Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Here you can watch Mother nature’s force in play. The Kilauea volcano is continuously erupting since 1982. Experience this wonder of nature by foot or helicopter. There are also boat tours that let you visit the area where molten lava turns the ocean into a cloud of steam. The National Park also offers exceptional hiking trails.
Opening hours: 24 hours 365 days a year.
Kilauea Visitor Center is open daily from 7.45am – 5pm. You can watch the 25 minute film “Born of Fire…Born of the Sea” there, which plays every full hour starting at 9am. Last show is at 4pm.
The Jaggar Museum is named after Dr. Thomas Jaggar, who established the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1912 . It displays various exhibits like lava samples, vintage scientific equipment and diagrams and drawings that explain the history and behavior of Hawaiian volcanoes.
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 5pm daily, Free
The Volcano House is a historic lodge built directly on the slopes of the Kilauea crater. It is the only hotel and public dining place inside the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park (there is also a snack bar and a gift shop). It has been offering accommodation for the last 125 years and is the oldest continuously operated hotel in Hawaii. Nestled in beautiful native forests and famous for its fresh air (if there is trade winds!), the Volcano House can be a great starting point for hikes and other volcano tours.
Phone: (808) 967-7321
The Volcano House also houses the Volcano Art Center Gallery (VAC), which is a nonprofit, educational organization. It was founded in 1974 and helps to promote, develop, and perpetuate the artistic and cultural Hawaiian heritage with exhibits, demonstrations and special events.
Opening hours: 9 am - 5 pm daily
Kipuka Puaulu or “Bird Park” is a piece of forested land that is surrounded by lava. For some reason the flow spared this 100 acres land. This park gives you a glimpse of ancient Hawaii and shows you how different the surrounding vegetation is. It is a very relaxing hang-out where you can hear native birds. Length: around 2miles, free.
Address: Highway 11 turn right onto Mauna Loa Road. Drive about 2 miles in. The park is on the right hand side.
Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)
The Thurston Lava Tube is around 400 years old and around 600 feet long. The entire tube is lit and the ceilings are between 10 and 30 feet high. The parking lot is located on Crater Rim Road. A short paved trail will lead you to the tube.
Puu Loa Petroglyphs
There are over 15,000 individual rock carvings at this site in Volcano National Park which pre-date western contact. The trail is located on Chain of Craters Rd, is about 0.7 miles long in uneven lava terrain. More about Puu Loa Petroglyphs
Lava Flow into Ocean
Thousands of visitors have visited the new lava flow of the Puna Volcano Kilauea. The Puna people living in this area are a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of people arriving, bringing more traffic and sometimes leaving a lot of trash behind. We would like to see people be more aware and clean up after themselves.
The lava access road is open at 2 p.m. until 10 p.m daily. The last cars will be allowed in the gate at 8 p.m. so that state and county workers can clear the area by the time the area closes.
To get there, take Highway 130 past Pahoa until the highway ends at the access road to the lava viewing area.
After parking along the two-mile access road, walk to the trailhead and then hike about a half-mile over old lava to the viewing site. Bring water and a flashlight for night viewing.
At sunrise and sunset you can also take a lava-viewing trip with Lava Ocean Adventures, where you can watch the lava flow meeting the ocean from a boat.