Tanna Volcano – 10/9/2011

Written by Josh


Background Information on Mount Yasur

Mount Yasur is an active volcano located 361 meters above sea level on Tanna Island in Vanuatu.  The volcano is essentially an unvegetated cone and has a 400 meter diameter circular crater at its center. The volcano has been erupting for hundreds of years with several eruptions occurring every hour, called strombolian eruptions.  The volcano is safe to visit, but will close if there are any imminent threats.

Interestingly, Captain Cook spotted the volcano’s eruptions when sailing past in 1774 and this drew him to the island, making his crew the first Europeans to visit.

Our Visit

On the 10th of September, we went to the Tanna Volcano with Uncle Brendon and cousin Evie.  We were supposed to leave at 4.30 to get up there before sunset, but they were running late and the truck didn’t arrive until 5.30 pm.

We rode in the back of the ute (pick up truck) and it was a bumpy ride.  There were crater sized potholes and deep ditches, not to mention having to duck the low hanging tree branches.  As we grew closer to the volcano, there was a noticeable smell of sulfur, the clouds had a fire like quality to them and we could hear a distinct rumble like thunder.  Anticipation and excitement were building among my fellow passengers.

We passed a truck and heard some one shout, ‘Enjoy it Deeleys’.  It was our fellow sailors off Citrus Tart, that were on the rally to Vanuatu.

We finally reached the crater after a 50-minute drive.  As we walked to the crater rim, aided by a flashlight and stumbling over rocks, we heard a loud rumble, followed by red hot boulders being launched into the night sky, flying like shooting stars.  We all collected a small piece of volcanic rock to take back as a souvenir.


We watched for about an hour, before undertaking the 40 minute trip back to the truck.  Although the drive was bumpy, Max, Ava and Evie all fell asleep.  By the time we got back to the boat it was 9.45 and we all had a quick bite to eat before going to bed.  It was a long night, but worth every second and I know I’ll never forget it.

Tourist Information

The cost for a trip to the volcano is approximately 3350 per person.  The best time to visit is before sunrise and an hour or two after sunset.

Information updated in 2019

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