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Local History

Mount Tarawera is famed for the 1886 erup­tion that caused much loss of life and destroyed the Pink and White Ter­races, then cov­er­ing over 7 acres and con­sid­ered the 8th won­der of the world. The Ter­races formed a giant stair­case of Sil­ica Ter­races, respected for their size and ther­a­peu­tic cura­tive prop­er­ties. The roar of the erup­tion was heard 800 kilo­me­ters away and reduced the sur­round­ing coun­try­side to hot ash and for­est remains.

At that time Rotorua was the prime New Zealand des­ti­na­tion for over­seas vis­i­tors and offered var­i­ous health /​reme­dial options in the 1800’s to meet the needs of these vis­i­tors, mud baths were very pop­u­lar. The com­bi­na­tion of this attrac­tion and the Ther­mal Grounds with Gey­sers and boil­ing Mud Pools together with the pres­ence of a sig­nif­i­cant pop­u­la­tion of indige­nous Maori proved a very attrac­tive des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple from around the World.

Soli­taire Lodge was the inspi­ra­tion of Reg Turner, who secured what is still regarded as a geo­graph­i­cally “world rated” site on a pri­vate penin­su­lar with com­mand­ing vis­tas over Lake Tarawera, and set out in 1980 to con­struct a Lux­ury Fish­ing Lodge, a con­cept that was at the fore­front of accom­mo­da­tion options mak­ing Soli­taire Lodge one of the first Lux­ury Lodges in New Zealand. Over the years Soli­taire has found a wider range of inter­ests still draw­ing vis­i­tors to this His­tor­i­cal Lake.