Rainbow Mountain thermal lakes

For those who live around the Rotorua region, Rainbow Mountain is a landmark you look for when turning onto the highway that leads you to Murupara.

It's Maori name is Maungakakaramea, meaning "mountain of coloured earth", which is of course where the name rainbow comes from. This fascinating mountain is unique in that it offers complex plants that are significant in terms of scientific and botanical terms, many of which can only be found in geothermal areas.

The mountain boasts two crater lakes, the first of which is only a 15 minute walk from the carpark. The site of the lakes, with their backdrops of steaming cliffs and diverse native vegetation is quite incredible.

The mountain is known to be cooling slowly. Other walks include a three hour hike to the summit, this is best used by trampers with a reasonable level of fitness as parts of it are quite steep.

The view is amazing in all directions and on a clear day, you can see as far as National Park's mountains.