Camp fires don't come much bigger - or more spectacular - than this.

Kiwi Simon Turner took toasting marshmallows to the extreme this week when he threw his rod out over an active lava lake inside Marcum Crater in Ambrym, Vanuatu.

The expat helicopter pilot, who owns Air Taxi Vanuatu, used a spare tent peg which he took on the 400m deep descent towards the lava lake - where temperatures reach up to 1,100°C.

"It tasted really good," said Turner, who washed the marshmallow down with a beer.


The pilot dangled the marshmallow over the lava lake where the radiant heat was at its hottest, so it didn't take too long to cook.

Auckland-based cameraman Bradley Ambrose said the marshmallows were perfectly cooked; crispy on the outside, and gooey in the middle. And the noxious fumes spewed out from the volcano didn't harm the flavour.

"I've done the old marshmallows around campfires as a youngster and nothing beats this," said Ambrose, who with fellow cameraman and adventurer Geoff Mackley has made more than a dozen trips down into the crater. Ambrose was sprayed with lava last week, but managed to deflect the burning liquid rock away, suffering only minor burns.

"There was no time to be scared, it just splashed all around me."

Ambrose will spend another two months in Vanuatu taking film groups to the lava lake.