Geyser Valley of Wairakei
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"The Geyser Valley is the very quintessence of the thermal sights of New Zealand. Elsewhere there may be finer geysers, but here they are more beautiful, and they are active at such frequent intervals that one may always be sure of seeing at least two or three "playing". The silica formation, too, is peculiarly and fantastically beautiful [...]", Arthur S. Herbert highlighted in his 1921 book The Hot Springs of New Zealand. But that held true only until the mid 1950s.
Our recent (2019) excursion to Wairakei Geyser Valley felt like visiting a graveyard of geysers. Although the in places deeply carved ravine is delightfully populated with trees, bushes, high grass and ferns, the imagination of how this site once used to look like and how it still could be won't let you go. But there is not much left from the wonders of the past apart from some overgrown sinter deposits and long-forgotten reports by eye-witnesses.
The former Geyser Valley of Wairakei (Sparkling Water) is now called Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley because it lost all of its about 22 geysers and almost all of the more than 200 further hot springs.34 (Update: A new report even states 30 true geysers and a total of 270 flowing springs, thus underlining the worldwide high rank of this spot.)37 It is located around 6 km (4 miles) north of Taupō, and can be reached via Thermal Explorer Highway / Wairakei Drive and a subsequent gravel road. Traditionally, visitors started their Geyser Valley tour at Geyser House Hotel, built in 1881 by Scotsman and Auckland merchant Robert Graham on the western bank of Waikato River north of Huka Falls. Reportedly, Graham was the first European immigrant to whom the Ngati Rauhoto disclosed the volcanic springs in this area.6 The land for the hotel together with a large rural section including Geyser Valley was gifted in 1879 to him by Taupō Chief Poihipi Tukairangi30 in return for his mediation in a conflict between Māori tribes. It is interesting to note that this hotel still operates on the original site despite some changes in ownership.
James H. Kerry-Nicholls recapitulated his impressions from a journey at the end of the 19th century: "[...] the Geyser Valley of Wairakei [...] is not a melancholy, dismal-looking place. It has not the Hades-like appearance of Tikitere nor the Valley-of-Death-like look of Whakarewarewa."2 Indeed, besides the very thermal features, Geyser Valley had the exceptional property that lush vegetation framed the geysers and hot springs to directly to the edge of their sinter deposits.
Even the British poet Rudyard Kipling set his 1892 short story One Lady at Wairakei in this enchanted area: "All tourists who scamper through New Zealand have in their turn visited the geysers at Wairakei [...]. I had wandered from one pool to another, from geyser to mud spout, mud spout to goblin bath, and goblin bath to fairy terrace [...]."
The rest is history. In 1945 the Wairakei geothermal resource was first considered for power generation. Exploratory drilling began in 1950 in Wairoa Valley, and from 1953 onwards springs at higher elevations in the less than 1 km (0,6 miles) distant Geyser Valley responded with a decline in discharge. The commissioning of the Wairakei Power Station from 1958 to 1964 led to increasingly reduced activity of features in Geyser Valley. By 1968 all of them had died, and from 1972 on the valley was closed to visitors for a long time. Despite contrary expert opinions it turned out that fluid withdrawal had led to pressure drawdown in the deep liquid reservoir and rendered all features dry. Less than 100 years after the Ngati Rauhoto had handed this wonderland of geysers over, our industrial society had destroyed it.
Describing the sad status quo is not much fun, and pictures of the current conditions, taken during our visit on 20th November 2019, don‘t look impressive either. Therefore, I have tried to synthesise a virtual tour through the scenery from the late 19th to the early 20th century when geothermal activity was at its peak, at least as far as documented in available travelogues. At that time the guides used names of geothermal features not uniformly, so practically each report comes with some variants though owner Robert Graham had striven to establish his versions by issuing his own 1885 Graham's Tourist Guide4,5 as well as advertisements3 in newspapers. Not to mention the original Māori name of each spring, most of which seem to be lost. The more welcome are the few sources which additionally provide a sketch map. The comparison of the present situation with old reports, maps and historical photos allows to reconstruct the previous setting to a certain extent, even if not all of the weathered sinter deposits, which are still visible today, can be undisputedly assigned to a once described hot spring. I have tried to handle the often chaotic use of names by picking the most frequently used ones, adding the synonyms in brackets, and supplementing all with the bibliographical references.
