White Island Tour including transfers from Rotorua
Begin your White Island adventure in Rotorua. Our transport partner will collect you from your Rotorua accommodation and bring you on the scenic journey across to New Zealand's east coast. The 80 minute drive will take you past a number of lakes, through remnants of NZ rainforest and past some of New Zealand's most productive agricultural land. On arrival in Whakatane you will join the White Island Tours crew aboard the luxury cruiser ‘PeeJay’ for a 6 hour adventure to explore New Zealand’s only active marine volcano – White Island.
Sitting 49km off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, this is one of the world’s most accessible live volcanoes. With the majority of the volcano sitting beneath the sea it means we are able to disembark directly into the crater complex – no mountain climbing required.
Being a live volcano there is little doubt that White Island is home to New Zealand’s most impressive geothermal activity. Visitors are able to get up close to roaring steam vents, bubbling pits of mud, hot volcanic streams and the amazing lake of steaming acid. The vivid hues of yellow and orange resulting from the abundant sulphur on the island make it a photographer’s dream.
Experienced guides will lead you on a 1 - 1.5 hour exploration of the inner crater, providing a fascinating commentary on the geology of the island as well as stories of attempts to mine sulphur. Along with volcanic and geothermal features, you will see the remains of the sulphur factory which have survived multiple eruptions since being abandoned in the 1930s.
Once back aboard PeeJay there may be time for a swim from the boat before being served a light packed lunch which can be enjoyed while viewing the outer walls of the island where Pohutukawa forests grow and large Australasian Gannet colonies exist.
Our journey home often provides the opportunity to spend time viewing dolphins, whales and other marine life. We hold the necessary government permits to interact with these animals and it’s a great way to end an already amazing day.
Pick-ups in Rotorua generally occur at between 6.15am and 7.15am and return is around 3pm - 5pm. The vehicles used range from late model sedans through to mini-coaches depending on the number of passengers for the day.
Adult: From $329
Child: $260 (15 years and under)
Child: $260 (15 years and under)
- Volcanic Alert Level: White Island is currently on Alert Level 1. This level indicates minor volcanic unrest and is the most common alert level rating for White Island. White Island Tours operates through the varying alert levels but passengers should be aware that there is always a risk of eruptive activity regardless of the alert level. White Island Tours follows a comprehensive safety plan which determines our activities on the island at the various levels.
- White Island Tours operate 7 days a week, weather permitting.
- Bookings are essential. A minimum of two passengers is required for the shuttle service to operate. If you are booking for one person the shuttle we will confirm the night prior to the tour whether any other passengers have booked and if the tour will operate. You are welcome to call us on 0800 733 529 if you would like to check if the minimum number for a specific date has been reached.
- We recommend that children be at least 8 years of age however the final decision rests with the parent or caregiver. The minimum age is 4 years. Please see our FAQs page for more information.
- The tour is very weather dependent. We will confirm with you between 7pm and 8pm the night prior whether the tour is able to operate. Please note that on some occasions our skipper needs to review sea and weather conditions on the morning of the tour before making a final decision, in this situation it is necessary for us to cancel the shuttle service the night before as it does not allow enough time for the shuttle to travel from Whakatane to Rotorua and back. You may still be able to join the boat tour only in this situation so we suggest you either self-drive or stay the night prior in the Whakatane area if you want the greatest chance of being able to visit White Island.
- Tour departure times:
Due to tides, sea conditions and operational requirements our tour departure times vary on daily basis. The pick-up from Rotorua generally occurs between 6.15am and 8.15am to meet our boat departure from Whakatane which is usually between 8am and 10am. We will confirm the exact departure time with you the evening prior which is why it is very important that you provide contact details where we can get hold of you or that you ensure you contact us if you have not heard from us by 8pm.
What to Bring
- Fully enclosed shoes with good grip.
- Warm waterproof jacket
- Drink/water bottle
- Swimming gear is optional in summer
What is Included
- Return transfers from your Rotorua accommodation
- Quality cruising aboard purpose-built vessels
- Professional and experienced crew and tour guides
- 1 - 1.5 hour fully guided walking tour of White Island's inner crater area.
- A light packed lunch and bottle of mineral water
- Safety gear (gas mask and hard hat)
- Permit to land on the island
- Department of Conservation permit to spend time with any marine mammals that we encounter