Press Release From Craters of the Moon Trust, Taupo

21st February 2017

Craters of the Moon Trust is a registered charity and has been donating to community causes for more than 20 years.


The Trust is again calling for funding applications from qualifying organisations.


The Trust’s objective in operating security at both Huka Falls and Craters of the Moon is to raise money for any programme, service or structure that:

• Promotes security for local residents and visitors to the district

• Furthers or improves Taupō community facilities

• Furthers or improves Taupō community well-being

• All applicant organisations must be based within the Taupō District Council boundary.

• Applicants must be either  an incorporated society, a formally constituted organisation, charitable body recognised by the IRD and/or the Charities Commission, registered or formally constituted sports club or is affiliated to a national body, or is a recognised educational institution such as a kindergarten,  school or kohanga reo.


Application forms and conditions are available from the Administration Manager, Craters of the Moon Trust, PO Box 18, Taupo. Further information can be provided upon request by contacting the Administration Manager at 0274 965 131 or by email at


Applications close on the 3rd April 2017.




20 September 2016


Craters of the Moon Trust Community Support

As part of its ongoing community support programme, the Craters of the Moon Trust has distributed $35,000 in its latest community-funding round. The Trust manages the geothermal walk at Karapiti - Craters of the Moon and the volunteer-run Huka Falls kiosk. The Trust is a not-for-profit organization and for many years has given surplus funds back to the local Taupo community.


A dozen local community groups have received funds to assist them in a range of projects including an art cooperative at Mangakino, a memorial bench at Izard House, new trail signs for Craters Mountain Bike Park and provision for outdoor table tennis equipment at Wairakei Primary School.


Successful applicants were: Age Concern Taupo, Alzheimers Taupo, Citizens Advice Bureau, Growing Through Grief, Lake Taupo Hospice, Mangakino Central Charitable Trust, Omori Trust, Taupo Community Mens’ Shed, Bike Taupo, Te Awa o Waitahanui Trust (Didymo Dave), Waipahihi School and Wairakei Primary School.



The Trust is also continuing its sponsorship of Project Tongariro’s annual Intern’s Programme. This summer, two Massey university students will work alongside Department of Conservation staff getting field experience in Tongariro National Park and other places such as the South Lake Taupo wetlands.


Earlier this year, Craters of the Moon adopted a ‘free to locals policy’ for all those living in the Taupo District Council area to encourage more local visitors. Craters of the Moon is open 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day) from 8.30am.



Press Release from Craters of the Moon June 2016

Local visitor attraction is now free to locals

All Taupo district residents and ratepayers now have free access to Craters of the Moon geothermal walk in Wairakei Park.


Tom King, chairman of the Craters of the Moon Trust said trustees want to encourage locals to visit, walk the tracks and get to know the site.


“Our visitor numbers to the geothermal valley are continuing to climb but unfortunately few local people are represented in the statistics,” Mr King said. “Basically, we’d like to see more local people enjoying the area including groups of children from the district’s schools.”


He noted the Craters of the Moon Trust was set up 25 years ago to provide protection against theft and vandalism at isolated car parking areas in Wairakei Tourist Park. “We’ve done this successfully for decades by providing a constant presence based at mainly volunteer-run kiosks at both at Craters of the Moon and Huka Falls.”


Funds raised by the trust are reinvested in visitor facilities, environmental interns and scholarships at local high schools. Grants are also made regularly to local charitable organisations on a case-by-case basis. “The trustees felt making Craters of the Moon free to locals was another important way to give back to the wider community,” Mr King said.


A Taupo District Council library card or some other proof of address is all that’s required at the Craters kiosk for free entry. School groups should book by phoning 027 656 4684. Craters of the Moon is open every day from 8.30am except Christmas Day.

Press Release – 2 June 2015

Changing of the Guard at Craters of the Moon


There has been a changing of the guard of the board of trustees for the Craters of the Moon and Huka Falls charitable trusts. After 23 years and 8 months of sterling service, founding chairman Jeremy Nash resigned early in 2015. Jeremy has been the driving force behind the trust from its establishment in 1991. Another stalwart, Alistair Hobson has also resigned from the trust after 10 years of service as a trustee.


Geothermal project manager Tom King, a trustee since 2012 has taken on the role of Chairman, while experienced trustees Colin Hussey and Eileen Coe provide continuity for the trust.


Three new trustees, Joanna Jordan, Karen Williams and Paul Bixley have joined the Craters of the Moon Trust (COMT) this year and are all committed to improving the Craters of the Moon experience for visitors. Joanna Jordan grew up in the Taupo area, is now an Ohakune solicitor, and her legal skills will be invaluable to the trust. Joanna is Jeremy Nash’s daughter. The other new trustees both come from Taupo. Writer Karen Williams has a keen interest in natural history and conservation and has written extensively about the local area. Scientist Paul Bixley is a technical advisor with Contact Energy who has worked in the geothermal areas around Taupo since 1974.


The original goal of the COMT to protect the vehicles of those visiting the geothermal area against theft and vandalism still remains a high priority to retain Taupo’s excellent visitor reputation. Dozens of volunteers have been involved over the years from the local community and the operation long ago expanded from the Craters area to include the Huka Falls carpark as well. The trust’s activities have also grown over the years. They now include shop sales of drinks, icecream and souvenirs at both sites and the dispensing of visitor information. The Craters of the Moon site now boasts a modern visitor centre and a network of tracks and boardwalks. The lower track takes up to an hour and is a relaxing and interesting geothermal walk, ideal for a family outing.


Since, 2006, the trust has held a Recreation Permit for the piece of Crown Land it safeguards in Wairakei Tourist Park. COMT pays a licence fee to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) who administer the site on behalf of the Commissioner of Crown Lands.  In order to pay the annual licence fee the trust has charged a small entry fee to the Craters of the Moon walking track since that time. The COMT continues to re-invest the entrance fee at both the Craters and Huka sites to maintain both sites to a high standard. The trust also returns money to the local community in the form of scholarships and grants to local organisations on an annual basis.



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