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A volcano is a mountain or hill with a crater or vent, which spews out lava, gas and rock fragments from the earth’s crust. Volcanoes can be extinct (will never erupt again), dormant (might erupt again) or active (busy erupting).

New Zealand has many volcanoes. In fact, Auckland, our biggest city is built on a field of volcanoes. The old volcano cones are classified as dormant, meaning they could erupt again, but history has shown that the field is moving steadily north. The last eruption in the Auckland field occurred just over six hundred years ago when the island Rangitoto, a short ferry ride from the central city, erupted and formed into an island.

Rangitoto

This is the cone of Rangitoto Island, which is visible from many parts of Auckland.

Mt Eden

This is the crater of Mt Eden, which is not far from the central city of Auckland.

LakeTaupo

This is Lake Taupo, (area 238 square miles) which is in the center of the North Island. The lake is an old volcano crater, which erupted around 27,000 years ago to form the caldera. Around 1800 years ago, the eruption, known as the Taupo eruption, occurred. This was the most violent eruption to occur in 5000 years and was recorded at the time by the Romans and the Chinese. The present chamber of magma is around 6 kilometers below the lake. The trio of mountains in the background are all volcanoes.

Ngaruahoe

This is Mt Ngauruhoe, which is one of the three volcanoes visible across Lake Taupo.

Ruapehu

This is Mount Ruapehu, another one of the trio of volcanoes. Both Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, plus the third one Tongariro are periodically active. Mount Tongariro erupted unexpectedly last year after 100 years of lying dormant.

And finally, our most active volcano – an island off the coast of the Bay of Plenty in the North Island.

White Island

I find volcanoes fascinating, although I suspect we won’t have much fun if a new volcano pops up in the Auckland field. It’s certainly not impossible.

Do you have any volcanoes near you?

5 Comments

  1. anna@herding cats & burning soup

    Amazing photos. Nope no volcanoes near me. I’ve seen a few on travels though but just from a distance.

    • Shelley Munro

      I think it’s good that you’re not near any. You never know with volcanoes…

  2. Mary Kirkland

    Loved the pictures. The only dormant volcano I’ve ever been to was Mt Rainier in Washington state when we lived there when I was 6 years old.

    • Shelley Munro

      Hubby and I visited Mt. Rainier a few years ago. There were spring flowers everywhere, and it was very pretty.

  3. Heather

    No volcanoes anywhere near me, or even a single mountain, though we do have some high hills and bluffs carved out by glaciers. No major fault lines, either. The last earthquake that originated in Wisconsin was in 1947, though in recent years we have felt tremors from quakes in Illinois and Missouri.

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