Whakaari/White Island is an active andesite stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. The nearest mainland towns are Whakatane and Tauranga.
The full Māori name for the island is 'Te Puia o Whakaari', meaning 'The Dramatic Volcano.' It was named 'White Island' by Captain Cook on October 1, 1769 because it always appeared to be in a cloud of white steam. Although Cook went close to the island he failed to notice that it was a volcano. Its official name is Whakaari/White Island although it is best known as White Island.
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