Hawaii (Big Island) – Volcanic fields of fire

Hawaii (Big Island) – Volcanic fields of fire

Last update: 17 May 2021

I’ve been wanting to go to Hawaii for nearly half a lifetime. Not so much the touristy parts of Honolulu, but the enigmatic steaming Big Island, where fiery flows of lava tumble down its rocky shores into the sea.

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 go & explore.

Sunset on Mauna Loa, Big Island, Hawaii
Enigmatic sunset on Mauna Loa, viewed from across on Mauna Kea on the other side of the island.

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.

Kalapana coastal lava flows, Kilauea, Big Island, Hawaii
The coastal lava flows near Kalapana – the creation of Earth in progress.

Sturdy shoes are essential, Kilauea lava flow, Big Island, Hawaii
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 flows…

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. 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.

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. 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.

Hawaii Big Island map

This handy interactive map shows the locations around Kilauea and Kalapana. You can also click on the icons, and zoom in for more details of the island itself.

Iceland eruption 2021

The latest epic volcano erupted to the scene in Iceland on 19 March 2021. It’s mesmerizing 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. It has now turned into a spectacular lava geyser. If it continues for a long time like Kilauea, its lava flows might run into the sea as well…

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(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High

Remote Islands – Hawaii (Big Island)

This post was originally published as NaturePic Challenge: a series of pictures of epic nature and places that will induce a natural high 😉

© All photo’s on this blog are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you would like to use a particular picture you’ve seen in one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and pictures on social media.

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 eruption

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