Friday, March 2, 2012

White Island, New Zealand

As part of my ongoing study of New Zealand customs and culture I had the opportunity to tour White Island this week.  An hour and a half out of the port of Whakatane, White Island is a privately owned, active volcano.    Of note to fellow tinkerers is the abandoned sulfur works.  A number of attempts to mine and process sulfur resulted in some incredible feats of ingenuity in this remote and unstable location.  At one stage a camp was established next to a Gannet colony on top of a cliff.  Each day a boat was lowered to the water so that miners could row to crater bay to access the processing plant.  Ore was mined and extracted using the Frasch process well into the 20th century.

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