Whakaari/White Island Off The Beaten Track
White Island, also known in Maori as Whakaari, is an active volcano situated 49 km off the coast of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty region. White Island is easily accessible as tour operators run regular trips to the island from Whakatane, in fact it is one of the most accessible active marine volcanos in the world. Though the majority of White Island is underwater, some 321m of the cone sticks out of the ocean, forming a circular island. Tours of White Island include visiting the ruins of the sulphur factory abandoned in the 1930s, and getting up close to roaring steam vents, bubbling mud pits, hot volcanic streams, sulphur encrusted fumeroles and the amazing lake of steaming acid.
If you enjoy diving and snorkelling, then a trip to the Volkner Rocks in the Te Paepae o Aotea marine reserve is a must-do. Visitors can only visit the marine reserve by boat, but there are numerous charter boat services in eastern Bay of Plenty. The underwater scenery and marine life in the marine reserve is truly spectacular.
White Island is New Zealand's only live marine volcano and is situated 48 kilometres from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. The nearest towns are Whakatane and Tauranga. It is one of the most fascinating and accessible volcanoes on earth and is constantly active. White Island breathes, roars, steams and hisses.
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