Witness the awesome power of earth’s volcanic forces and learn how this phenomenon has shaped Hawaiian culture.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a truly unique attraction, home to two volcanoes, including Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world. During your visit you will witness the breathtaking spectacle of the landscape changing in front of you, as lava flows sculpt the surrounding rock. The primal geological forces at work have earned this park a central role in native Hawaiian culture, and you will be able to learn all about the traditional beliefs and sacred rituals as you discover this natural wonder.
A good place to start your trip is at the Kilauea Visitor Center. Watch an introductory film about the park so you can understand the processes you’ll be witnessing, listen to talks given by park rangers or book a place on one of the many guided tours. If you are exploring on your own, pick up park maps and get up to date on the latest eruption news.
Stretching from the summit of Maunaloa, which last erupted in 1984, all the way down to the coast, this park offers over 240 kilometres of hiking trails through massive volcanic craters, lava-scalded landscapes and tropical rainforests.
Head to the East Rift Zone to see the dramatic Puu Oo Vent, where lava that flows down through underground channels finally hits the sea water, or walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, a 500 year old cave made of solidified lava.
Follow the Crater Rim Drive which will take you 17 kilometres around the Kilauea Caldera, the volcanic crater. This volcano has been in constant eruption since 1983, producing around 500,000 cubic metres of lava, enough to cover a 30 kilometre stretch of road, every single day. Despite this tremendous power, you can feel safe as Kilauea is very predictable, and visitors are restricted to the marked trails only.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is approximately 48 kilometres from Hilo. There is a limited bus service. If driving by car, a charge is made per vehicle. However, this includes parking as well as entry for all passengers. Please note that there is no food or drink available in the park, so you’ll need to bring your own.