Although privately owned, White Island Volcano became a Private Scenic Reserve in 1953, Aerius Helicopters has committed to responsible tourism an ongoing commitment to contribute to conservation on preserving the natural environment for future generations to come.
As White Island is privately owned the owners have restricted access in place, meaning visitors cannot land without permission, however, operators like ourselves can share this unique place with you. Because of the human impact that can be made to the island, we stick to small group tours of 10 visitors at a time and all our guides stick to a certain trail loop on the island to reduce human impact, this includes other operators that have access to visit the island also.
As White Island has Gannet colonies on the island this has been identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) so our staff are very conscious around wildlife – being sensitive to their space and environment, we educate the visitors we bring to the island of this and other important environmental impacts as well as the history the island brings to New Zealand.
There are minimal man-made structures on White Island, there are the remains from the sulphur mining days which provide a history to the island, the scientific monitoring equipment, a safety container in case of a natural disaster and heli-pads that other operators use. Aerius Helicopters has chosen not to participate in having a heli-pad due to keeping the man-made structures to a minimal if in the future having a heli-pad has a positive impact on preserving the natural environment then Aerius Helicopters will then participate in providing a heli pad.
There is a strict policy in place that nothing is to be taken off the island “take only photo’s leave only footprints” All of Aerius Helicopters staff are continually enforcing this to passengers as well as informing visitors on the potential impact of their visit, any rubbish found on the island including anything washed up from the sea will then be taken back to Aerius Helicopters base and disposed of according to our waste separation plan.
What you can do to during your experience with Aerius Helicopters
• If you have rubbish our crew are more than happy to help take it off your hands and dispose of correctly.
• Please do not take any “souvenirs” off the island.
• Listen to your guide and stick to the trail on the island to reduce human impact.
• Take the time to fill in our survey forms - to make suggestion on improving customer experience.