Self Guided Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
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Self Guided Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
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Self Guided Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park

2 h
About this activity
The hot springs, geysers and clear blue pools at Orakei Korako discharge alkali chloride water. This water ascends quickly to the surface from deep reservoirs where the temperature is hotter than 175C. Upon discharge at the surface these waters cool. As they cool below 100C, the silica that is carried in the water is deposited at the surface, forming the white silica sinter terraces. Sinter is rock that is formed over time by the deposition of silica from thermal water. Faulting controls where the thermal water discharges by opening cracks in the rocks. Faulting not only provides open paths for the waters to flow through, but the fault movements have also produced the stepped terraces, which are covered in silica sinter. On the western side (lake side) of the fault lines, the sinter sheets have been down thrown to create the stepped sinter terraces. Silica has been depositing, forming sinter from the cooling alkali chloride waters at the surface, well before the 186 AD Taupo volcanic eruption which formed Lake Taupo. Follow the boardwalk to experience one of New Zealand's most impressive geothermal fields.
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