While todays Thermal Walk is restricted to a 1.7 km (1 mile) path network which leaves out the positions of many formerly important features, in the past the guides led visitors quite frequently cross-country over dangerous or nearly impassable ground or along steep slopes to approach all attractions closely. The whole atmosphere was different, as Isabel M. Peacocke expressed strikingly: "A veritable Devil's Playground is this sinister mile or so of sulphurous rock, belching steam and boiling fountains. Vicious miniature geysers seethe and bubble furiously in shallow rock-pockets, and the whole valley is an inferno of heat and activity, sizzling, simmering, rumbling like Hell's Kitchen."25
Besides playing geysers, the steaming creek and the extended, bare sinter areas, in particular the strange noises created a huge impact: "Weird sounds can be heard resembling the thud of a steam hammer, the steady rotation of paddlewheels, briskly boiling mud, and imprisoned waters lashing furiously within rocky walls, from which they finally escape with a roar."21
Due to the not insubstantial hazards associated with a walk in Geyser Valley, in the late 19th and the early 20th century almost all visitors booked a guided tour as H.Y. Edmonds recounted: "There is a guide fee of 5 $ payable to see the sights, and the time required to inspect everything thoroughly takes from three to four hours."9 Arriving from the 1.6 km (1 mile) distant Geyser House Hotel, in old times tourists entered the valley mostly from the southeast and followed Wairakei creek upstream to the northwest. Three or four river crossings helped to bypass too steep banks or dangerous thermal ground and made features on both sides of the stream accessible. Accordingly, the description here will generally follow the old routes and run several times back and forth between both banks of Wairakei Stream. The creek, called Te Wairakei by the Māori, was fed to a great extend by hot springs. In 1894 Edmonds wondered about its temperature: "[...] I could hardly credit [that the creek was] so warm until I plunged my hand in to test the temperature; I soon withdrew it, as the water almost took the skin off."9
The southeasternmost geyser and often the first one travellers came across in those days was called Steam Hammer1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,29,34 (Round Pool12,16,20,29,34). It must have been an odd feature, formed of a large, cavernous geyser crater traversed by warm water of Wairakei Stream.17,20 Eruptions very rarely stirred the water surface19 but mostly took place unseen in the depth and became noticeable through loud thuds as of a titanic forge5,6,8, combined with strong vibrations of the ground. Oswald Kunhardt remembered: "The Steam Hammer can be heard working inside a small pond with boiling water; this is a continuous, very clearly audible roaring underground that suddenly and irregularly comes closer, to end up with a huge shock in the immediate vicinity of the pond. One doesn't know when the shock will come and where it will be most perceptible; every guide held his ward tight so that he, surprised by the shock, wouldn't be thrown into the boiling pond."12
Under suitable conditions the noise could be heard even at a distance of up to one mile.6 In 1886 Lady Ethel Gwendoline Vincent wrote about Steam Hammer: "[...] the secret must ever remain a mystery. Should anyone dare to unravel the mystery or temper with the inside mechanism it will doubtless stopp forever."6 Prophetical words!
It is no more provable if Steam Hammer would have qualified for the rare group of Crypto Geysers such as Matua Geyser in Waimangu. There are some indications for it and some against it. Worldwide, one of a few comparable features is Black Sand Pool in Yellowstone, where you can hear and feel a similar, albeit weaker underground rumbling. Neither the site of Steam Hammer, about which Māori said that "[...] it is the doorkeeper of the taniwha who lives below there, giving warning to his master of the approach of trespassers."17, nor of a tiny perpetual spouter11 on the southwestern bank next to it called Surprise10 are accessible to tourists any more.
