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New Zealand Volcanoes


New Zealand Volcanoes

New Zealand Volcanoes

In New Zealand there are 3 major volcano types: the cone volcano, the volcanic field, and the caldera volcano.
An example of a cone volcano is Mount Ruapehu which is located at the Taupo Volcanic Zone’s southern end, the area most often active. This region encompasses an area stretching from Ruapehu to White Island. Frequently active, Ruapehu is one of New Zealand’s biggest active volcanoes. In the past, Mt. Ruapehu has erupted many times; 2 times in the 1800s and 7 times in the 1900s. The latest eruptions happened in 1995 and 1996.


New Zealand’s North Island regions are covered by volcanic activity from Whangarei, he Bay of Islands, White Island, Auckland, Egmont, and Ruapehu. The Taupo Volcanic Zone is the most active encompassing the region from Taupo to White Island.

The volcanoes which are cone-shaped create consecutive eruptions close to the vent, thus forming a big cone. The area of eruptions in the future can then be predicted with logical precision.


Okataina and Taupo, the world’s 2 most prolific caldera volcanoes are located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The caldera type volcano is usually so big that the earth’s surface collapses or falls into the cavern that it leaves in its wake. The humungous hole filled by Lake Taupo is the result of two explosions which occurred approximately one thousand eight hundred to two thousand six hundred years ago, and was reportedly witnessed in skies as far as China.

The North Island is where most volcanic activities occur. The areas that suffered the most from past volcanic episodes were the coast of the Bay of Plenty and the region of the Tongariro National Park. Inside the Tongariro National Park is located the mountains of Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, and Tongariro.


Tongariro, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, Mount Tarawera, and White Island are the North Island’s currently active volcanoes. Although Rangitoto and Mount Taranaki (a.k.a. Mount Egmont) are classified as sleeping or dormant, they are still regarded as hazardous.

Auckland City is a volcanic field. Within a volcanic field, a small volcano is created by every eruption which does not erupt for a second time. Nevertheless, another eruption may happen in a different part of the field, and these eruptions are unpredictable practically until the actual point of explosion.

Volcanic eruptions in the region of Auckland started approximately a hundred and fifty thousand years ago. The last major eruption was that of Rangitoto which took place just six hundred years ago.
Even though small earthquakes are somewhat common in New Zealand, its seismic activity is comparatively moderate.

Volcanoes in New Zealand

Aside from the Northland peninsula, the chief seismic area of the country extends over the entire North Island. On the night of June 9, 1886, following a sequence of continuous quakes ever since midnight, a fierce eruption happened close to the Rotorua township. The peak of neighboring Mount Wahanga was totally blown off, creating a thick dark cloud covering the area from Paeroa to Taheke. It then turned into an accumulation of thunder and lightening which went on continuously through the night. Soon after, close by Mount Tarawera and Ruawahia , its twin cone, burst into action, spewing fire.



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