I’m no thrill seeker, but when Liz’s sister suggested a trip to White Island I could not resist the opportunity to visit a LIVE marine volcano.

The volcano is thought to be between 100,000 and 200,000 years old. However, the small bit of the island, the bit the peeks above sea level is about 16,000 years old, i.e. this baby is alive and constantly changing….

We had an hour and a half boat trip to the island, during which about half of the boat threw up along the way. I have pretty good sea legs, but even I at one point had to have a quiet moment to gain control of my stomach to prevent a major mishap (vomiting/chundering incident).

We heard that walking on White Island was like walking on the moon, and I would agree with that. There is virtually no plant life, due to the acidic environment within the crater walls. Instead, visitors are enthralled by beds of  yellow and white sulphur crystals , which grow amongst hissing, steaming, and bubbling vents and beds (I’m sure volcanologists have a preferred terminology for such things).

A week or so after we left, the alert level on the island was raised to orange. The next level, red, means an eruption is imminent. Maybe it will erupt soon, maybe it won’t… Whatever happens, White Island, is an island forever etched on our minds…

An unforgettable experience, and highly recommended.

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