Posts Tagged ‘volcanoes national park’

Grab some popcorn and check out the movie that my husband made featuring Pu’uhonua o Honaunau off the coast of Kona, and Volcanoes National Park!

Feature Film of Hawaii

Hope that you enjoy this video with sea life and Kilauea!

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The next part of our tour of the Volcanoes National Park took us to the caldera known as Kilauea Iki. This part of the volcano is a pit crater. It was in August of 1959 that a swarm of earthquakes occurred and a new cinder cone formed. They named this cone Puʻu Puaʻi, which translates to “gushing hill.” We were walking on a trail leading up to the crater pit marveling at the greenery, when it opened up to this view!

First View of Kilauea Iki

We were standing so high above the caldera here and the view was breathtaking. There is a dark shelf at the bottom of the cone and this is where the lava gushed back in 1959. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, then look at the bottom right corner you will actually see people on the caldera floor where the gusher occurred!

Pit Crater of Kilauea Iki

Here they are as close up as I could get them!

The floor of Kilauea Iki

Next is a close up view of the dome.

The top of the dome

And finally a panoramic view of the whole caldera.

Panoramic of Kilauea Iki

As we walked away from the caldera we noticed alongside the trail these dark spots. It turns out they are what I call rifts that drop down to who knows how deep. In one area we noticed hot air coming from below.

A rift

We next head off to the Jagger museum and along the way find the steam vents. Stay tuned!

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When we left off, we were at one area of the park where were got our first view of Kilauea! It was amazing! We left there and found ourselves at the Thurston Lava Tubes. The area: A rainforest!

We found ourselves feeling like Alice did in Alice in Wonderland, finding ourselves as tiny creatures amongst the biggest ferns I think I have ever seen.

A perspective on the size of the plants

My husband is in this photo on the bottom left corner. The fern emerges directly opposite him!

Fiddlesticks? The emerging fern leaves are called fiddles, and were were amongst some of the biggest I have ever seen!

One big fiddle!

These ferns were so amazing, and I took loads of photos!

A glorious fern fiddle

The center of a giant fern

Up close and personal

The colors are quite amazing as these things open up.

The fiddles as it opens

The red in the leaves of the ferns was used by the earlier Hawaiians as a dye.

Newly opened fern leaf

I hope that you enjoyed these ferns as much as I did! They are part of the rainforest here surrounds that surrounds the Thurston Lava Tube where we will head in Part III!

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There is so much to see of Kilauea, that I decided to break this down into parts. So this is part 1 of our journey through the Volcanoes National Park!

Entrance to the park

Our first stop took us down a trail that leads to the one of the viewing areas of Kilauea.

On the way to see the Kilauea caldera

We walk around a corner of the trail and there she is: Kilauea!

First view of Kilauea

The opening to the is pretty big, so I took a couple of photos and stitched them together. I used my zoom lens for this shot. Be sure to click on the photo to see the details in this panoramic view.


My favorite author, Mark Twain, visited the volcanoes. There is a plaque that takes an excerpt from his book “Roughing It.”

Mark Twain was here

What is really interesting is watching how the sulfur plume changes.

The sulfur that pours out is continually changing

The smoke thickens

Next we head towards the Thurston tubes, which is a tube that lava once traveled through! So, stay tuned!

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It is 96 miles from where we are staying in Kona to the Volcanoes National Park. One of the spots that is a must see stop is Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. So, take my hand and let’s take a stroll, shall we?

The first thing one notices, aside from the amazing color, is the graininess of the beach. The sand is made up of crushed lava rock, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. At this beach you can swim with the sea turtles!

One view of the black sand beach

The palm trees that line the beach sway gently in the trade winds that come off the ocean.

Swaying palms

Look carefully and you might see a sea turtle.

Sleeping Sea Turtle

Walking a bit further down the beach we come across an area that has tide pools. In one of the inlets we are lucky to see this big guy!

Coming up for air

The sea turtle looks for a way to get up onto the lava rock.

Looking for a place to lay in the sun

Let’s head back to the car so we can continue on the see the volcanoes!

Another view of the beach

One final look back…

From the water

Next stop: The National Park!

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