Rainbow Mountain Summit Track...

Rainbow Mountain Summit Track (Maungakaramea)

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Details

20 Rankers Reviews

17 Face-to-Face

467 Walking

4 Waiotapu

Maps

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Rainbow Mountain

Information

5 km return | 3 hours return to summit

Rainbow Mountain has been an active geothermal area for several hundred years and a reserve since 1903. The surface features are a manifestation of the extensive Waimangu / Waiotapu hydrothermal field.

Aptly named Rainbow Mountain due to the unusual colour of the soil. Busy geothermal activity and a pleasant walk through native bush to the summit.

Access

Rainbow Mountain is signposted 500 metres after the turnoff to S.H.38, 29km south of Rotorua on S.H.5.

Track

Maungakaramea is an active geothermal area with a fragile ecosystem. You MUST stay on the track at all times.

To the Crater Lake, the track is narrow and even. It climbs gently for 10 minutes to a junction, 1 minute from the Crater Lake lookout.

The main track climbs steadily on a mostly even surface for 1¼ hours to a junction with the metalled road. The summit is a further 5 minutes.

Geology

The Crater Lakes nestle at the foot of a scarlet and white cliffs, encrusted with sporadic clumps of tenacious vegetation. The colours arise from the hydrothermal activity, which cooks the rock to release minerals and chemically alters their composition.

The lake visible from the lookout is a milky peppermint colour and is accompanied by the bubbling of nearby hydrothermal outlets. Steaming fumaroles vent wisps of cloudy vapour on the hilltop above.

Flora

Much of the vegetation on the mountain is directly related to the thermal conditions, with periods of cooling interspersed with episodes of burning. A mosaic of tall shrubland, low forest and isolated stands of kamahi forest cloak the slopes.

Rare vegetation includes prostrate kanuka, threatened orchids and tropical ferns on the warm slopes.

Fauna

The lakes harbour a biota very restricted in distribution, which includes thermophyllic bacteria and enzymes.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandRotorua RegionWaiotapu

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Reviews

Showing 13 reviews of 20.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

22Sept18. Stopped by and walked to the crater. That was good. Not enough time for the longer walks.
The car park is more of a lay by for storage of gravel and was very uneven and bumpy when we were there hence only 8.

Reviewed about 1 year ago

Eva Hesse's avatar

Eva Hesse

Austria

Ranking: 7/10

This was an easy track on a cloudy day. Nevertheless, the volcanic activities on the mountain are astounding! Fumeroles are everywhere, sulphur and other gasses perfuming the area! Amazing that track finished at Kerosene Creek where we took a warm bath.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Maria Eriksson's avatar

Maria Eriksson

Denmark

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful walk if you take all of it - and not only the last part from the parking lot. Possibilities to take a swim/dip in the warm weather. Quite a lot of people.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Sebastian's avatar

Sebastian

Denmark

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful walk to a hot pool.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Lucie Revay's avatar

Lucie Revay

Ranking: 7/10

The view from top was OK for me, I wouldn't go again. What I liked most was the Blue lake. Fascinating colour!

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Til Schaebitz's avatar

Til Schaebitz

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

One of the most underrated DOC walks. Blue Crater lake, red rocks, not too exhausting, but not for wheelchairs.

Reviewed about 3 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Daniel's avatar

Daniel

Spain

Ranking: 9/10

Nice trekking to the top of a hill with a lookout of all the surrounding area including a beautiful blue lake and ending in some really hot thermal springs with a nice waterfall - all free.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Ludovica Velo

Italy

Ranking: 8/10

360 degree view of the landscape! If the weather is good you can see both Taupo and Rotorua, lakes, forests, and Tongariro.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Michal Kamradek's avatar

Michal Kamradek

Czech Republic

Ranking: 9/10

Nice lookout, a rainbow if you are lucky.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2014

Manuel Bleiker's avatar

Manuel Bleiker

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

A bit of a walk, but worth it! Amazing views.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

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Lilli Erni's avatar

Lilli Erni

Switzerland

Ranking: 9/10

Great views from the balcony of the fire watching station on the mountain top.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Robert Erni's avatar

Robert Erni

Switzerland

Ranking: 9/10

Excellent views! Worth the walk.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Patricia Erni's avatar

Patricia Erni

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

It took us a bit longer than one hour to get a very nice view (360). You could also go by a mountain bike.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in March 2014

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Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner