Volcanoes in New Zealand?
World volcano Profiles >New Zealand
New Zealands volcanoes are located on North Island mostly within the Taupo Volcanic Zone. New Zealand is one of the most tectonically active countries in the world and sits astride the plate margin between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate. The majority of North Islands active volcanoes are witin the Taupo Volcanic Zone, an area of extension (down faulted graben) caused by the subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the Australian plate. The Pacific Plate is sinking beneath the Australian at a rate of 5cms/year. Rotorua,Tarawera, Taupo and White Island lie witihin the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
The TVZ extends from the centre of North Island from Ruapehu to White Island in the Bay of Plenty and has been active for the last 1.6 million years. The zone is the result of extension and subsidence causing a back arc basin. As the crust thins magma from the mantle can well up, add in the subduction zone and New Zealands North Island is a volcanic wonderland. There is a mixture of volcanic activity types. Lake Taupo hides an enormous supervolcano, Ruapehu is an andesitic strato volcano and Tarawera effuses sticky rhyolite lava domes.
Unlike the North Island the South Island has no active volcanoes because here the plate boundary is not subduction but is a conservative or strike slip boundary where the the two plates side past each other. There are some remannts of old volcanoes such as the Otago and Banks peninsulars which were active 20 million years ago.
Taupo, Rotorura and Ruapehu are the most accessible. White Island and Tarawera have more restricted but still possible with some cash.