These photos were taken on White Island earlier this year. White Island is New Zealand's only active marine volcano and is off the coast of Whakatane. It is a very desolate environment and has been likened to a moonscape. For more information on this fabulous place visit http://www.whiteisland.co.nz/white_island.html As you can imagine nothing much would grow in this environment so I was surprised to see this lone plant.
I led a trip for a group that I belong to "Women In Action Taranaki". There were ten others beside myself and originally we intended crossing to the island by boat. Unforunately the weather wasn't great and I had a very dissapointed group of women when the boat trip was called off the evening before. The next morning we were preparing to do a tramp which I had organised as an alternative programme when one of my fellow travellers came to me with the idea of taking a helicopter trip out to the island. As this was considerably more expensive and everyone would have to come up with the extra money there was a lot of discussion but in the end all eleven of us decided to do the helicopter trip. It was well worth the extra cost and in the end considerably less than coming back at a later date when the boat trip could be cancelled again.
Whakatane is about 5 hours by road from New Plymouth.