50km off the coast of Whakatane in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty lies White Island, an active marine volcano that you can visit. It is visible from the mainland.
A 2 hour boat journey brings you clambering ashore with your guide for a trip around the most alien landscape you can perhaps hope to see on our Earth. There are boiling mud pools, mounds of sulphur with gases erupting from them, hot steam everywhere, weird colours (the crater was a green pool) and acidic gases which sting your eyes and throat. I promise that it is my good self underneath the hard hat and breathing apparatus.
The guides need new clothes and shoes every month because the air is so corrosive.
Great experience which yet again brings home just how fragile the NZ landscape really is…but there is still a gannet colony happily living on the island.