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Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

Coffs Harbour...
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Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

We will be in Whakatane in January and have decided to do a tour of White island from Whakatane.

We are deliberating on the cost of the helicopter tour versus the boat tour. Would really like to do the helicopter tour but hesitant due to cost.

I would really appreciate some local feedback on these tours.

Thank you in adavnce:-)

New Zealand
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1. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

Helicopter all the way! :) If you can afford it then it's a great option especially as you get to land and tour the island as well. And especially if the weather is a bit unsettled you can still enjoy it. You can also catch the helicopter from Rotorua so maybe no need to stay overnight in Whakatane if you don't want to (and see a bit more of the geothermal area and Rotorua lakes on the way to the coast)

The boat ride is over an hour each way and while great on a calm day you're crossing the open ocean and it can cut up rough, one positive with the boat ride is that you're likely to see dolphins, penguins and lots of sea birds (if you do take the boat make sure you take a sea sickness remedy, even on a clam day the swell can catch you out)

Rotorua, New Zealand
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2. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

The helicopter is absolutely the way to go, if your budget allows, and yes, there is a great team in Rotorua to take you out there - Helipro.

With Helipro you can then take in a second major attraction on the way back, which is to land on top of Mount Tarawera and look down the rift valley that formed in 1886, Waimangu. Just Fabulous!

Leuven, Belgium
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3. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

I did the tour two times with the boat and both occasions rocked! Very knowledgable staff, the ascent to the pier with the small rubberboats adds a bit of adventure and if I'm not mistaken the time on the volcano is tad longer.

Anayway you go, an incredible experience. I would do it again in a blink.

Coffs Harbour NSW
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4. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

Helicopter with Vulcan air is the way to go They are the only helicopter company allowed to land on White Island. And you need to have a look around the island to appreciate the awesome beauty of the place, one of the most magical places on earth. Do yourself a favour and pay to fly with Vulcan you will remember it forever especially the view as you arrive at the island

Coffs Harbour...
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5. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

Thank you for the input ...the helicopter seems to be the way to go and one to remember forever but will wait and see how the budget pans out when we get there.

Post Christmas it has taken a bit of a dent!!

Edited: 30 December 2011, 23:41
Leicestershire, UK
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6. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

We did the trip by boat in February 2010, the day before the tsunami - which of course brought all shipping and flights there to a standstill.

We were very lucky that the weather was calm, sunny and hot, but the boat trip over and back was just fantastic - we saw pods of dolphins, feeding gannets, and also had the time for a swim off White Island after the tour around the volcanic sites and before our picnic lunch was served back on board.

The Island tour was led by some very knowledgable and friendly staff, and we had an amazing day - if your budget won't stretch to the helicopter, I wouldn't feel too deprived - we would do it again the same way any time. We could also recommend the Motel run by the same company who are licensed for the tours - good clean accommodation and a reasonable price.

We'll be heading back to NZ in a month or so, and may well travel the same way again!!

Coffs Harbour...
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7. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

Thanks Tigersal for your comments. We have decided to do the boat and hope that we also have the calm weather :-) The helicopter certainly had appeal but can't justify the extra dollars. I am looking forward to the tour and hopefully we will see some dolphins too!

Coffs Harbour...
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8. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

We have just returned from our trip to NZ and I am pleased to say we had a great time at White Island. We opted for the boat trip and had a great day. We had perfect weather the day we went out and had a massive pod of dolphins swim and play around the boat in the way out. Fantastic!! The tour was well done and the lunch was more than enough and all very fresh! All in all we had a great day and I am pleased we opted for the boat tour in the end:-)

9. Re: Tours to White Isand -helicopter versus boat?

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