White Island

05May09

The majorest thing we’ve done sincelast update was go to White Island.

Dunno what it is? The website is http://www.whiteisland.co.nz/. But if you can’t be bothered, I’ll tell you that it’s New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, and one of only a few classed as “1” in NZ. If you don’t know what this  means, go to http://www.geonet.org.nz/volcano/alert-level.html. It’s the top chart. In fact, GeoNet is very helpful at this point, because at http://www.geonet.org.nz/volcano/activity/white-island/index.html it tells you recent earthquakes and seismic activity around White Island. On the island there are several webcams which take a picture every half hour during daytime of the island. You can view these pictures from that link as well.

Ok, back to our trip. We booked the day before, but the weather was uncertain and they hadn’t yet decided whether the boat trip would go. They put off decision until 7 that night. Because there was nothng to do in Whakatene (where the boat went from in the morning), we didn’t want to go there unless the trip was definite (in case you haven’t yet realised, we were still in thew campervan), and waited at a point half way between there and our holiday campervan park. We were rung at 7, but they still hadn’t decided. So we went back to the holiday park, and had to be ready to go at eight in the morning in case it was going. It was, and so we had a long drive, and then a long boat ride.

I’ve actually got lots of pictures of this, and also some video, along with some video from our dolphin swimming and some of seals, but we can’t get that up until we get home, so you’ll have to wait. Anyway, here are the pictures:

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These are the gas masks we were issued, because it’s still a live volcano and gives off extremely acidic steam.

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The lake here is not one to bathe in. It’s boiling hot, but it also has a pH of minus one, making it one of the most acidic lakes in the world and probably the very best place in NZ to dump a corpse.

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…and then dad’s phone ran out of battery.

You would have thought he’d charge it for once, as he’s coming to a barren, steamy, place with more phot opportunities than a documentary, but no.

Oh well.

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7 Responses to “White Island”

  1. 1 Grandad

    The photos of White Island are not bad. (I refuse to use the word ‘awesome’. It is so over-used in New Zealand that its meaning has become something like ‘mildly interesting’) You are very lucky to have seen this place, and, as you experienced, the conditions are rarely favourable for a visit by boat. The scenery reminds me of the summit of Mt Tongariro. This is an active volcano, but not quite so awesome (dammit, you’ve got me saying it now!) as White Island. I liked the pictures of the Milford Track, too. You mention that Whakatane is deeply boring (with which I agree) but don’t say anything about your trip to New Plymouth. West Town Maternity Hospital? (Rumour that Daniel Davies and Jake Stewart got substituted shortly after birth) New Plymouth Boys’ High School? (Scene of Daniel Davies falling downstairs.) Views of the mildly interesting Mount Taranaki? (ascended without oxygen masks by Granny and Grandad circa 2002.
    Keep up this mildly interesting blog!

  2. 2 jo

    Dwag gone…!! Something we have always wanted to do but not managed as yet, on the itinary for next visit ! It looks amazinginly interesting. By the way whakatane can’t be that bad you traveller snobs ! I has a penpal there from the age of 11 ( and still living in kenya) until I was 18 and going through a slightly religious phase, she, it turned out was jehovah witness and her parents, I think , decided I was a bit of a threat. I have always wanted to go there and see if I could look her up… Unfortunately I had another penpal who was based in Palmerston North ( well foxton) who I also wrote to from the age of 11 until I went to New Zealand in my er…thirties… ( obtained through the penpals page of the mag ‘oh boy’ for anyone old enough to remember back that far) . Unfortunatley meeting up was the death knell to what had been one of my longest lasting friendships, I am not sure if it was rolling up to the house in our large campervan which conjured up a very unreal image of who we really were considering it was on the $1.00 per day deal, or it was landing with bearded husband and two kids that did it! So seeking out old penpals lost its appeal slightly after that.
    Anyway can’t quite remember if this is my blogg or yours… ! Back here spring is occationally slightly summery, we went walking in surry yesterday ( bank holiday) , not sure it quite mirrored the milford track… however came home without a mozie bite between us. Alleyn’s is shut for teh week due to swine flu, a little tricky as A’levels start this week, not quite sure how Peter Howarth will be affected, he will probably say on his facebook site which alas I do not have access to apart from over my hubby’s shoulder.

    Anyway do go on having fun ! It will be nearly the summer holidays when you return ! by the way, please tell your folks we are going to green belt hope you guys are too !

    • 3 psycholera

      I hope we’re going too, but we weren’t planning to go to greenbelt for some reason…

      Mum is now frantically emailing dad…something is happening…

      • 4 jo

        The small hiccup is that it clashes with a special birthday party ! Is dad not travelling with you ?

      • 5 psycholera

        Yeah, we were wondering why you were going…

        (oh, and hiccup should be spelled hiccough probably)

  3. 6 Tom

    Wow, a volcano.
    Did you die?
    Well, Jacob didn’t.
    You know how I know?
    He’s the only one actually wearing a Gas Mask.
    And that is one acidic river.
    Here’s hoping you’re still alive, Tom.

    • 7 psycholera

      Yeah, it’s a bit annoying that I’m dead, isn’t it?

      It’s also a lake, not a river.


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