Blogs from White Island, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island February 22nd 2012

Since she made the trip half way around the world, I wanted to show Maria Chiara New Zealand at its most exotic - and prefeably somewhere I had never been myself. Only thanks to a random mention from my uncle did I find out that White Island is a legitimate tourist destination - taking a boat 50 kilometres off the Bay of Plenty coast to visit an active volcano plonked in the middle of the ocean. For days before the trip I nervously checked the metservice website several times a day as the weather report was looking increasingly foreboding. We were lucky: the weather wasn't good enough to warrant a safe journey the day before or the day after - and with Maria Chiara only in New Zealand for seven and a half days we had ... read more
Karekare Beach
At the carwash
Auckland Art Gallery

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island October 7th 2011

We arrived in Papamoa Beach on Wednesday evening, leaving behind the sulphourous Rotorua. We're staying at the parents of George's friend Mark in a fantastic beach side property designed and built by the owner. We overlook the beach which is 2 minutes walk away. Unfortunately it's also the bay where the large container ship ran aground (we can see it from where we are staying) so the locals are very worried about the possibility of an oil spill. Thursday morning saw us booking a boat trip to White Island from Whakatane, an hour up the coast from where we are staying. We just about made it in time (last on the boat) then set sail. It was an hour and a half to the island in fantastic weather. Once we got close it was like something ... read more
Inside the crater

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island September 7th 2011

Up until today, I'd only ever seen White Island from the Bay of Plenty. Since I'm staying so close to where the White Island Tours launch from, I decided to splurge and book myself in. I wasn't disappointed. Just as morning tea was being served on the boat trip out to the island, whales were spotted nearby. The boat swung around and we spent about fifteen minutes watching a pod of orcas swim around. We were right above a reef where a mum and two little ones were feeding. Even when the bull swam over, they stuck around for a few more minutes. It was an exciting start to the day. Just before arriving at the volcano we were given hard hats (mandatory at all times) and gas masks (optional, except during a major eruption). Once ... read more
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For the third time in my life, I landed at Auckland airport at about half past midnight excited about seeing the land of the long white cloud. Annoyingly for Clubby, who'd kindly agreed to collect me from the airport, I was late landing after fog saw me diverted through Brisbane instead of Sydney. It had been two years since I'd been to NZ, and in that time my friends Clubby and Stan (aka Mike and Rochelle!), who live in Auckland, had produced young Jacob, who was now six months old. Jacob was all smiles when I was introduced the next morning, but unfortunately for him, his vaccination was due, so Stan dropped me off at Ma and Pa's (aka Christine and John) while she took Jacob for his jabs. It was nice to have some time ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island March 14th 2009

The first thing to note in this blog is that we have been reviewing the ‘statistics’ on the travel blog website. I am starting to feel like an old rocker who had their heyday and is now just gigging to pay the bills. Can you believe that some of our early blogs were read by nearly 200 people? We are lucky if we hit 40 at the minute. I realise that this is probably not encouraging our loyal fans to stick with us, but even so I feel it is an issue that needs raising. Ok now that is out of the way I feel that I can keep going with some serious travel info. By the way I was reading a book the other day which stated that ok is the most recognised English word ... read more
2 Whakatane harbour
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island September 25th 2008

Yesterday was a really amazing day! We got up at 6.30am so that we could drive to Whakatane (prounounced pha-ka-ta-ne) for our White Island Volcano adventure! We had to be at the airport for 9.30am but made it to Whakatane in time to have a coffee at a lovely garden centre that was playing a really bad version of Flower of Scotland!! When we arrived at the airport we had a saftey demo and had to give the lady an emergency contact number in case of emergency... Scary! Our helicopter and pilot arrived at the airport at 10am and as you'll see from the photos it was tiny!! Enough room for the pilot and 4 passengers and we weren't able to sit next to each other - Karen got to sit up front with the pilot! ... read more
Pilot Karen
Whale Island
Aerial view of White Island

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » White Island October 8th 2006

Whakatane was meant to be a brief visit, but we were around long enough to become experts at the correct local pronounciation......Fffffffakatane. The big draw of Whakatane is White Island, an active marine volcano 60kms off the coast and arguably New Zealand's best kept secret. However despite the blue skies, the wind was coming from the wrong direction preventing any landings and at one point it looked like it would remain a well kept secret from us. After 3 days the southerly winds calmed sufficiently to allow us the opportunity to get out to the island. The experience involves being issued with a safety pack, comprising of a yellow saftey hard hat and a gas mask. The need for the gas mask is readily evident with the sulphur in the air, although quite what use the ... read more
White Island
White Island
White Island




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