The Taupo Volcanic Zone: White Island

We’re going to visit volcanoes in Peter Jackson’s idea of Middle-earth over the next few Sundays. It has two of the most productive calderas in the world, as well as three active stratovolcanoes. Today we’ll start with the only one of those three cones that didn’t appear as Mount Doom in those Lord of the Rings movies – White Island.

Just the very tip of this mile-high volcano – the largest volcanic structure in New Zealand – shows above water. Continuously active for the last 40 years (it’s currently at a heightened state of alert), White Island sits about 30 miles off the northeast coast of the North Island, in the Bay of Plenty.

It is privately owned but uninhabited since 1914, when a crater collapse and landslide buried the sulfur works there (only the camp cat survived). These days, more than 10,000 people visit it each year.

Let’s go to White Island!



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Categories: Sunday morning volcano

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