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