New Zealand 2014

North Island volcanoes and geothermal areas

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Auckland view from Mount Victoria

Sunday, August 17th 2014

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After the conference in Australia, I headed for New Zealand, to visit my friends John and Juliet who'd moved there at the same time as I'd moved to Chile in 2011. We took a drive around Auckland on the evening I arrived.

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Piha

Monday, August 25th 2014

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We went to Piha, an hour's drive from Auckland, and climbed Lion Rock.

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Approaching White Island

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

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We went on a road trip around the North Island, and spent a few days in Rotorua. While we were there we took a trip out to White Island, New Zealand's most active volcano.

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Mud geyser

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

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The island was pretty epic, with lots of geothermal activity in the crater. The volcano had erupted in 2012 and 2013 so it was definitely possible that another eruption was imminent.

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Fumaroles

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

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There were fumaroles everywhere, steaming and roaring and building up the sulphur deposits that used to be mined on the island.

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Crater Lake

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

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White Island's viciously acidic crater lake has a negative pH apparently.

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Sulphur factory ruins

Wednesday, August 27th 2014

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White Island was too volcanic for sulphur mining to be viable in the long run. Factory owners probably don't mind too much if their workers are swept out to sea by pyroclastic flows - workers can be replaced - but if the factory itself keeps getting destroyed, that's a deal breaker.

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Whakarewarewa

Thursday, August 28th 2014

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Back in Rotorua, we went to Whakarewarewa and saw Pohotu and Prince of Wales Feathers geysers erupting.

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Mount Ngauruhoe

Friday, August 29th 2014

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Near the base of Ngauruhoe's cone on the Tongariro Crossing

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Tongariro Crossing

Friday, August 29th 2014

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It had been sunny at first but then we had a complete whiteout for a bit. The sun started to come out again as we were nearing the highest point on the crossing.

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Red Crater

Friday, August 29th 2014

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It was good weather again at the top, and we relaxed in the sun on the edge of Red Crater, which last erupted in 1926.

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Heading downhill

Friday, August 29th 2014

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From Red Crater we headed down. If we'd have been coming this way in summer there would have been colourful lakes on the way but they were all frozen and buried under snow.

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Tongariro and Ngauruhoe

Saturday, August 30th 2014

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The day after the Tongariro Crossing, we drove to Whakapapa, and stopped for a coffee with a good view at the Chateau Tongariro.

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