Mount Tongariro erupts
New Zealand History’s website has a wonderful timeline which informs us that on this day, November the thirteenth, in 1896 Mount Tongariro ‘erupted spectacularly’. This initial eruption started a series which continued on for almost a year and it makes fascinating reading browsing the contemporary accounts on Papers Past. Te Ara have a picture of Tongariro erupting that they have dated as likely from this time.
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Showing Ketetahi sulphur springs on Mount Tongariro, 2 October 1902, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19021002-7-3
New Zealand’s volcanoes are part of the ‘ring of fire’ which contains around three quarters of the world’s active volcanoes. Tongariro, along with Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, is one of the three active volcanoes in the National Park bearing its name. Along with Tarawera and White Island These three volcanoes are part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which is extremely active on a world scale.
Ref: Tourist Department for The Auckland Weekly News, Three noted New Zealand volcanoes: Tongariro (showing the red crater), Ngauhoe and Ruapehu, Taupo, Auckland. 22 September 1904. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS19040922-12-1
At Auckland Libraries we have a great amount of photographs of New Zealand’s volcanoes: active, dormant and extinct. Here is a selection of our images of Mount Tongariro:
Ref: James D. Richardson, Showing a map of the Tongariro District, 1891, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-3688
Ref: Frederick George Radcliffe, Looking north from Waimarino Main Trunk Line towards Tongariro National Park showing Mount Ruapehu (centre) and Mount Ngaruhoe (distance, left), about 1910s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 35-R1195
Ref: G.B. Scott, Aerial view of Tongariro National Park, showing (from front to back) the Blue Lake, Mount Tongariro, Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu, 1960s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 996-60
Ref: G.B. Scott, Showing Lake Rotoaira with Mount Tongariro in the background, 1960s, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 996-245
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, A remnant of former prosperity: A deserted Māori village at Rotoaira, under the shadow of Mount Tongariro, Auckland, N.Z., 24 June 1909, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19090624-14-2
For more information and wonderful images of volcanic activity do have a look at the following books:
Gordon Ell, Volcanoes and thermal wonders. (2004)
Karen Williams and Harry Keys, Ruapehu erupts. (2008)