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Wonder

Matewai Spring

WorldBlue  In short

In the picturesque Tokaanu geothermal area are located two springs that are rarely erupting – thus, they could be considered to be geysers. One of them is Matewai Spring that erupted up to 2003.

3.3 out of 10 stars 33.3%

GPS coordinates
38.968 S 175.7646 E
Location, address
Australia and Oceania, Polynesia, New Zealand, North Island, Waikato, Taupo District, Tokaanu, at Tokaanu Thermal Walk at the road
Geysers, Thermal springs
Height of geyser
Now: inactive, in 1959: more than 50 – 70 m high

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Tokaanu geothermal field

At the south-western coast of Lake Taupo is the beautiful Tokaanu geothermal field. Part of its hot springs and geysers was eliminated by the piping of hot water and construction activities, such as the construction of the car park at the Tokaanu Thermal Pools building.

But, on the western side of the small Tokaanu stream the geothermal field still exists and there is a nature trail – Tokaanu Thermal Walk. Several picturesque springs and pools are seen along this walk.

In the past, there were more geysers in this area but today there are two: the Matewai Spring and the more vigorous Taumatapuhipuhi Geyser.

Matewai Spring

At the end (or the beginning – depending on your selected direction) of the Tokaanu Thermal Walk, near the small road is a larger, blue pool of hot water. This pool is almost divided into two parts by a sinter wall.

It is possible that this former geyser is extinct now. It is highly possible that human activities – draining the hot water for the nearby resort and other houses – are to blame. It still is a quite hot spring – its temperature is around 75° C and sometimes higher.

In earlier times, though, this was a very impressive geyser:

  • In the 1950ies it erupted several hundreds of feet (more than 100 m?) high.
  • In early 1982 it erupted up to 4 m high.
  • In 1998 it erupted several times per day up to 3 m high.
  • Geyser activity renewed in the December 2002 – first months of 2003, when the spring erupted up to 1-1.5 m high and eruptions lasted up to 1 hour, flooding the nearby road.

There are reports of less impressive geyser activity after 2003.

References
  1. Ashley D. Cody, Ron F. Keam, Jesse Lebe, Bridget Lynne, Katherine Luketina. Sinter-forming springs and geysers of the Waikato region, July 2021. Accessed on September 22, 2022.
  2. Dirk Niermann, Tokaanu, Volcanic Springs. Accessed on September 21, 2022.

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