White Island eruption survivor 'relaxes' during volcanic getaway

Six months after the Whakaari/White Island eruption, survivor Kelsey Waghorn has spent the weekend at the base of three other New Zealand volcanoes.

Waghorn, a tour guide, was severely injured during the 2019 eruption which killed 21 people including her colleagues Hayden-Marshall Inman and Tipene Maangi.

She suffered burns to 45 percent of her body, including on her arms, hands, stomach and legs and has undergone several surgeries to receive skin grafts.

The marine biologist has been sharing updates to her social media accounts about her recovery and her latest adventure, a weekend away in Ohakune.

Waghorn said she had "huge anxiety" about the trip which would bring her right under Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro.

"What if I have a flashback? What if I'm overwhelmed with anxiety the whole time? What if I fall and hurt myself again? What if there's too many people? What if one of the volcanoes erupt?

"I don't know if I was stupid or brave for staying at the base of three active volcanos for a break away with friends, but it's hard to avoid volcanoes in New Zealand."

She said she came armed with breathing and grounding techniques and an extraction plan in case the break became overwhelming, but Waghorn said the escape ended up being "amazing".

"We had snow, blue skies, chocolate eclairs, mulled wine, snowboarding (obviously not me...) and so many laughs. I felt so 'normal' again, and I actually relaxed for the first time in seven-months."

"Although I will admit, I had one eye on the mountains the whole time. But I don't think you can blame me for that one."

Only a week ago Waghorn also returned to the sea for the first time since the eruption.

"A momentous day! 207 days since I was last on the ocean, and today made my face hurt from smiling so much," she told followers.