The cliffs above Waihī village, at the southern end of Lake Taupō, are part of a thermal area. Steam can be seen on the hillside on cold days. The thermal activity has turned the rocks to clay, and made the steep hillside susceptible to landslides.
Several large landslides have fallen from the cliffs into Lake Taupō, with large loss of life in the slip of 1846. The extent of major landslides in 1846 and 1910 is shown on the photograph, but several smaller landslides have also occurred. After heavy rain in July 2002 a landslide closed State Highway 41 for several days.
Using this item
Photograph by Graham Hancox
Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.