Adventures in New Zealand: White Island

Adventures in New Zealand: White Island

New Zealand is full of amazing adventures, unbelievable scenery, and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. We were able to do so many things that will stay with me forever. There are many more adventures on my list, but I must admit that there are some that I will happily repeat over and over. Visiting White Island is one of those.Adventures in New Zealand: White IslandIMG_3046

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Scott first took me to White Island on my initial trip to New Zealand in 2005. I’m not really the outdoor type and couldn’t quite wrap my head around the thought of exploring a volcano–and an active one at that!


Guys, if you go to New Zealand, go to White Islandgo to White Island. Some people complain about the price, but it is completely worth it. It’s one of the places we recommend to anyone making the trip and we took friends and family there who visited us.


The tour is a lot of fun. You take a boat ride out to the island. It takes about two hours to get there. It’s a lovely journey (if you like boat rides–take your motion sickness meds if you need them!) and the guides give you the history of what you’re looking at as you go (but not constant chattering like some tours). It is quite common to see dolphins and other sea animals as you go along. If the conditions are good, they’ll often stop on the way back and let you jump in the water for a bit.


When you get to the island, they take you from the boat to shore in a small raft. You have to climb over rocks to the bit of dock that’s left, but there are people to assist you if needed. Everyone is broken up into smaller tour groups, and after the millionth safety warnings, the exploration begins.


The tour is full of the history of the volcano. Stories of the camps, mining activities, unfortunate deaths, and scientific information are slotted in perfectly with what you’re looking at.



I’ve stood next to the mouth of an active volcano. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to say that. I love looking back on my White Island adventures, especially when I’m in a winter and lack of traveling funk like I am now.



Knowing that you have to be careful where you step becomes even more real when you see thermal activity, steam, and sulfur around you. The smell can be quite strong at times, but you’re equipped with a gas mask if you need it.



The remains of the camp are both fascinating and devastating. Everything metal has disintegrated. Knowing that men lived and died here adds a layer of eeriness. It’s honestly my favorite place to explore.

We pay close attention to New Zealand news and White Island has featured on it regularly in recent years. It has had small eruptions and they’re calling for a big one soon. It will be interesting to see how the landscape has changed the next time we go. I’m very much looking forward to the girls being old enough to experience this fantastic adventure.



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  1. Wow, these photos are amazing. I’d love to visit. It sounds like you had a wonderful time on your tour. I’m visiting from Comment Love and I really have enjoyed my visit. I’ll be following you via Bloglovin and can’t wait to read more of your blog. Hope you will visit me sometime too.

  2. Love the story and the photos! Landscape photography is one of the things I love to do and I was a little bit jealous of all that beauty you were surrounded by.

    Thanks for sharing it with those of us who couldn’t be there!
    Becky Smith recently posted…Noah. The Ladies Man.My Profile

  3. Wow!! I can’t imagine visiting an active volcano. How amazing (and terrifying, too)! I let my little boy read your post as he’s totally into volcanoes at the moment and he was fascinated by the sulphur on the ground. Do you know if that formed on top of old lava flows?

    Going to follow you on Bloglovin’! Oh, and I’m visiting from the SITS Comment Love 🙂
    Angela @Little Apple Tree recently posted…The Year In Books: FebruaryMy Profile

  4. I spent 3 weeks in New Zealand my junior year in college, it is an amazing place. I would love to take my family back at some point. I never nada chance to visit White Island, but it looks amazing (even a bit eerie!) I’m visiting you from SITS comment love as well.
    Kim Miller recently posted…MonstersMy Profile

  5. Hi Abby! Visting from SITS Girls – Comment Love Week. Your photos are beautiful and your voice is so honest. I found myself identifying with you so often as I read through your posts. I’m looking forward to following your adventures. #sitsblogging

  6. Look how blue the water is around the island, so beautiful. That does sound like such an awesome place to see. Beautiful pictures. Stopping by from the #SITSblogging

  7. I think I’d like to live in New Zealand so I could really spend some time getting to explore the place like a local. I loved reading your descriptions and seeing the photos you took. It sounds so interesting. I have to say, I’ve only ever spent about three hours in the airport in Christchurch. Definitely a reason to go back, right?
    Amee @ recently posted…Three Ingredient Protein PancakeMy Profile

    1. gorgeous dress! looking for something similar myself, found one in zara, that sadly weer9&#3n;t synch. I hate when they do that … why would I wear something that only looks good in the front … so dumb. but your's perfection, I guess I just have to keep searching.

  8. Just beautiful. I have a long list of places I’d like to travel and I think I need to add New Zealand to the list. Thanks for being my virtual tour guide today ;-). Stopping by from SITS.

  9. Wow these pictures are beautiful! New Zealand and Australia are next on my “big” travel list- this April I am doing Thailand, so probably next spring I will make it over! I just found your blog now and am looking forward to following along on your adventures. Thanks for posting!
    Samantha Angell recently posted…Its An Everyday ThingMy Profile

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