Scientists say they have found part of the famous Pink and White Terraces in Bay of Plenty which have been buried for more than a century.
A joint New Zealand-United States project to map the floor of Lake Rotomahana, near Rotorua, began in January using two automated submarines.
The Pink and White Terraces - described as the eighth wonder of the world - were feared destroyed by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886.
Project leader Cornel de Ronde from GNS Science says the team is 95% certain they have identified a crescent-shaped part of the bottom two layers of the Pink Terraces about 60 metres beneath the lake's surface.
"The Pink and White Terraces were described as the eighth wonder of the world - that's big ... what's remarkable is that, whilst obviously there's been a lot of modification, there is a very, very strong suggestion that parts of these terraces still exist."
Dr de Ronde says scientists have found no trace of the larger White Terraces, but it is possible that the upper layers of the pink ones still exist, and are elated at the discovery.