The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)
The Lost Terraces
The Lost Terraces.
Have the White and Pink Terraces, which formed the great scenic glory of our thermal regions, been lost irretrievably and for ever, or is there some faint hope that they may yet be unearthed, or unwatered, for the delight of all who tour our Geyserland? The topic has been debated of late by many who know Geyserland well, and some who don't.
It is contended by some well qualified to judge that the lowering of Rotomahana's level by 120 feet or so, by means of cutting a channel through the ash and mud deposit to Lake Tarawera, might reveal one at any rate of the beautiful terrace formations. Explorations made immediately after the Tarawera eruption and the blowing out of the original bed of Rotomahana seemed to show that the Terraces had gone. This probably was the fate of the White Terraces, but there is some reason for the theory that the Pink terraces, so renowned for the exquisite delicacy of their colouring, may not have been shattered to fragments but may have been covered with mud and ash, which the unwatering of the hill face below the Hape-o-toroa range may reveal.
Certainly there seems to be a case in favour of the simple and inexpensive engineering work suggested. By making a cut which will restore the old Kaiwaka channel, the pre-eruption outlet of Rotomahana, the level of that lake would be lowered by considerably over a hundred feet, and would still leave it more than four hundred feet deep. The release of the great weight of water from the active thermal area along the Pink Terrace side of the lake would stimulate geyser action there and make the place intensely interesting for travellers. The experiment at any rate would do no harm, and it is worth the trying.