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Atiamuri

Atiamuri geothermal system contains three chloride springs in an area of farmland pine forest.

Natural features


Alkaline flowing hot spring

Three hot alkaline chloride springs were known, but only two are depositing sinter at present. These are known as the Whangapoa Springs.

In the arm of Lake Atiamuri, another small hot spring was flooded when the lake was filled in the 1960s.

South of the two main hot springs is an explosion crater approximately 20 m in diameter and approximately 10 m deep. There are various other hot springs, mud pools, hydrothermal eruption craters, and extensive ancient sinter deposits scattered throughout the farmland.

The thermal fern Nephrolepsis sp. 'thermal' is present.


The same spring after rehabilitation.

History

Local people use one of the hot springs for scalding the fur and feathers off game animals. Outflow from another spring was channelled to supply a concrete open air swimming pool in the 1970s. Carter Holt Harvey bulldozed and demolished this pool in the 1990s when they logged the previous pine crop.

Condition

Atiamuri is classified as a Limited Development Geothermal System by Environment Waikato.

Land around the system was converted from pine forest to dairy pasture in 2003. The land surrounding the Whangapoa Springs was gifted by Carter Holt Harvey to the Department of Conservation, who are now restoring the native vegetation and the springs.