This active volcano is one of the world’s most accessible. In fact, 4WD vehicles can get to within 150m of the crater rim. Mt Yasur’s ash-laden smoke has smothered the vegetation, reducing the landscape to an alien prehistoric desert, with the gaunt shapes of surviving pandanus palms adding to the surrealistic view.
The level of activity within Yasur fluctuates between dangerous and relatively calm, but when it’s hot it’s hot. Along the path to the crater rim, there are whiffs of sulphur and whooshing, roaring noises. Ahead is a silhouette of people on the rim, golden fireworks behind them. Then you’re looking into a dark central crater where three vents take it in turns to spit rockets of red-molten rock and smoke. The ground trembles and a fountain of fiery magma shoots up and spreads against the sky.
Some visitors find Yasur terrifying; it’s definitely unforgettable.