Can’t recommend White Island, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, enough. The obvious comparison is that it was like walking on Mars. We were guided through drained sulpherous lakes past massive vents that shot out superheated invisible sulpher dioxide that created clouds that blocked out the sun. We saw green lakes, odour-less sluphur deposits and walked through the ruins of a mining company’s attempts to build a factory that had fallen victim to an eruption. You could tell it was a bit dangerous by the fact that they gave us gas masks and hard hats but they weren’t needed. Excellent day.

To even things up a bit, Gisborne (our following stop) was thoroughly horrible and our hostel even worse. We’re now in a much better hostel in a much nicer town - Napier - and are looking forward to doing some wine and beer tours and exploring the Art Deco buildings along the seafront. Apparantly the majority of the town’s buildings were levelled by an earthquake in the thirties and re-built at the height of the Art Deco movement.