An active stratavolcano - White Island
Have you ever been inside an active volcano? Well I hadn't either until I went to White Island. This volcano is situated in the bay of Plenty off the coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It's been built up over the last 150,000 years. Sulfur mining was attempted on the volcano in the 1900's and stopped due to a volcanic eruption that killed the crew out on the island. The only survivor of the group was a cat named Peter the Great. I'm sure this is really making you want to go check it out, but seriously trust me it's worth it!
So you may be wondering why we (my husband Ryan and I) decided to check this out in the first place. So basically what happened is that before Ryan and I moved to New Zealand we had a yard sale one morning. One of our neighbors from across the street had come over for some life jackets that we had on display. We all got to talking and it turns out she went to New Zealand for a bit of time and her absolute favorite thing that she did was White Island. She raved about it and said it was pretty much the coolest thing she had ever done. As of now, I definitely have to agree with her!
OK. So I've got you interested in seeing White Island. Your next question is how do you get there? The only tour company that is allowed to run a boat to White Island is White Island Tours. During our tour we got to get up close to steaming vents, bubbling mud pits and see a beautiful aqua volcanic lake of acid. Once on the volcano we had a guided tour that lasted roughly 1-1.5 hours. We got to explore the majority of the crater and actually get down and dirty.
The trip took about an hour to get there and another hour back. The waves were incredibly choppy despite our boat being a catamaran. There are several other types of boats they can take you out on depending on the size of the tour and season. If you get sea sick make sure to bring some provisions with you. In case you do have to puke there are some puke bags and a toilet on board. However do not go in the bathroom if you're sea sick! It will only make you feel worse.
Overall on our end, the tour was incredible. It was really well organized and we went with a group of people from Meetup (mobile app). I truly felt like we were walking on some other planet especially with all the different yellow (sulfur) and purple colored rocks. So far in New Zealand this has been a highlight of our 3 months. I absolutely would recommend. Tickets are pricey but well worth it. You also get an amazing gourmet light lunch.