Hawaii (Big Island) – Volcanic fields of fire
I’ve been wanting to go to Hawaii for nearly half a lifetime. Not so much the touristy areas of Honolulu, but the enigmatic steaming Big Island, where fiery flows of lava tumble down its rocky shores into the sea.
The biggest volcano in the world
The Big Island of Hawaii is home of the world’s largest volcano, Mauna Loa, rising up an astonishing 9000 meters from the bottom of the sea. More than 4000 of those are above sea level. All around Hilo its ominous huge flanks are looming on the horizon, beckoning you to come & explore.
Enigmatic sunset on Mauna Loa, viewed from across on Mauna Kea on the other side of the island.
Kilauea lava flows near Kalapani.
Hawaii coastal lava flows
A few years ago I finally took the opportunity to go there. I walked across the fields of fire from the town of Kalapana to the Kilauea lava flows on the southeast coast, and stood utterly mesmerized looking upon the creation process of Earth itself.
It is one of the most mindblowing things one could ever hope to see.
The coastal lava flows near Kalapana – the creation of Earth in progress.
Sturdy shoes are essential. It does get hot under your feet! 😉
My walking shoes were scorched by Pele as I walked across the Kalapana lava fields…
Kilauea Volcano eruption update
Here you can find the latest information on what Kilauea is up to, by the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Service.
The Kilauea Halemaumau crater at night.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
From Hilo it’s easy to reach Volcano village by bus. Located just outside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and surrounded by lush tropical forest, this cosy village is a great place to stay. The park entrance and the Kilauea caldera are within walking distance, with many steaming sights & walking tracks nearby.
Big Island bus
The Big Island public bus connects the towns along the main road around the island. There are usually a few buses per day from Monday to Saturday. But there is no bus service to Kalapana. It’s more practical to rent a car if you want to go there – and have the flexibility to explore other places off the main road.
How to get to the Big Island of Hawaii
Most flights from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Asia arrive at Honolulu International Airport on the island of Oahu. From there you can take several domestic flights to the other Hawaiian islands. Big Island has two airports: Hilo on the east coast and Kona on the west coast. There are no inter-island ferries, apart from a local service between Maui and the nearby islands of Molokai and Lanai.
Iceland eruption 2021
The latest epic volcano erupted to the scene in Iceland on 19 March 2021. It mesmerized people around the world with rows of craters and scenic lava flows. Here you can read all about the Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula. If it continues for a long time with regular intervals like Kilauea, its lava flows might eventually run into the sea as well…
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(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High
Hawaii Big Island map
This handy interactive map shows the locations around Kilauea and Kalapana. You can also zoom in for more details of the Big Island itself.
Remote Islands – Hawaii (Big Island)
This article was originally published as a NaturePic Challenge: pictures of epic nature with a specific theme, and places that will trigger a natural high.
Last update: 15 March 2023
First published: 6 February 2017
© All photo’s and content on this blog are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you would like to use a picture or quote a piece of text from one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and pictures on social media, with a tag or mention to Wilderness Coffee & Natural High.
Kilauea, master of pahoehoe flows
Fagradalsfjall started off as a Hawaiian style effusive eruption. It also produced those signature basaltic pahoehoe lava flows. But, as this video shows below, Kilauea is the undisputed master smith of smooth flowing pahoehoe ropes.
More to explore & discover
Haleakala – The House of the Rising Sun
Fimmvörðuháls – The fiery pass across Eyjafjallajökull
Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters
El Hierro – A volcanic hotspot underneath the sea
Fagradalsfjall – The spectacular Iceland volcano eruption