Last year Matt and I started climbing all the volcanoes in Auckland. Some of them aren't even there anymore. They've been quaried away, or blown away. But we're slowly making our way through them and really enjoying it.
So I thought it might be nice to go to a live volcano and brought tickets on a "White Island Tour" for the family for Xmas.
And I have to say it was amazing.
The water on the way out in the boat was crystal clear and flat as a pancake. It was amazing. And for a 2 hour journey, I'm so glad. We were lucky enough to see a beautiful pod of dolphins and so the boat stayed and we watched for a while. Stunning.
The tour was big on safety and we all had to wear helmets and they provided us with gas masks too. Thankfully. There were parts of the tour that we needed them!
The island looked very similar to what I had imagined. If you've tramped Ngarahoe, then you can imagine what it looks like. Just like that!
Just behind us in this photo was a vent belching sulpher. It was at this point we all started to wear our gas masks. If we didn't, it made your throat constrict. It was very uncomfortable. But part of being on a live volcano. The tour did give us hard sweets to suck on to help as well. It was a great touch and worked a treat.
And then we got up to the main crater where all the main eruptions occur...
We were able to get pretty close to the crater but it didn't have any lava coming out of it or anything. LOL.
We walked around in groups sticking to the paths so nothing untoward happened to us.
There was a lot of bubbling mud pools just like in Rotorua.
At the end of the tour we came across the factory where alot of work happened before it all closed down. There were just ruins and it was very pretty.
When we got back to the boat, we were able to have a swim (jumping off the boat) and had some lunch - it was GREAT!
Then it was the journey back to Whakatane. The kids were exhausted. Matt and Dan both fell asleep.
We didn't do alot these school holidays, so this was our main holiday. Down at Ohope Beach, and this day trip. It was well worth it. So much learnt from the guides. An amazing experience being so close to nature in it's raw elements and a beautiful NZ day to boot.
Does anyone remember that ad when we were growing up, something about 'don't leave home til you've seen the country'? Well, this was one of those holidays, and I'd highly recommend it!