BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Bay of Plenty > White Island

White Island

Located 50km offshore from Whakatane, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano offers a barren lunar landscape and amazing geothermal activity. Visiting White Island is an expensive day trip and you have the option of visiting either by boat or air. With the exception of the helicopter, flights are purely scenic and you don’t get the chance to walk around on the island. Visiting by boat also offers the opportunity to see (and perhaps swim with) dolphins.


Most tours depart from Whakatane although some may also pickup from Tauranga or Rotorua.

Vulcan Helicopters

Vulcan offers a pricey, but spectacular trip out to the island that includes a landing as well as a flight over the island.

Whakatane Airport
Tel (07) 308 4188 or 0800 804 354
Website www.vulcanheli.co.nz
2½ hour trip (with 45 minute flight) $435

White Island Flights

White Island Flights has scenic flights over White Island departing from either Rotorua or Whakatane Airports. They use fixed-wing planes that are a better value option to the more pricy helicopter tours.

Discovery Base, 224 Aerodrome Road, Whakatane Airport
Tel (07) 308 7760 or 0800 944 834
Website www.whiteislandflights.co.nz
55-minute White Island scenic flight $175; 1½-hour White Island/Mt Tarawera flight $299; half-day White Island/Mt Tarawera/Lake Taupo/Mt Ruapehu flight $599

PeeJay Charters

PeeJay takes you out to White Island on a luxury launch where you have the unique opportunity to walk on the island. This trip takes five to six hours.

15 The Strand East, Whakatane
Tel (07) 308 9588 or 0800 242 299
Website www.whiteisland.co.nz
Price $175

White Island Dive

This dive company runs diving and snorkelling trips to the island but the focus is on the marine life around the island, rather than the island itself.

186 The Strand, Whakatane
Tel (07) 308 9588 or 0800 348 394
Website www.divewhite.co.nz
Snorkelling $180; dive with full gear $340

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