GeoNet continuously monitors New Zealand's active volcanoes.

What to do in a volcanic eruption.


New Zealand's active volcanoes include Raoul Island (in the Kermadec Islands), the Auckland Volcanic Field, the large caldera volcanoes of Taupo and Okataina, and the active cones of Taranaki/Egmont, Ruapehu, Tongariro-Ngauruhoe and White Island. Particular attention is paid to the frequently active volcanoes (Ruapehu, Tongariro-Ngauruhoe and White Island).

Local, regional and central government authorities, plus the aviation and tourism industries, media and the public, need to know if there are any changes to the volcanoes' behaviour. The overall activity is quantified by setting a Volcanic Alert Level from 0 to 5 for each volcano. Responding agencies in New Zealand are notified whenever the alert level changes, and they use it to determine the type and scope of their responses. Volcanic Alert Bulletins are issued whenever there is a significant change in volcanic activity in New Zealand.

Aviation Colour Codes

Aviation Colour Codes are based on four colours and are intended for quick reference only in the international civil aviation community; they are part of the ICAO International Airways Volcano Watch system (IAVW). The Aviation Colour Code reflects conditions at or near a volcano and are not intended to pertain to hazards posed at a distance or downwind by drifting ash. The codes range from GREEN to RED.

Image Gallery

A selection of dramatic images from New Zealand's volcanic centres.

Monitoring Methods

Activity is monitored using the technique of Volcanic Surveillance. Multiple areas of science are used in studying the behaviour of a volcano. Data from all disciplines are collected, analysed and cross-referenced, to help give an understanding of behaviour at the volcanoes and an insight to future eruptions.

Our Volcanoes

All about New Zealand's volcanoes, their most recent activity, and how we monitor them.

Volcanic Alert Levels

In New Zealand, we use a system of Volcanic Alert Levels to define the current status of each volcano. The alert levels range from 0 to 5. The alert levels are used to guide any appropriate response.

Volcano FAQ

Frequently asked questions about volcanoes.

Volcano Glossary

A glossary of volcano-related terms.

Volcano Links

A list of links to other websites with further volcano-related information.

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GeoNet is a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission and GNS Science.

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