Tuesday, January 5, 2016

9. Day in New Zealand: White Island and Wellington

Today was a beautiful sunny day. Would have been perfect for the Tongariro Crossing, but we already had other plans. Today we drove to the Whakatane Airport. But not on the airport itself, we went to a little place next to it that belongs to Frontier Helicopters.


There we got safety instructions with three other people on how to fly a helicopter. Just kidding, how to be a passenger. The five of us and the pilot went on to the White Island – the most active volcano in New Zealand. We flew over the pristine waters of the Bay of Plenty, over Mouthohora island and landed safely on the White Island. On one side there were a lot of birds and the rest was just an active volcano – with bubbling mud, roaring fumaroles, sparkling sulphur chimneys and a lot of fowl eggs in the air. So jumping out of the helicopter, we put on helmets and gasmasks and took a roundtrip with our guide/pilot.


Apparently they were mining sulphur on the island until 1933 but the  sulphur content was too little to be economical. You can still see  the remains of the mining gear. We actually were able and allowed to taste the water and the yellow sulphur. The sulphur tastes like citrus and the water tastes lake blood – contains a lot of iron.


After one hour of walking around the island and taking a lot of photos – btw. there is never enough time to take photos - we got in the helicopter again and flew back to the Whakatane airport. We said goodbye to our pilot Richard and went on. After seven hours and a few idiots on the streets later, we arrived in Wellington, our next stop for a day.


Btw. one of the images is a Photo Sphere. You can check a 360° view here: https://goo.gl/photos/NZdZv1zPQV8x2Tr56


Tour of the day:




  1. Good food - and plenty of it!

  2. Love those volcano shots from the air!