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“Must see experience”
Review of White Island Tours

White Island Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cruise across the pristine waters of the Bay of Plenty to White Island (Whakaari) – New Zealand’s most active volcano. After being fitted with hard hats and gas masks, guides will lead you on an exploration of the crater floor. Experience 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. After the time on the island, lunch will be served back on the boat as we cruise to see the outer walls of the island, abundant with Pōhutukawa and Australasian Gannet colonies. The area is also home to dolphins, whales, and other marine life, and viewing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a great way to end the day. Tours depart daily (weather permitting) from Whakatāne. For those wishing to stay in Whakatāne, we recommend the White Island Rendezvous motel, which is also the check-in location for our tours.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

The boat trip to the island is not too long, plenty of informative commentary on the way three & back. Hard hats and gas masks handed out, and definitely need the mask. The landscape is spectacular but the sulphur extremely strong. Our guide was full of information without sounding like a textbook. A quick dip when back to the boat and a lunch provided. We did spot some dolphins on our return just to finish the trip off.

Thank calnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WITManagement, Manager at White Island Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2018

Hi Calnor,
We really appreciate you taking the time to post you review, and share you experience! Cheers!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"active volcano"
in 175 reviews
"boat trip"
in 98 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 55 reviews
"live volcano"
in 64 reviews
"gas mask"
in 58 reviews
"white island"
in 331 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 52 reviews
"sandwich"
in 27 reviews
"tour company"
in 22 reviews
"flying fish"
in 20 reviews
"new zealand"
in 75 reviews
"unique experience"
in 38 reviews
"inflatable boat"
in 16 reviews
"steam vents"
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Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

We had a great day with the crew of white island tours. The weather was just perfect to go out. On the way to the island we saw many dolphins right in front of the boat jumping and having fun!
The crew gave us much information about all the nature around us as well as about the white island.

After 75 Minutes right in the bay of the island we were seated on a small boat and brought to the beach. The safety equipment was pretty new and we felt very safe through the whole tour. Our guide (we split up in smaller groups) had a great knowledge and good humour to take us over the island. It was so fascinating, seeing and active volcano and standing right on it! We had a lot of time to take photos and ask questions.

On the way back we saw some flying fish as well! The light meal was bread with a super sauce on it (no clue what it was, but it was good), a cake, two cookies and an apple. Nice!

We'd like to thank the great crew for our wonderful day, the experience and the knowledge we gained.

I recommend this tour! Do it!

Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WITManagement, Manager at White Island Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 5, 2018

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your informative review. It was great to hear that you enjoyed your tour of White Island, the boat journey and lunch. Your kind recommendation is most appreciated. Cheers!

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Reviewed April 2, 2018

We had an awesome trip to white island. The crew of PEEJAY were awesome, marvelous, very friendly , helpful and most of all safety for everyone was very paramount.
The safety and historical briefings were note able, interesting and the views of the island were breath taking. It was a very informative tour of the island through dedicated tracks.
We had heaps of pictures taken on the island and I must say it is a "must do" activity on holiday. On the way back the captain of our boat gave the opportunity to our little boy to skipper the inflatable boat that transported us to and from our cruise boat. We thought this was a very nice gesture on his part. The lunch on the boat was lovely and we really enjoyed it.
The boat ride was very good and staff were there to help us overcome motion sickness. A very good crew , I should say.
Overall, a lovely trip and highly recommended for others who was not afraid to take such adventures like exploring a live volcano.

Thank Ushmendra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WITManagement, Manager at White Island Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2018

Hi Udhmendra,
We're so pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed your tour to White Island with us, and thank you for taking the time to post your review. Cheers!

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Reviewed April 1, 2018 via mobile

the trip was will organized and fun. Care was taken to ensure safety. Each team member gave it their 100% and the brief given at each walking stop on the island was interesting.

Thank Josephine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WITManagement, Manager at White Island Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2018

Thank you for your review, Josephine, we're pleased to hear that you appreciated the efforts of our team during your tour! Cheers!

