Mount Yasur Eruption: The Most Incredible Natural Phenomenon We’ve Ever Seen

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Mount Yasur: Mother Nature at Her Most Powerful

High up on my bucket list was coming face-to-face with lava and although we were caught in the messy aftermath of a volcanic eruption in Indonesia while my brother visited, I still hadn’t seen liquid hot magma in person.

That was until we decided to travel to the island nation of Vanuatu after housesitting for five weeks in Adelaide, Australia.

On the tiny island of Tanna in the south of Vanuatu sits the most accessible active volcano in the world, Mount Yasur. So after spending a few days soaking up the rays of the pristine White Beach where we met some locals who showed us how they used coconut to wash their hair we secured some cheap local transport to take us across the island for the following day.

Now I knew the transport would be a truck but what I didn’t expect is that my ass would be subject to repeated pounding for about an hour and a half.

I should elaborate.

Being the gentleman I am I rode with the Vanuatu boys in the bed of the truck while Alyse took the passenger seat. I was doing quite well back there for the first thirty minutes but then the road become very rough as our driver decided to take a “scenic”route through some rough village roads.

Was it beautiful? Yes. Was I being tossed around like a puppies chew toy? Yes. Did I get out of the truck feeling like I was a character on Oz? Absolutely. Was I faking the smile in the photo below? You better believe it!

Riding in the back of a truck on Tanna, Vanuatu

Ok so the ride wasn’t great but I really couldn’t complain much with views like this one as we approached the last stretch to Mount Yasur.

Panoramic view of Mount Yasur

The next day Alyse and I as well as the French couple we met on the other side of the island began our trek up to the crater of Mount Yasur. After the initial shock of having to fork over $34 USD each for the entrance fee waned we began to notice that the path we were on was smoking and the distinctive sulphur smell began to overpower everything else. It was around this time that we all covered our mouths with our buffs. I just wanted to take this opportunity to just say if you don’t own a buff, it is one of the most versatile travel accessories we have in our arsenal!

As we neared the crater we found along the path one of Mount Yasur’s most famous landmarks which is the world’s only volcanic post! Alyse had prepared for just this occasion and with some postcards addressed to our family back home mailed them from the top of a Volcano which I think is pretty cool!

Post box on Mount Yasur

After climbing the last few metres to the top we found ourselves on the edge of Mount Yasur’s crater just in time for sunset. It doesn’t matter how many sunsets I’ve seen around the world, I never tire of them.

Sunset on Mount Yasur

As soon as the sun had completely set and darkness fell on the picturesque island the real show began. As Alyse and I sat on the edge of the crater waiting patiently for an eruption that we knew would come without warning I quietly thought to myself, “What are the chances that Mount Yasur will completely unleash tonight?”

And then, BOOM!!!

I almost pissed myself. As the ground shook under me like an intense earthquake and lava exploded sky high, I could only think holy shit this is the coolest fucking thing I’ve ever seen!  Seriously just the most intense natural phenomena on the planet knocking Kawah Ijen down from its top spot which if you know how much I loved that trip you’ll have an idea of just how incredible this experience was. 

The four of us were the last ones to leave that evening as we were all pretty content watching mother nature put on a spectacular display of her raw power.

Mount Yasur eruption

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Ross & Alyse



Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.

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