Following the southern bank of Wairakei Stream some 30 metres (100 feet) in northwestern direction, three geysers shared a sinter terrace close to the creek. The easternmost one was Te Rekereke Geyser5,8,10,11,16,17,26,29,31,33,34 (Tahuatahi1,2,4,7,9,13, Tuhuatahi3,6, Turukariki14, Heel Geyser11,22, The Giant's Heel26, Giant's Heel-mark32,35, Rongokako33, Spring 20532,33,35). It played from a crater partly recessed in the steep, rocky bank, where "Some fragments of rock make a rough bridge across the opening, behind which can be seen a deep basin of boiling water."5, adopted by 8 Māori and some tourists saw in this structure "[...] an immense fractured skull blocking up the entrance of that chasm in the rear [...]."17 In 1912, Blanche Edith Baughan gave a vivid account of an eruption: "Great plumes, ten to twelve feet high of white water, keep tossing up incessantly from the boiling pool that it conceals, and falling with the crash of breaking waves. This is Te Reke Reke geyser; occasionally he exerts himself and throws up a splendid "shot" forty feet in height."17 The water of Te Rekereke then flowed down a cascade, which was richly encrusted with cream-coloured sinter of a pinkish hue, to merge with the stream.
The understanding of early reports regarding Te Rekereke is hampered because in the beginning of tourist development the geyser apparently was called Tahuatahi, which is easy to confuse with the widely known Tuhuatahi/Champagne Pool farther west in the valley. Knowing this it becomes understandable why Lady Ethel G. Vincent showed a picture of Te Rekereke with the caption "Tuhuatahi Geyser" in her book Forty Thousand Miles Over Land and Water.6 To make it even more complicated, in those early days the name Te Rekereke was obviously used for a different geyser, too, as detailed below.
Under the name Tahuatahi or Tuhuatahi, Te Rekereke was considered during the late 19th century as the most active geyser in the valley.6 Every five minutes1 an eruption announced itself three times by noisy underground grumblings and mutterings2, then a column of water shot 9 metres (30 feet) or more into the air.1 With an 1884 advertisement in the Australian newspaper The Queenslander and his 1885 tourist guidebook Robert Graham even promised that the geyser sends up a column of water to a height of nearly 21 metres (70 feet) every five minutes.3,4 Three years later Terence Gordon commented on Graham's statement: "[...] the active intermittent geyser Tahuatahi; from which the boiling water springs at irregular intervals of from four to eight minutes from a basin about ten feet in diameter to a height of several feet. It is said that formerly this geyser rose to a height of seventy feet, but the surroundings indicate that this is probably an exaggeration."7
According to Baughan there were two further geysers close to Te Rekereke: "[Te Rekereke] has some interesting neighbours, too, the Funnels. Generally they remain quietly within doors, as it were behind two unsuspected fissures in the pink-and-puce cliff; but occasionally, first out of one fissure, then out of the other, a little crystal streamlet begins suddenly to run, followed by a brisk little spout of clear bright water. These two fairy fountains of the rock play towards each other for some minutes [...]."17 Correspondingly, Mary Proctor listed "the Funnels"22 close to Heel Geyser and Steam Hammer, which could match Baughan's geysers.
Some further early authors1,2,4,7 mentioned Te Rekereke and a geyser next to it, but a closer examination indicates that they applied this name to geysers later known as The Twins (see below). This becomes particularly clear in the text by Terence Gordon: "Across the stream, [on the north bank and] some yards further up, is the beautiful fawn-coloured terrace, "The Throne of the Twins," Terekereke and her sister – two geysers, which amuse one another all day long by alternately sending up hot spray to a height of twelve or fifteen feet."7
Early maps10,12,16 show an engineered bridge west of Te Rekereke followed to the west by a natural bridge, which now and then served as observation point: "We sat on a natural bridge over Wairakei hot creek to see the Feathers geyser play."20 Neither the terrace nor the geyser mouths nor the natural bridge are visible from the current trail, which runs on the other (north) side of the stream.
