We concluded we hadn’t had enough thermal activity and the only real way to scratch the itch would be to actually walk on a live volcano. Fortunately for us, there was a volcano excursion company situated at our next stop, Whakatane (pronounced Fak-it-aunee).
Again, I think the pics do a lot of the talking here so I won’t bore you with too much writing.
Giddier than Charlie upon his visit to The Chocolate Factory, we got up and could barely eat a thing for breckie – nauseous with excitement! (Well I could, I’ve been eating like a whale since we’ve been here). There wasn’t a cloud in the sky which is just what we’d asked for as these trips can easily get cancelled if there’s bad weather: The White Island, which is entirely an uninhabited active volcano, is 50 kilometers off shore.
We made our way to Whakatane, as we’d stayed a short trip down the road in a small, lovely hamlet called Matata, ate some pre-prepared pasta by the roadside then jumped on the catamaran, along with 30 or so other guests to the The White Island!
It was a lovely voyage to The Isle and as soon as the Island came into view, virtually all the passengers on the boat were up-front getting their snaps in. We were no different:
We took in all the sights and our tour guide, Kimmy, was cool albeit a bit scary.
A bit of info about the volcano:
Its New Zealand’s most active volcano and its owned by a family who rent it out for tourism. Its an andesite stratovolcano (not quite sure what that means but if there are any geologists reading, maybe they can elaborate for us).
The Island used to be a sulpher mine until a lahar (which is a volcanic landslide), wiped out the mine factory and all 10 of the miners. None of there remains were ever located. There are still parts of the mining factory left on the island which is pretty cool!
We were a bit gutted we didn’t get to see any lava, but I think if she had gone off we would have been shitting it!
We finished the tour and jumped aboard the boat back to the mainland and half way there we came across a few fun fellas that wanted to say hello. Milly was so excited it took three grown men to stop her from jumping in and making closer acquaintances with them!
We made our way to a DoC campsite for the night and relaxed after our fun little outing.
There is not much at all to say about the next day. Lets face it, it was never going to come close to walking around a live volcano. It was another gloriously sunny day and as our campsite was cheap and on the beach front we decided to treat ourselves to a beach day.
The only real bits of action for the day was a lady allowing her dog to poo on the beach then not cleaning it up and Milly getting toppled by a huge wave which had me in stitches for about 5 minutes. The waves are really quite strong around there and she had turned to face me (she’d only nipped into the sea for a wee) and when she wasn’t expecting it a large one crept up on her like a cat catching a mouse and knocked her over. Being concerned for her welfare I fell about laughing. I still can’t resist a wee chuckle to myself now.