The Eighth Wonder of the World in New Zealand─ the third, Black Terrace

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Rex Bunn 


The greatest tourism and geoscience attraction in the southern hemisphere, in the nineteenth century were the siliceous Pink and White Terraces, the lost Eighth Wonder of the World in New Zealand. In 1886, the Mount Tarawera eruption buried the terraces. In the absence of any government survey or evidence of their locations or destruction; debate over their survival continued until the 1940s. There were three feature silica terraces at Lake Rotomahana, though prior to the author’s research this third, Black Terrace was forgotten. In 2016, we noted the efforts by Hochstetter and Petermann to include a terrace on their left map borders named Te Ngawha Atetuhi (Hochstetter and Petermann, 1864). In 2017, I marked this for later research. That year the Bunn−led PAWTL2 Project launched in response to global interest. Research focused on the Terrace and I published the seminal report on the Black Terrace (Bunn, 2018). This collated indigenous Māori and Western history with previous research. This report concluded that the colonists had confused a post-eruption feature Black Terrace Crater with the pre-eruption siliceous Black Terrace.
One of my 2017-2018 PAWTL2 team returned to the Black Terrace Crater site in 2018 and conducted sub-surface imaging: locating the crater and conjecturing they had found the lost Black Terrace. This paper confirms their imaging is from the crater location and discloses the true location of the Black Terrace nearby, based upon new spatial, survey, trigonometric, cartographic and topographic evidence.



Geology, Geomorphology, Other Earth Sciences, Other Environmental Sciences, Other Planetary Sciences, Stratigraphy, Volcanology


Black Terrace, Black Terrace Crater, Ferdinand von Hochstetter, spatial, historical survey data, Tarawera eruption, Pink, Black and White Terraces, Lake Rotomahana, Rotomahana Basin


Published: 2022-06-28 09:05

Last Updated: 2023-07-21 10:58

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