Approximately 40 metres (130 feet) to the northeast across Wairakei Stream, equidistant from Steam Hammer and Te Rekereke, the next group of hot springs could be reached after crossing the creek on the wooden bridge west of Te Rekereke. Standing on the bottom of a glen visitors enjoyed a fascinating spectacle: "About thirty feet above the heads of the onlookers is another ever-bubbling pool, invisible save for the eternal steam and a few stray drops of water. Suddenly the geyser plays, and down the terraces and beneath and past the very feet of the spectators flows a steaming cascade of bubbling, sparkling water."23 This sight must have been so impressive that many observers got carried away to create euphonious names for the spring: Red Coral Geyser14,20,26,28,33, Red Coral Terraces11, Pink Coral Geyser17, Red Geyser21, Petrifying Geyser3,4,5,8,10,12,16, Champagne Water Fall23, Boiling Waterfall25, Bridal Veil Geyser28,29,31,33,34, Cascades33, Spring 19932,33. One outstanding attribute of the geyser was "A staircase of pink coral, with little pools of water on each step, and a sideway staircase of green malachite, somewhat slimy certainly, but affording a charming contrast of colour."17 Leslie I. Grange gives us an accentedly functional description of the eruption: "Red Coral Geyser, 3 ft. in diameter at the top, plays every two hours and a half, and its waters cascade down a steep slope about 50 ft. high and coated with pink sinter."26,28
Although most authors used the name Petrifying Geyser synonymously for Red Coral Geyser, other historical sources11,14,21,22 assigned the names to separate springs: "Near [Artist's Pool] a brilliant red coral geyser comes into view, and hard by is a petrifying geyser."14 This may be a simple mistake, or it may denote a different spring which was later known as Ocean Geyser31,33,35 (Devil's Throad35, Spring 19831,33) and which could have been located on top of the glen on a level with Red Coral's vent. It is also interesting to note that Ocean Geyser or Devil's Throad do not occur in the available early reports or maps. Perhaps the very spring was not visible from the bottom of the glen but merely some dripping water.
This at least is what George L. Adkin indicated: "[Near Red Coral Geyser] the cliff leans outward - below these is a water-filled crater of an extinct geyser - from the overhanging ledge comes a continuous drip of hot water."20 The crater he referred to was later known as Rainbow Pool31,33,35,36 (Artist's Pool14,17, Wishing Well20, Spring 19731,33). Some details concerning the spring are supplied by Baughan, suggesting that it may have been a geyser: "And close to the foot [of Pink Coral Geyser] is another lovely sight – a large pool of shining, pale-bluish, perfectly pellucid water in a setting of the tenderest, greenest, moss and ferns, and lipping a margin of bright white and pink and red, beneath a clay cliff of deep brown passing into rose-red. How cool it all looks, but the water steams, now and then, too, it suddenly boils up, and all is veiled for a moment in vapour. This is the Artist's Pool, and a prettier one would take some finding."17 The site of Rainbow Pool and the two adjacent geysers is closed to access nowadays.
The trail proceeded in western direction, passing The Terrace Geyser(s)3,5,8, a feature only mentioned in some of the earliest reports. Josiah Martin provided a vague idea of it: "On the rock-strewn bank of the Wairakei Creek, under the shelter of high manuc, the tourist obtains a view of this unique system of thermal action."5, adopted by 8 Additionally, the map in Robert Graham's guidebook shows a Looking Glass Spring4 in this general section between Petrifying Spring and Korowhiti (see below), but I was unable to unambiguously assign this name to any described feature.
