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Scientists taking samples at the crater lake. (click
White Island (or Whakaari as
it was named by the Maori before Europeans arrived) lies 48
kilometres off New Zealand's
Bay of Plenty coastline.
active volcano and private scenic reserve is accessible by boat and helicopter. It is
unique in that visitors to the island can walk right inside its main crater just
above sea level with a minimum of physical effort and without undue risk. This
allows you to experience at first hand nature's immense power as gas and steam burst up
from far below the Earth's crust.
surroundings are quite surreal and the scenery spectacular. It is like walking on an
active volcanic moonscape with no plants or vegetation inside the crater. The smell of
sulphur and the noise of steam emanating from the many fumaroles both large and small
makes for a amazing sensory experience.
The trip to
and from the island is also memorable. By boat you are where sea and bird life abound and
dolphins often swim alongside; or by helicopter where it is possible to see the full
grandeur of White Island rising out of the South Pacific Ocean.
outer slopes of the island are large colonies of the majestic gannet. This beautiful bird
nests and rears it's young here. The noise of these "rookeries" takes your
attention as you approach the island and their presence is clearly marked like snow on
points above the cliff-lined shores.
is closely monitored by New Zealand scientists, but nevertheless being a volcano the
Island is not without its hazards. Licensed operators take
visitors to the island and provide hard hats, masks and the supervision necessary when
venturing this close to the breath and pulse of the earth.
Last 24 hours of Photos
Views are from crater rim and from the sulphur work
looking up the main crater
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to Full Page Google Map of Whakaari
Without the usual Steam Clouds
A rare view of the whole island during a
period of low activity.
Looking up the crater
An easy walk into an active volcano
But not enough to sustain early
A restricted fishing area is
proposed for the area surrounding the island.
Latest Photos and MPEGs