Craters of the Moon

Taupo, New Zealand

Craters of the Moon


Craters of the Moon Thermal Area (or Karapiti in Māori language) is a region with geothermal activity north of Taupo, New Zealand. It is a part of Wairakei, the largest geothermal field in New Zealand, with a surface area of about 25 km2, which lies in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The name springs from the many hydrothermal eruption craters, which are in part barren and which have bright colours. Combined with the numerous steam vents, constantly shifting, collapsing and reforming giving the whole area desolate appearance, and the sulphur smell, the whole area has an “unearthly” atmosphere. The craters are a relatively recent feature of the area and appeared as a result of human activity in the region.

The site is Crown Land, administered by the Department of Conservation, with help from the Craters of the Moon Trust, a volunteer organisation that provides information for visitors and passive vehicle security.

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