Hawai‘I Volcanoes National Park

Address: Kau, Hawaii

Latitude: 19.4000000

Longitude: -155.3000000

Time Zone: Hawaii Standard Time

Categories: Activities, Attraction

Tags: Family, Cultural, Outdoors


Chances are you came to the Big Island planning to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you are a visitor, you could spend your entire vacation visiting the park and volcanic eruption sites.

When you enter the park, you get a brochure that helps you know where to find the main attractions. These days, that would be Jaggar Museum where you can see the plume of the current eruption, and the ever popular Thurston Lava Tube. On the right will be the visitor center. It is worth it to stop there and get your bearings, perhaps talk to a ranger. If you have plenty of time, sit down in the theater and watch a film of the volcano in action. It will help orient you to where you are, and help you understand better what you are about to experience in real life.

Most people who come to the park want to see lava in action. Lava flowing on the ground. For that, you may have to drive to Kalapana, or take a lavaboat or helicopter tour. But to see the glow of the lava in the volcano, you have only to return to Jaggar Museum at dusk and walk from the parking lot over to the viewing area. Wear a jacket, as it is chilly at night.

If you have an interest in Hawaiian culture, you may be able to time your visit to coincide with cultural events in the park, such as the cultural festival in July or Hula Kahiko that happens on and off throughout the year. There are events such as the Park After Dark, and special ranger led tours of places within the park you otherwise could not attend. Events in the park are often free - those at Kilauea Military Camp Theater usually cost about $15 or so to attend.

To make it easier to understand the park and what it has to offer, it is helpful to realize it extends to all the volcanos of Hawaii, including Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa as well as Kilauea on the Big Island. Each location has magnificent features well worth the journey.

There are separate reviews of many of the park features on this site - look at Mauna Kea, Jaggar Museum, Petroglyphs at the park, Thurston Lava Tube, and the Sea Arch for examples.
Volcanoes National Park is a great place to see Kileau, Hawaii's active volcano. You can stand above the caldera and see hot steam from the crater. The visitor center, Volcano Ark Center, and The Jager Museum, all located in the park have lots of great information about how the islands were formed, cultural information, and much more!

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