There are huge advantages to exploring those places that are just out of reach – and White Island is one of them. A helicopter trip to this infamous live volcano isn’t about selfie snapping or souvenirs, it’s about connecting with Mother Nature and all she sends forth.
Satisfy your adventure cravings
Everyday people need thrills too. According to science, our human brains all need an adventure release from time to time. An excess of dopamine in our brains actually spurs an inclination to challenge and try. This doesn’t mean you have to jump off cliffs or swim in shark infested waters, rather a volcanic trip can satisfy such cravings. When White Island venturing, not only do you experience anticipation and build up on the flight across, but upon arrival you experience the awe of what’s actually in front of you. Coupled with this, the ‘moon like’ experience – complete with gas masks – makes this trip all the more real, raw and tangible.
Up close and personal
A trip to White Island engages all the senses – eyes, ears and of course smell. Upon landing you’ll experience a sensory overload. Straight from beach to bubbling crater, the impact is instant and almost surreal. From the eye-popping yellow beds of sulphur, the bubbling mud pools, the background hum of the crater, the sea mist and egg-washed smell of the air – the combination is beyond words.
A story to share
A tour around the island isn’t just a lesson in topography and geography, there are tales to be told and memories to be made. Like the story of the sulphur miners who were swept away in a sudden lahar in 1914 – the only survivor their pet cat who was discovered a week later. As one of New Zealand’s few active volcanoes, Whakaari or ‘the dramatic volcano’ as it is referred to in Maori, has three legends. One tells of the Putauaki (Mount Edgecumbe) bewitched by the beauty of Whakaari decides to leave the side of his beloved Mount Tarawera – a plan that goes terribly wrong! Stay tuned!
What to wear and carry
Whilst you’ll be provided with gas masks to wear upon arrival and first aid kits are carried by guides, being properly prepared for an island tour is essential. Winter or summer it’s advisable to wear a hat, carry a jacket, wear a long pair of pants, and a sturdy closed-toe pair of walking/hiking shoes, and rub in the sunblock. Carrying a water bottle – even if you’re not planning on walking around the entire island is a must too. If you are an asthmatic don’t forget your inhaler – just in case.