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Reviewed April 1, 2018

Wow! What a great adventure! Clearly, White Island is a unique and special site well worth the visit - in fact I'd rank it up there with Angkor Wat for the photo shoot potential as it's variety and almost Dali-esque appearance is literally awesome. So, yes a great ocation. But great locations can often be ruined by thoughtless exploitation by "tourist operators" who simply milk the tourist with much promise and little delivery.

Not so White Island Tours. First of all they clearly have a wealth of experience in this tour. More importantly, they seem to understand the importance of valuing their customers and giving them a great experience whilst ensuring their safety. We were fortunate enough to have Rachel as our guide but honestly I think all the guides were equally professional, knowledgeable and friendly.

From the moment we were on board the Phoenix, we were made welcome and cared for. Safety briefs were to the point and relevant, unlike some trips, which inspired confidence that this team knew their marbles.

A pleasant ride out with plenty to see at sea and 80 minutes later we arrived at our destination. Lots of photo opportunities on the approach before anchoring off the old wharf. Then into an inflatable for a mildly adrenalin raising ride to the wharf and up the ladder onto dry land. Excellent communication by the crew, expert handling of boat and passengers, clear understanding of potential dangers which were well anticipated and neutralised, all demonstrated the quality of leadership, management and operation of this organisation. Moreover, the fact that it was all internalised and second nature illustrated the effectiveness of it all. Too often Health and Safety is laborious and pedantic, missing the point and not achieving the goal. For this team it was excellent. As ex-military I could appreciate the quality of their preparation, planning and execution - all in all a long-winded way to say you are in very good hands.

Onto the island and again, relevant and pertinent safety briefing which did not detract from the tour and I am going to say no more about the visit to the island other than that you really must do it as I don't want to detract from the surprises and amazing experience. I noted the helicopter tours but can honestly say that there could be no substitute for practical "hands-on" experience. Do look at the photos I have included - these do not tell the whole story but will give a you a taste, hopefully to whet your appetite!

Back to the boat for lunch, a quick tour around the outside of the island and back by mid-afternoon. From start to finish a really epic adventure - thanks to Rachel and the rest of her team ;>) haha!

Nothing's perfect and a few things I would have liked to see improved though I'm sure the team have good reasons for all of these but having been told to be ready by 8:30 we were standing around for an hour waiting for the boat to be prepared - a little communication at this time and advice to arrive by 9:15 rather than 8:30 would have helped as a few people were getting a bit disgruntled. We were told to bring a bottle of water, which we did, but complimentary bottles of water on boarding would have been a nice touch - especially if they were branded for a "souvenir". We were given bottles of water with lunch so this probably wouldn't have been a great challenge. The big one was the missed swimming opportunity after returning to the boat. We hadn't realised this - maybe we missed it on the website - but taking swimsuit and towel for the chance to have a swim off White Island was a great opportunity sadly missed.

All of that said, I have given it five stars and although there were a few minor things, overall it was one of the best tourist tours I have ever taken, I have absolutely no reservations in recommending it to everyone.

I do recommend booking ahead but do be aware that access to the island is dependent upon the OFFSHORE weather conditions. We booked for three days at the White Island Rendezvous motel - another good decision - but bear in mind the day you book for the weather may not be good so do check the forecast.

Thank robinstanford2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WITManagement, Manager at White Island Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2018

Hi Robinstandford2012,
Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive your review. We're pleased to hear you enjoyed your tour and the experience to step-foot onto an active volcano - it truly is one of a kind. Addressing your feedback, I wish to say thank you for the points you highlighted. We encourage all our passengers to bring their own bottle of water with them as (company-wide) we're trying to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that we use. For this reason, we will soon no longer be offer bottled water on our tours completely, but rather offering for people to fill their own bottles up via a filtration system. Though small, we feel this will improve our environmental footprint greatly. The opportunity to swim off the island is dependent on conditions and at the discretion of the skipper on the day. It is listed on our website as a possible "extra". Nevertheless, it was great to hear that these points didn't impact your overall experience of the day and we thank you for sharing your experience. Cheers!

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