Mineral-laden waters from the Wairakei geothermal steamfield cascade over silica terraces into pools (open to those 14 years and older) nestled in native gardens. For the price, we think there are better self-guided tours than the Terraces Walkway featuring a recreated Māori village, and artificially made geysers and silica terraces, but spending a few hours soaking in the therapeutic waters is well worthwhile.

Visit at dusk and watch the sunset over the pools. The evening Māori Cultural Experience (adult/child $104/52) includes a traditional challenge, welcome, concert, tour and hāngi meal and gives an insight into Māori life in the geothermal areas.