Marco gets up close and personal with White Island, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano.
Name: Marco Marques
Position: Trade Development Executive – Latin America
What is your favourite ‘undiscovered location’ in New Zealand?
White Island in the Bay of Plenty.
Who did you travel there with?
I travelled with Marcelo Cobra, PR Executive of Tourism New Zealand’s Latin America office.
Do you have advice for anyone visiting White Island?
Just relax, enjoy the 30 minutes helicopter ride to get there and bring a nice camera to capture amazing shots of this unique volcano, from all different angles.
How do you get to White Island?
You can only visit White Island on a guided tour, with an operator who has been granted a concession.
About White Island
White Island is located 49km off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty. The volcano is estimated to be between 100,000 and 200,000 years old and attracts scientists and volcanologists from around the world to study its unique features.
There is virtually no vegetation on the island, instead visitors are awed with views of active steam vents ‘fumaroles’, dramatic sulphur formations, hot streams and the steaming crater of the volcano.
Visiting White Island
There are two ways to visit the volcano, either by air or by boat.
Volcanic Air operate the ‘White Island Active Volcano landing and walking tour’ departing daily (weather permitting) from Rotorua. Visitors take a scenic helicopter flight over Rotorua’s northern lakes district before crossing the coast to White Island. The fun really begins when the helicopter lands on the island and visitors are given a guided walk of the crater floor. Guests are also taken to the remains of an old working factory built in 1923. Allow three hours for the tour.
Pee Jay White Island Tours offer daily tours (weather permitting) from Whakatane wharf. The tour begins with an 80 minute boat ride on a luxury launch to White Island. Trained guides take visitors on a two hour guided walk through the remains of the old sulphur mining factory and right up to the main crater’s edge. On the return trip to Whakatane it may be possible to spot dolphins, whales or NZ Fur Seals. Allow 6 hours for this tour.