Off The PathIN FACTFrying Pan Lake, IN FACT, is the World’s Largest Hot Spring
Frying Pan Lake, IN FACT, is the World’s Largest Hot Spring

Frying Pan Lake, IN FACT, is the World’s Largest Hot Spring

Do you have any idea about the largest hot spring in the world? I’m sure an image of a Japanese hot spring pops up in your mind right away. However, the world’s largest hot spring is located far from Japan, I’m talking about Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand. Despite the weather conditions and historical ups and downs, Frying Pan Lake has retained its inherent beauty and nature. Let’s follow The Broad Life to explore this stunning attraction!

The Formation of Frying Pan Lake New Zealand

Frying Pan Lake is located in the Waimangu volcanic rift valley in the city of Rotorua, New Zealand, and is known as the youngest geothermal system in the world. With an area of ​​about 38,000m2, this hot lake looks like part of a crater with a flat floor 6m deep and vents that can be up to 20m deep.

Cathedral Rocks and Frying Pan Lake New Zealand
Cathedral Rocks and Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand. Image credit to

Many acid springs supply the lake and make the water dangerously hot with an average temperature of 45-55oC. Therefore, it is dangerous to take a relaxing dip or even dip your toes in the lake. Of course, you shouldn’t swim in Frying Pan Lake too.

In 1886, Mount Tarawera erupted and set the record as the largest volcanic eruption in New Zealand. The event caused great damage and killed hundreds of people. This historic eruption created a vast crater that was later filled with acid springs. 130 years later, the world has a new hot spring forming famously boiling in New Zealand – Frying Pan Lake.

Frying Pan Lake Hot Spring

Like a pan on a burning stove, the Frying Pan Lake remains in a state that looks like it is boiling. It continues to release steam and various gases with the help of magma located somewhere near the plane of the lake.

Frying Pan Lake hot spring in Waimangu Volcanic Valley
The world’s largest hot spring in Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Image source: pbkwee on Flickr.

Besides the steam and major gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), you will also easily notice the natural chimney by the lake. The lake’s pH in water is 3.5 on average. In other words, the lake is acidic and unsafe for visitors.

Tourists can find blue or green algae growing on both sides of the lake. They produce orange keratin in the water for protection from UV rays.

In addition, Frying Pan Lake is also home to many thermophilic bacteria such as bacteria living in extremely hot temperatures or unicellular archaea. Particularly, most of the creatures that lived in this lake are thought to have lived the earliest lives on Earth.

Explore Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Not only the largest hot spring in the world, but Waimangu valley also has many other famous tourist attractions. You can also visit Emerald Lakes, Warbrick Terrace, or Inferno Crater Lake with temperatures that can reach up to 74oC.

waimangu volcanic valley tour
You can take a Waimangu Volcanic Valley tour to explore the whole area. Image credit to Vašek Vinklát on Flickr.

For those who want to visit the world’s largest hot spring and other sites in Waimangu, you can opt for guided nature walks. You will witness many other wonderful landscapes such as geysers, lakes, craters, bird populations, and plants.

Additionally, you can follow the crater paths, go hiking, or take a cruise at Lake Rotomahana. This is the perfect place to watch the thermal action right on the lakeshore and promises to make your journey a breathtaking adventure.

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frying pan lake the largest hot spring in the world - the broad life pinterest board
frying pan lake the world's largest hot spring - the broad life pinterest board


New Zealand is a very beautiful land with vast nature and interesting lands. There is not only the world’s largest hot spring but also the places that you will be amazed by its specialties. Below are articles that will take you to those interesting lands:

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Maureen

    What a beautiful place to visit! I have not been to New Zealand or a hot spring for that fact but wow, your pictures are just so stunning. Definitely adding this to my travel list of places to see!


  • Stephanie

    I’ve never heard of this before. It reminds me a bit of going to all the places in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming USA as there are so many acidic areas like this that are also boiling hot. I’d love to see Frying Pan Lake in person as it looks so different but equally as gorgeous!

  • LisaLisa

    WOW, your pictures are breathtaking! I too have never heard of this before but yes, I would love to visit one day! The Frying Pan Lake Hot Springs..whoaaaaa that looks soo hot

  • Whitney Stewart

    This place looks so cool! I’ve never been to New Zealand, much less to a hot spring. So this could be a contender for another family trip! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Debbie

    What a fabulous post! I love the idea of visiting Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to visit a hot spring and this one looks amazing!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      There are many cool hot springs in the world, including this one, hihi.

  • Beth

    This is just one more thing to add to my already large list of reasons that I want to go to New Zealand. That is just amazing.

  • Olga Vinogradova

    Wow, it is interesting name for lake. Also I love these pictures, very inspirational. Our world is beautiful.

  • Steve

    if I ever get to NZ I will try to get to this place.

  • Alice Mola

    The photos of this place look unreal, the hot spring steam coming off the ground surrounded by lush green makes it look otherworldly. With such high temperatures over 70+C it makes sense that this area is unsafe for visitor entry and those there should definitely be careful!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, those otherworldly and unsafe are probably the main attraction of this lake.
      But surely every visitor needs to be careful when coming to Frying Pan Lake.

  • Not So Crafty Momma

    These pictures are stunning. I have always wanted to visit New Zealand. If I ever get there, I’ll have to visit this hot spring.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You will regret it if you don’t visit Frying Pan Lake on your NZ trip.


    It sounds like such a beautiful place to visit. I’d love to do a guided nature walk there.

  • Ntensibe Edgar

    Whew! I haven’t seen a hot spring this big before. Thank you for sharing about it. It’s so beautiful.

  • Gervin Khan

    Oh my, this is such a wonderful and so mesmerizing place! Everybody would definitely love this and nature as it’s best! Such an amazing find!

  • Angela Ricardo Bethea

    I love bathing in hot springs, it’s a very comfortable feeling and that place looks absolutely beautiful. Definitely a great place to visit sometime.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, this place is ideal to visit but not for bathing. Please be careful!

  • Life With Sonia | Women Empowerment Blogger (@lifewithsonia)

    There’s a hot water lake in New Zealand? Now I can’t wait to visit. What I want to know is how and where did the hot water come from? Probably a volcano or something, right?

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah, it was from a volcano eruption. I mentioned it in the first part of the article.

  • Shilpa Bindlish

    Didn’t hear of this place ever. Must be a great experience here.

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