Subsequently, around 40 m (130 feet) west of Red Coral Geyser, hikers reached "[...] the gem of the place, a sloping bank of calcareous deposit, holding pools of water, overhung with foliage, and bright with ferns and moss. A cloud of steam fills the glen, forming a canopy, a tent which often excludes the sunlight."18 "Here the thermal action appeared to be very active, and as soon as one geyser subsided, another would burst forth, as it were, with redoubled vigour."2 At the foot of this slope, tinted in colours of white, pink, and yellow2, the once famous Twins5,6,8,12,16,18,19,20,21,22 (Twins Geyser10,15,33, Twin Geyser11,14,17,23, Twin Geysers26, Nga Mahanga3,5,6,8,26,33, The Throne of the Twins: Terekereke and her sister7, Terekereke and a geyser next to it1,4, Terekirike2) were located. In later years, each of the Twins got its own name, one was called Dancing Rock Geyser23,27,31,32,33,35 (Pool of the Dancing Stone25, Spring 19027,31,32,33,35), the other one Paddlewheel Geyser14,17,20,23,26,29,33,34.
Comparing the position of the Twins in old maps with those of currently visible sinter structures along the trail, a formation now called Devil's Throad seems to be closest by. That is a little bit surprising because according to the available bibliographical sources the location of the historical Devil's Throad would be expected around 40 metres (130 feet) farther east.
Alex Hili described the setting as: "Near the foot of the bank is a white chalice, which overhangs the stream. In this basin 'The Twins' play at regular intervals of three minutes and a half."18 Each geyser of The Twins occupied its own section of the pear shaped basin6,19,23, which formed a lip about four feet above the stream5. The spring was surrounded by masses of white and orange silica sinter, resembling a huge Turkey sponge in its creamy perforated substance.5,6 Oswald Kunhardt pictured an eruption in 1896: "Immediately before the eruption takes place at intervals of 4½ minutes, the water on one side of the pool rises ½ m, bubbling, then the whole body of water boils up wildly and two powerful jets shoot 4-5 m high into the air."12 For 1913 Hili let us know that eruptions of The Twins split in two phases: "For less than half a minute they appear upon the scene. Then they fall back into their basin, leaving an untroubled surface on its blue-green water. Again the water bubbles, rises, is suddenly shot twenty feet into the air, and falling sends a wave over the edge of the chalice into the stream below."18
One of the Twins, Dancing Rock Geyser, was named after a loose boulder with a red and white splash on it17, which was buffeted by boiling water and caused a rumbling noise: "Deep down in the Pool of the Dancing Stone, a boiling cauldron forever in restless motion, a great solid looking boulder is seen to rise and sink like a bouncing ball, once, twice, thrice — until the seething pool with a rush and a roar flings itself into the air in flashing explosions of spray and steam."25 The rock must have been of substantial size: "Looking into this basin, the visitor watches spellbound the Dancing Rock, which is submerged and said to weigh half a ton. Suddenly the rock heaves upwards, falls back, and then, without warning, suddenly heaves its face to the surface of the water, ejected from its usual position by the terrific force of gas which rushes upwards."23
In his 1895 newspaper article Geyserland Malcolm Ross suggested that The Twins had undergone some changes over time: "Formerly there was a big geyser and a little one here, and the little one used to play twice to the big one's once. They were separated by a rock, but some time ago the big geyser blew the rock on to the little one and the little one smashed it up and it sank, so the big geyser lost his more sportive little brother and he is now no longer a twin."11 Apparently, here we read about how the "Dancing Rock" formation was born. Later the geyser must have gained the power to let the loose rock "dance". This matches the finding that early descriptions did not mention the rock, but only refer to Te Rekereke, The Twin14,17 as the counterpart of Paddlewheel or to The Twins, a translation of the original Māori name Nga Mahanga, as a whole. Apart from the newspaper article Geyserland there is some further indication19,26 that Dancing Rock Geyser was the stronger one of the two geysers, spouting every 4.5 minutes15,19,23 to 5 metres26 (15 feet) or even to 15 metres33 (50 feet). The weaker twin from the larger part of the basin, Paddlewheel Geyser, played every ten23 to fifteen minutes14,15,19 and earned its name for the sound: "The splashing of the water when the pool is excited resembled the sound of the paddle-wheels of a steamer in a smooth sea. The effect is produced by hot steam injected below the surface."14
