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Tauhara

Rare plants and some natural features remain at Tauhara Geothermal Field, but natural features have been irreparably damaged by development.

Natural features


Hot alkaline pool, AC baths

  • Part of the Wairakei – Tauhara system.
  • Natural geyser activity has been irreparably damaged.
  • Hot springs, steam vents, steaming ground, craters, fumaroles, mud pools, sinter deposits and hot seepages still exist.
  • The rare thermal ferns Nephrolepsis sp. 'thermal', Christella sp. 'thermal' and Cyclosorus interruptus are present.
  • The Spa sights geysers were affected by changes in the river's level when the Taupo control gates were installed.

Condition

Tauhara is classified for development by Waikato Regional Council.

Some features are irreparably damaged. Urban development including the rerouting of State Highway 1 through two geothermal areas, an industrial subdivision on Crown Rd, and use of the Crown Rd geothermal area by a motocross club have damaged geothermal vegetation.

Wells at Tauhara also supply the Taupo Hot Springs public swimming pools (previously De Bretts), and the AC Baths, 12 accommodation facilities and numerous domestic bores. Only one sinter depositing spring remains at Tauhara, the Waipahihi Source Spring. There are several locations on the shores of Lake Taupo and the Waikato River where people can bathe in natural hot springs.

Contact Energy runs the 23 MW geothermal power station at Tauhara and supplies geothermal fluid to the Tenon board mill for process heat.  Contact also has consents to build a 240 MW geothermal power station but placed that project on hold in August 2012 due to continuing low growth in the demand for electricity.