Whakaari – White Island
New Zealand has a number of active and semi-active volcanos. This is because our small country lies on the “Pacific Ring of Fire“. Whakaari “White Island” is one of these and is reached by boat as part of a guided tour from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty. It was given its european name by Captain Cook in 1769 because of the white cloud of steam that lay over the island
Volcanic activity is evident even from the mainland, but the plume of sulphurous steam becomes more impressive as you get nearer to the island. There are no permanent residents on the island. Visitors can only land by permit and are required to wear a hard hat and gas mask. Only a small part of the island is lightly vegetated. Between the 1880s and 1930 attempts to mine sulphur were made but each was thwarted by the volcanic activity for which Whakaari is famous.
We were fortunate to visit on a sunny, windless summer’s day in January, 2010.
Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/125 sec, F16, ISO 100, Sigma DC 18-200mm lens at 18mm