On top of the sinter terrace high above Wairakei Stream, around 20 m (65 feet) northwest of The Twins, one of the tallest geysers of Wairakei showed up. In the early days some dangers5,6,8,18 were included to approach its position. Like other geysers in New Zealand, it was called Prince of Wales Feathers Geyser3,5,6,7,8,11,12,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,24,26,29,31,33,34 (Spring 18833, possibly also Deuce to Pay1). Interestingly, even before the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1901 led to the renaming of other geysers, the one in Geyser Valley already was known under this name3,5,6,7,8,11,12,14 or as Feathers Geyser10. Its vents are described as three blow holes in the rock6, small openings in the side of a terrace19, circular opening about 12 inches in diameter, with a small bridge, like a child's arm across the mouth5, and "[...] over the orifice of which there is a piece of petrified wood, which splits the jet as it rises to a height of from 30 to 40 feet."15
Some eye-witnesses mentioned that the geyser vents of Prince of Wales Feathers needed to collect surface water before they were ready to erupt: "These geysers are formed by water trickling down the bank into a hidden pool fed by a jet of steam. When the pool is full the jet suddenly ejects the water, in some cases boiling, in others only lukewarm."18 It was not uncommon for guides to assist the irregularly5,8,12 playing geyser: "[...] when action is desired, the guide puts a temporary dam into a little stream which trickles down the bank above the geyser, thus diverting an excess of water into its throat. In about twenty minutes the temperature and pressure in the conduit have risen and an eruption lasting for several minutes is the result."24 The reported heights of the jets "playing away brightly in a triplet feathery spray"6 range from 30 feet15 (9 metres) to 25 metres33 (82 feet) to 65 metres12 (213 feet). Josiah Martin let us know more details about the eruption: "[The geyser issues] a beautiful fountain which takes the form of the Prince of Wales' feathers, — one eruption throwing its watery plumes on either side to a distance of 50 feet, and reaching an elevation of at least 25 feet [...]."5, partly adopted by 8 According to David P. Gooding the play lasted 25 minutes19, but also shorter durations about 30 seconds5,8 are reported. Below the geyser "[...] was an indicating splasher which always erupted a few minutes before the Feathers began throwing."19
The area between The Twins and Prince of Wales Feathers Geyser hosts a sinter shield with many fancy structures: "A reddish- brown slimy cascade, and numerous rounded masses of white and orange sinter, form the western boundary of The Twins, adjoining which are large rounded masses of grey rock, forming a long, broken terrace, having together a frontage of about 100 ft."5, adopted by 8 It may have been formed by water discharge from The Blue Pool12,16,34 (Crystal Pool7,35, Spring 18635, marked as geyser), a hot spring beyond (east of) the geysers: "Directly under the hill above The Whistler, and completely sheltered by scrub, is a bath of boiling water, 20 ft. x 3 ft., of a delicate pale blue tint, lined with white silica [...]."5, adopted by 8 The sinter structures were called Nature's Statuary20 by George L. Adkin, who recognised in them "heads, faces, human figures, animals, Nelson's breach-loader [...]."20 Nowadays, this structure, known as The Menagerie, is one of the best preserved and most expressive deposites of Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley. The name Menagerie is already in use since 1895.11,22
Just as in the old days, the current trail proceeds in northwestern direction along the steep bank above Wairakei Stream to The Whistler3,5,6,8,16,22 (Korowhiti3,5,8,22, Whistling Geyser2,14, The Whistle5,21). But unlike the situation in the past this geyser is no longer recognisable. Josiah Martin depicted the setting very accurately: "About 6 feet behind [Prince of Wales Feathers Geyser] is a black cavernous mouth, two feet in diameter, through which water is occasionally spouted; this has been called "Korowhiti," or "The Whistler." In a fissure of black rock, 10 feet to the west, is a small water-spout, which appears to act simultaneously with the whistle, at intervals of ten minutes."5, adopted by 8 Apparently, the geyser's name referred to the emission of a whistling sound, "The Whistling Geyser blows steam through a small aperture."12, and the effect was supported in later times "[...] by placing bottles of assorted sizes near a small hole in the ground, resulting in whistling noises of more or less intensity."21,22
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 Thorpe Talbot, The New Guide to Lakes and Hot Springs, and a Month in Hot Water, Auckland N. B.: Wilsons & Horton, Printers Queen and Wyndham Streets, 1882, p.77-80; In: The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout (vol 64), Victoria University of Wellington Library, Wellington, 1987.
