From $1050.00 per person
Just 49 kilometres off the coast of the Bay of Plenty lies White Island—arguably the world’s most accessible active marine volcano. We’ll cruise over to White Island on board a specially built luxury launch for the opportunity to see a world that only few have walked and experienced. Trained guides take us through the old mining factory, getting up close to bright yellow sulphur deposits. To top our experience off we venture right up to the main crater’s edge. After this experience, we re-board our boat for lunch before returning to Whakatane. Our tour then continues following the volcanic centre of New Zealand. First of all to the base of Mount Edgecumbe to visit the spectacular Tarawera Falls, before continuing home via Rotorua passing Lakes Rotoma, Rotoehu, Rotoiti, and Rotorua.
Friday 26 April – Sunday 28 April 2019 (3 Days)
Day 1 – Friday 26 April 2019 Home Cities to Whakatane (D)
This morning we depart Hamilton and make our way over the Kaimai Ranges to the Bay of Plenty. Our travels will take us through Tauranga, and Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of the world, where we will stop for lunch (own cost). The name Te Puke simply means ‘the hill’. The area was pioneered by Ulstermen in the 19th Century and has been a market gardening centre ever since. The volcanic soils and the warm almost sub-tropical climate of the region provide an ideal environment for growing kiwifruit. Once we depart Te Puke, travel along the pretty coastal road through Matata, and arrive in Whakatane. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at the Whakatane RSA. Accommodation: White Island Rendezvous Motel, Whakatane – 2 nights
Day 2 – Saturday 27 April 2019 White Island Cruise Tour BLD)
Today will be an early start for our journey to White Island. After breakfast at our motel, we travel via boat to White Island. Sitting 49km off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, this is one of the world’s most accessible live volcanoes. With the majority of the volcano sitting beneath the sea it means we are able to disembark directly into the crater complex – no mountain climbing required.
Upon arrival on the island, experienced guides will lead us on a 1 – 1.5 hour walking exploration of the inner crater, providing a fascinating commentary on the geology of the island as well as stories of attempts to mine sulphur. Along with volcanic and geothermal features, we will see the remains of the sulphur factory which have survived multiple eruptions since being abandoned in the 1930s. On our journey back to Whakatane, we will be provided with a light packed lunch. This afternoon will be at leisure to explore Whakatane. Dinner tonight will again be at the Whakatane RSA.
If the tour is cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions, we aim to do the tour at the next available time over the weekend.
Day 3 – Sunday 28 April 2019 Whakatane to Home Cities (B)
After breakfast this morning, we depart Whakatane and travel to the forestry township of Kawerau. Here we will collect a forest permit gaining access to the Tarawera Forestry. Driving through the forest roads will bring us to the entrance of the Tarawera Falls walk (approx. 20 minute walk each way). The Tarawera Falls are the only outlet of Lake Tarawera coming through an underground cave network and finally out of a fissure in the cliff face. We retrace our steps to Kawerau, and then continue on to Rotorua passing by Lake Rotoma, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua, where you will have the opportunity to purchase your lunch. We then make our way back to Hamilton driving over the Mamaku Ranges.
Please note that this tour requires a good level of agility, and is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility. There are minor physical challenges on the tour. Getting on and off the island involves a transfer via inflatable boat to an original concrete wharf. Once there, there is a short ladder to climb to get on to the jetty, a steel platform to cross which spans a gap in the jetty and then a series of boulders to walk over. There are no difficult hills to climb, however, the island surface can be uneven in some areas. Passengers will need to be reasonably agile and prepared to be on their feet for up to two hours. In some situations, passengers may also be required to wear gas masks for their own safety.