About 200 metres long and 20 deep, the hole is effectively as deep as four double-decker buses.
“This is pretty spectacular, it’s a lot bigger than the ones I’d normally see,” volcanologist Brad Scott told TVNZ.
“What I see in the bottom of the hole is the original 60,000-year-old volcanic deposit that came out of this crater.”
The hole appeared after heavy rain near Rotorua, which is renowned for geothermal activity.
“I’ll put a fence around it and forget about it, waste of time filling it in,” said farmer Colin Tremain.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has confirmed five homes have been destroyed in the Leillani Subdivision, after volcanic vents opened up in that residential neighbourhood this week.
The community has been placed on high alert this weekend, as volcanic activity on Hawaii’s Big Island is expected to persist for coming weeks and maybe even months.
The eruption of the Kilauea volcano has been a visual spectacle, but the trauma being experienced by the local community is all too real. The continuous lava flow is but one of the problems, as authorities start to express some genuine concerns about the gas levels on the island.