 James H. Kerry-Nicholls, The King Country; or, Explorations in New Zealand. A Narrative of 600 Miles of Travel through Maoriland, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London, 1884, p.115-123.
 Robert Graham, The Sanatorium of the World, Wairakei, New Zealand, The Queenslander, Brisbane, Saturday, September 20, 1884, p.491; In: Trove/National Library of Australia.
 Robert Graham, The Marvels of Wairakei. The Geyser Valley; In: Graham's Tourist Guide to the Hot Lakes of New Zealand, Pink and White Terraces, Wairakei Geysers, Huka Falls, and Waiwera, Hot Springs, Wilsons and Horton, Aukland, Wyndham Street and Queen Street, 1885, p.29-30. (includes map)
 Josiah Martin, The Wairakei Wonders; In: Graham's Tourist Guide to the Hot Lakes of New Zealand, Pink and White Terraces, Wairakei Geysers, Huka Falls, and Waiwera, Hot Springs, Wilsons and Horton, Aukland, Wyndham Street and Queen Street, 1885, p.32-43.
 Lady Ethel G. Vincent, Forty Thousand Miles Over Land and Water: The Journal of a Tour Through the British Empire and America, Library of Alexandria, 1886, p.127-132.
 Terence Gordon, Hot Lakes, Volcanoes, and Geysers of New Zealand, Dinwiddie, Walker & Co., Napier, Tennyson Street, 1888, p.52-55.
 Frederick W. Pennefather, Handbook for Travellers in New Zealand, John Murray, London, Albemarle Street, 1893, Route 5, p.30-34.
 H.Y. Edmonds, A 'Cycling Tour Through The North Island No. II., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXI, Issue 9611, 8 September 1894, p.1 (supplement); In: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.
 George F. Allen, Sketch-Map of the Wairakei Valley, Willis' Guidebook of New Routes for Tourists, 1894; In: Evelyn Stokes, The Legacy of Ngatoroirangi, Maori Customary Use of Geothermal Resources, Department of Geography, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 2000, p.142.
 Malcolm Ross, Geyserland, The Leader Supplement, Melbourne, Saturday, October 5, 1895, p.17; In: Trove/National Library of Australia.
 Oswald Kunhardt, Wanderjahre eines jungen Hamburger Kaufmanns, Eine Reise um die Erde in 1000 Tagen, Verlag von Dietrich Reimer, Berlin, 1897, p.302-306. (includes map)
 Constance Astley, Constance Astley's Trip to New Zealand, 1897-1898, Victoria University Press, 1997, p.126-127.
 Frankfort, New Zealand. 2.-Rotoiti, Wai-o-tapu, Wairakei, and Arateatea, The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, January 27, 1900, p.5; In: Trove/National Library of Australia.
 The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District], The Cyclopedia Company, Limited, Christchurch, 1902.
