Before Mt Tarawera erupted on that terrifying night, the Pink and White Terraces on the shores of Lake Rotomahana near Rotorua were considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. The terraces were formed as water containing silica flowed from the boiling geysers at the top down the hillside. The water cooled and crystallised into the terraces and pools, forming giant staircases or waterfalls.
The Pink and White Terraces, or Otukapuarangi (fountain of the clouded sky) and Te Tarata (the tattooed rock), attracted tourists from far and wide. The White Terrace was the larger formation, covering 3 hectares and descending 30 metres. The Pink Terrace was where people went to bathe on the lower levels because the temperature of the water was lukewarm.
When Mount Tarawera erupted June 10th 1886, Lake Rotomahana also erupted, destroying the stunning terraces. Photographs and paintings were all that was thought to have remained of these once so beautiful natural wonders. However, In February 2011 Scientists announced that they had found what they believe to be part of the Pink Terraces 60m under water in Lake Rotomahana.