Accessible by sea and air from Whakatane with numerous charter companies offering access to the Island.
The volcano is estimated to be between 100 000 and 200 000 years old. Only some of the island visible above sea level that can be seen in its present form today is estimated to be 16 000 years old, further evidence of this continually changing landscape. The immense crater over 100 metres deep holds a lake (usually fluorescent green in colour) and a rumbling vent from which the power of the inner earth constantly belches forth in the form of super-heated steam. No vegetation survives in the crater and only a few Pohutukawa trees can be seen struggling for life because of the harsh acidic environment. Instead sulphur crystals form in among the hissing, steaming, bubbling fumaroles.
The island is home to the Gannets. A beautiful bird who nests and fishes in the warm abundant fishing grounds that surround the Island. White Island is also a location for our recreational diving and fishing industries. There are signs of Human industry on the island in the form of a failed old sulphur works slowly corroding back into the landscape.
Being on White Island is the closest thing to being in the craters of the moon.
White Island is of great New Zealand Scientific importance and is monitored constantly by the IGNS (Institute of Geological and Nuclear and Sciences). Visitors can view the updated webcams provided by the institute and see the crater as it is today.