 Maggie Papakura, Maggie's Guide to the Hot Lakes, The Brett Printing and Publishing Company, LTD., Auckland, Shortland Street, 1905, p.56. (includes map)
 Blanche E. Baughan, A Valley of Enchantment, The Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 14281, 17 February 1912, In: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.
 Alex Hili, Round the British Empire, Herbert Jenkins Limited, London, Arundel Place, Haymarket, 1913, p.229-234.
 David P. Gooding, Picturesque New Zealand, Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press Cambridge, Boston and New York, 1913, p.117-122; In: Wikisource.org.
 George L. Adkin, Diary of George Leslie Adkin, March 1913, Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa Collections.
 Mary Proctor, The Thermal Wonders of New Zealand, Progress, Volume IX, Issue 2, 1 October 1913, p.724; In: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.
 Mary Proctor, A Morning in Geyser Valley, Auckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 9, 10 January 1914, p.10; In: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.
 Wynfrith Revell, The Wonders of Wairakei; Sea, Land and Air - The Australian National Monthly, edited by S. E. Tatham, August 1, 1922, p.340.
 Edmund O. Hovey, Rotorua and the Geyser Region of New Zealand; In: The Mid-Pacific Magazine, Vol. 29, No 5. 1925, p.763.
 Isabel M. Peacocke, New Zealand's Best Scenic Feature, The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3, July 1, 1933, p.31.
 Leslie I. Grange, The Geology of the Rotorua-Taupo subdivision. Bulletin of the New Zealand Geological Survey 37, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand, 1937.
 G.E.K. Thompson, Recent Variations of Chloride Content and Spring activity at Wairakei Geyser Valley, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 1960, p.265. (includes map)
 Stuart H. Wilson, Possible Conflict between the Interests of Tourism and Geothermal Power Development, Proceedings Second United Nations Symposium on the Development and Use of Geothermal Resources, San Francisco, USA, 20-29 May 1975, p.2460.
 Evelyn Stokes, Wairakei geothermal area - some historical perspectives. University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 1991. (includes map)
 Evelyn Stokes, The Legacy of Ngatoroirangi, Maori Customary Use of Geothermal Resources, Department of Geography, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 2000.
 Paul A. White, Trevor M. Hunt, Cessation of Spring Flow and Spring Feed Depths, Geyser Valley, Wairakei, Proceedings 23rd NZ Geothermal Workshop 2001. (includes map)
 Paul A. White, Trevor M. Hunt, Simple modelling of the effects of exploitation on hot springs, Geyser Valley, Wairakei, New Zealand, Geothermics, Volume 34, Issue 2, April 2005, Pages 184-204. (includes map)
 Ashley D. Cody, Geodiversity of geothermal fields in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, DOC Research & Development Series 281, Department of Conservation, Wellington, 2007.
 Kenneth A. Barrick, Geyser Decline and Extinction in New Zealand — Energy Development Impacts and Implications for Environmental Management, Environ Manage 39, 2007 p.783–805. (includes map)
 Sophie F. Milloy, Juliet Newson, Fabian Sepulveda, Geothermal Surface Features at Geyser Valley, Wairakei, New Zealand, Proceedings, Thirty-Eighth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering Stanford University, Stanford, California, 2014. (includes map)
 Nick Watts-Henwood, Kathleen A. Campbell, Bridget Y. Lynne, Diego M. Guido, Julie V. Rowland, Patrick R.L. Browned, Snapshot of hot-spring sinter at Geyser Valley, Wairakei, New Zealand, following anthropogenic drawdown of the geothermal reservoir, Geothermics, Volume 68, July 2017, p. 94-114.
 Ashley D. Cody, Ron F. Keam, Jesse Lebe, Bridget Lynne, Katherine Luketina, Sinter-forming springs and geysers of the Waikato region, Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2020/04, July 2021, p. 78-80.