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White Island / Whakaari

White Island is situated 50 km off the Eastern Bay of Plenty coast in New Zealand. Experiencing the fury of nature at work on this awesome Island of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” is rated by many travelers to our region as the highlight of their trip. 

New Zealand's most active volcano is also one of the worlds only solitary island volcanoes and is also one of the most accessible volcanoes on earth. This makes the trip an exhilarating but relatively easy day trip.

At a Glance

Activity Duration: Full day trip
White Island Tour Operator
Map Location:
Travel time to activity: 30min drive to Whakatane. 1.5hr boat trip to the Island (weather depending)
Costs: Adult $199 NZD; Child (under 13yrs) $130 NZD

Pee Jay IV arrives at Sulphur Bay, White Island.

As New Zealand’s only live marine volcano, scientists and volcanologists worldwide are attracted by its unique features. The volcano is estimated to be between 100,000 and 200,000 years old. However, the small portion of the island that is visible above sea level has been in its present form for an estimated 16,000 years  - evidence of a continually changing landscape.

Activity Locations Map

Walking on White Island is a little like walking on the moon. Virtually no vegetation survives the harsh acidic environment inside the crater walls. Instead, lush beds of yellow and white sulphur crystals grow amongst hissing, steaming, bubbling fumaroles.

In contrast to these natural features, stand the ruins of an old factory, the only human testament to the numerous failed sulphur mining attempts of days gone by, and now slowly being reclaimed by Mother Nature.

The island is usually on an alert level rating of 1 or 2 on a scale of 1–5 meaning she is always active. At most times the volcanic activity periodically morphs between steaming, misty, roaring and rumbling - who knows what mood she’ll be in when you visit...