Hawaii – Volcanoes … Blown away

Sorry, that was a bad pun.

As soon as we found out that we were going to Hawaii the one thing we really wanted to do was a helicopter flight over the volcano.  After all,  how often do you get to see volcanoes.

We ended up flying with Paradise Helicopters as they were the only company that fly without doors.  We flew over a remote volcano South of Hilo called Pu’u ‘Ō’ō.  There was a bit of activity going on with views of magma,  and the glow of red hot lava. With the doors off you could really feel the heat coming off the magma and smell the sulfur in the air.

Sorry you’ll need to check back for photos as I could only use a camera with a strap.

After a feed of local fruit  we bought at the local farmers markets (including some we’ve never seen before), we went for drive down the east coast to check out some further sights including the black sands at Kalapana. It really wasn’t a beach as such but you could hear the ocean churning the lava rocks and pounding them into smaller and smaller sizes.


As it was on dusk on our way back we debated whether we would make the 60 mile (100km) detour out to the Kilauea viewing area as it was meant to be really good.

Was it worth it.


Hell yes!

They call this volcano the drive in volcano as you can drive within 100 meters of the viewing platform.

We found out the next day from excited guides that the magma hasn’t been this high (or visible) since 2008 and last night’s activity was the most spectacular.

Today we spent 7 hours driving and walking around the Volcano National Park.  It’s a spectacular place which had us in wonder at every turn, with the destruction, the power, the beauty, and the enormity.  We hiked through lava fields, through a lava tube,  over lava flows that were the same age as us and held rocks formed only 5 days ago.

Here is a sample –
Kilauea certainly wasn’t as impressive in the daylight


in a lava tube


new life


what looks like opalised rock


honeycomb rock that was so light.


rock that looks like welders slag


roads cut through the lava flow


ancient native petroglyphs carved into the lava


and to cap it off – on our drive to Kona we dropped in to have a look at this black sand beach.


What more can I say.  Volcanoes … They just blew me away.

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