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Climb aboard your helicopter, snap into your seatbelt and slip on the provided headsets to hear your pilot-guide’s commentary as you take off from Rotorua. 

Look down upon the Northern Lakes district, which includes Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti, and soar over the geothermal landscape of Hells Gate before leaving the North Island coast to White Island, positioned 31 miles (50 km) offshore within the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

Hover above White Island’s crater lake before landing, then disembark the helicopter for a leisurely 1- to 1.5-hour guided walk on the active volcano’s ever-changing surface. On a tour of the crater floor, stop for photo ops of hot pools and fumaroles as well as the ruins of a sulphur mining factory abandoned in 1933.

You’ll learn about White Island’s gannet colonies as well as native flora, including remnants of a once-thriving pohutukawa forest. Discover how the island’s main steam vent, located below sea level, is protected by the crater walls. 

On your return flight to Rotorua, take in aerial views of the Bay of Plenty.
Locations visited
Lake Rotorua
Hells Gate
Volcanic Air
Fly by helicopter to White Island, New Zealand’s only permanently active offshore volcano. On this 3-hour flight and volcano walking tour from Rotorua, the pilot soars over the Northern Lakes district with aerial views of the active crater before landing on White Island for a guided walking tour. Slip past steaming vents and colorful sulphur formations as you learn about the abandoned mining ruins left behind on its lunar-like landscape.
  • Helicopter flight and walking tour of White Island from Rotorua
  • Trek past active steam vents, hot streams and vibrant sulphur formations on a guided walk on the island
  • Hear informative commentary from an expert pilot-guide
  • Choose from multiple departure times
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See what travellers are saying:
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1 - 5 of 10 reviews
Reviewed 5 April 2018
Awesome expierence!

Our pilot/guide Dave was wonderful. None of my three person group had been in a helicopter before and the ride was smooth as silk! We landed in three different locations, hiked around the crater on the White Island volcano with sulfur fumes and gurgling hot...More

Thank Patricia M
Reviewed 15 March 2018 via mobile

We actually participated in the White Island and Mt. Tataweara *excuse the spelling* helicopter and walking tour and it was amazing.More

Thank John E
VA_Rotorua, Front Office Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator at Volcanic Air, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Hi John, We really appreciate you taking the time to get on to trip advisor and leave us such a shining review. We are delighted to hear that you thought the trip was amazing :) Many thanks and we hope to see you again, The...More

Reviewed 6 February 2018
Amazing experience

This is an incredible experience with a great company. As others have stated, the pilot was incredibly knowledgeable and when we landed on the volcano, he provided a very informative and interesting tour of the island. We have been to other volcanoes (in Hawaii, Guatemala,...More

Thank Blaw10
Reviewed 22 January 2018 via mobile

The helicopter ride to White Island took about 35 minutes. A great way to enjoy the awesome scenery- lake, mountains, farms, etc. Walking the active volcano was incredible. We were given a hard hat and a mask to wear just in case the gases became...More

Thank charlie o
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 16 January 2018 via mobile
My holiday highlight

This was the highlight of my week. Yes going by chopper was more expensive than other options available but worth it if your time is limited. The pilot transforms to be the tour guide on the island and was very informative. No other place in...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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