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Hero image for Looking at New Zealand - White Island

Looking at New Zealand - White Island

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1967

This edition of the 60s Sunday night magazine show travels to New Zealand’s most active volcano: White Island, situated offshore in the Bay of Plenty. The thermal activity on the privately owned scenic reserve is vividly captured as the camera roams the roaring, shuddering landscape and ventures past seething fumaroles into the crater. The tenuous history of human engagement with ‘Whakaari’ is covered: from Maui and Māori myth to the derelict remains of sulphur mining; including a 1914 eruption that killed 11 miners (with their black cat the only survivor). 

The island gives its few visitors an almost fearful sense of loneliness — a place where time could be cut short. And no wonder, for everyone who does come here is all too well aware of its grim history ... of how the 1911 company’s efforts to work the island’s sulphur deposits came to a disastrous end.
– From the narration, on the 11 men killed on the island in 1914

Produced by

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NZ Broadcasting Corporation