The eruption of Mt Tongariro on New Zealand's North Island today has caused flight cancellations leaving hundreds of travellers stranded.
Domestic flights east of Mt Torgariro which includes airports in Gisborne, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier and Palmerston North are experiencing interruptions.
Air New Zealand general manager of airline operations and safety Captain David Morgan said the airline is working with authorities to adjust flight routes and altitudes to ensure its aircraft remain clear of ash and keep travellers flying safely.
Despite a sulphur-like smell in the air and dark clouds near Mt Tongariro, motel owners in nearby Waiouru, Turangi and Tokaanu have not been affected by ash.
Locals have been warned to check their water supplies if they have been contaminated and told to disconnect tank water supplies.
Head of the Australian Weather Bureau's Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre Dr Andrew Tupper said there would need to be significant on-going eruptions for the volcano to cause serious disruptions across the Tasman.
"If it continues to explode, the main effect would be on trans-Tasman flights,” Dr Tupper said.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W