As close as I’ll be able to get….For now

This would be White Island, about 50km off the coast of Whakatane. The weather doesn’t look like this today though – it’s rainy, high winds and choppy water. Which is why I’m not currently standing on the island enjoying the barren, foreign landscape. White Island is an active marine volcano, the only one in New Zealand, and one that you can walk onto. This isn’t an easy undertaking though, it’s a 90 minute boat ride all the way out there, and once there you have to take a smaller dinghy to get onto the island. On the island you are issued gas masks, as being an active volcano it can have highly sulphurous parts and there are a lot of steam vents – the clouds above White Island in the picture above are from the steam. Nobody lives on the island, it’s only accessible via one boat tour operator or a helicopter operator. It’s supposed to be an absolutely amazing tour, but it will have to wait for me to return to Whakatane later on – it’s something I’m going to do in NZ, rest assured.

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