Waimungu Volcanic Valley promises to help you understand how the world began, writes Grant Bradley

In this beautiful slice of Aotearoa an easy 30-minute drive south from Rotorua, it all started not so long ago.

The eruption of Mt Tarawera in June 1886 tore a 17km-long rift in the valley and that's what you look down on from the top of the trail.

You're surrounded by young native forest in a place of mist and steam, tragedy and thermal wonder. A natural wonder of the world - the Pink and White Terraces - were one of the great international tourist

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