Frying Pan Lake is the largest hot spring in the world, located in the Echo Crater of the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley New Zealand. In 1886, the most destructive volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera results in formation of Echo Crater and nearly killed more than one hundred people. The crater’s partly filled with rainwater and heated groundwater, and its acidic water maintains a temperature of about 50–60 °C. Frying Pan Lake is also called Waimangu Cauldron till 1960’s, however not widely used. In 1917, another massive eruption in Echo Crater resulting bigger part of hot springs to reach its current size. The Frying Pan Lake water is naturally steaming and can appear to be boiling due to carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gas bubbling to the surface, however, the lake’s average temperature is 55 °C. The Frying Pan Lake is recognized to be as the youngest geothermal system in the world, as it occupies 38,000 square meters as a part of a volcanic crater with a flat floor that is six meters deep and vents that could go deep up to 20 meters.
The last eruption in Echo Crater taken place in 1973, which is badly, damaged the Trinity Terrace area, which was extremely colorful sinter terrace. However, these terraces are still visible on the western shore of Lake. The lake and its outflow, have an average pH level of 3.8, although some of the boiling hot springs and vents on the lake’s bed feed it with alkaline water of pH 8.2 to 8.7. Monolithic Cathedral Rocks are bounded on the north side of Lake, made of rhyolitic lava at least 60,000 years old. The massive eruption of 1917 has completely changed the shape of Echo Crater, also disappeared fumarole known Devil’s Blowhole in that event. In Photos, the steam looks like low hanging fog in the early morning hours of autumn day. The Frying Pan Lake has special flair, showing the appearance of a large boiling cauldron.
The various gradients of blue, green algae Mastigocladus Laminosus, eukaryotic algae Cyanidium Caldarium are present in the lake. The site of the extinct Waimangu Geyser is located not far from its north-eastern shore. Besides the steam and gases coming off, you will also easily notice the natural chimney at the side of the lake. The outflow water volume is Frying Pan Lake has varied. The unique cyclic nature of the hydrothermal system interconnecting Frying Pan Lake and the adjacent Inferno Crater Lake water levels and overflow volumes follow a complicated rhythm that repeats itself roughly every 38 days. When the water level and temperature of Inferno Crater Lake increase, the water level and outflow of Frying Pan Lake drop. Frying Pan Lake is one of the first major attractions encountered along the wheelchair-friendly main Waimangu walking track. Frying Pan Lake is a fantastic spot in Waimangu, where you can enjoy self-guided nature walks, amazing landscape, geysers, lakes, volcanic craters, bird life, plants and breathtaking adventure.