What’s with all the geothermal activity around Taupo? This centre has the answers, with excellent, if text-heavy, displays on the region's geothermal and volcanic activity, including a live seismograph keeping a watch on what's currently going on. A favourite exhibit with kids is the Earthquake Simulator, a little booth complete with teeth-chattering shudders and jarring wobbles. You can also configure your own tornado then watch it wreak havoc, or see a simulated geyser above and below ground.

A small theatre screens footage of local eruptions and a 10-minute film of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.