minutes to walk to the lookout. It’s a moderate walk with numerous steps. The view makes it well worth the effort!
40 minute loop walk
An easy grade suitable for most people of all ages. Track surface is a mixture of fine gravel and wooden boardwalks.
Measuring 40m across, this is the largest crater in the park - its hard to miss!
We arrived early in the morning to avoid crowds. By the time we left two hours later, it was busy. We commenced our walk and enjoyed seeing the thermal activity: steam, boiling water and mud. The paths were well signed and maintained. This walk can be done at your own pace and there are seats along the way should you need a rest. The views up the hill are also worth the walk to get there. The staff at the shop were also very welcoming and helpful, answering our questions before we went in.
PATRICIA , AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 18
Frequently asked questions
Are dogs allowed at Craters of the Moon?
No dogs are not allowed at any time on the walk for health and safety reasons.
Is the path wheelchair accessible?
Wheelchairs are permitted but some areas of the path are more difficult to navigate than others. The path is mostly boardwalk but it is recommended that you have a person to assist in areas where there is a gravel path.
Can you use a childrens pushchair or pram?
Pushchairs are fine on the lower, mostly flat loop track, but not recommended for the steeper lookout track.
Is there public transport to and from the Craters of the Moon?
There is no bus service at present, but a taxi can be arranged by the kiosk staff if you wish to arrange transport back to the township of Taupo.
Where can I buy tickets for entry?
Tickets can be purchased at the kiosk at the start of the walk.
Do I need to pre-book?
Bookings are not necessary, although if you are a large group it is advisable to let us know ahead of time.
WHERE TO FIND US
171 Karapiti Road,
+64 276 564 684
From the North
When approaching from the north, at the ETA roundabout at State Highway 1 & 5, take the Wairakei Park exit and travel along Wairakei Drive. On your right, soon after the Wairakei International Golf Course you will see the sign to Craters of the Moon.
Take care when turning right across the highway into Karapiti Road. Travel 1.7 km to the road end to arrive at the carpark of Craters of the Moon geothermal walk.
From the South (Taupo town centre)
When approaching from the south, travel 5.5 km north from the Taupo iSite along Wairakei Drive.
Turn left onto Karapiti Road. Travel 1.7 km to the road end to arrive at the carpark of Craters of the Moon geothermal walk.
Craters of the Moon is open 364 days per year (closed Christmas Day)