A Travellerspoint blog

A Journey Through Nature's Masterpiece"

Hilo, Hawaii

View Around the World! - Part 2 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

The Hawaiian Islands, also known as the Aloha State, are an archipelago of eight major volcanic islands, several atolls, and numerous smaller islets in the North Pacific Ocean. The six main inhabited islands are Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, and the island of Hawaiʻi. The islands are known for their natural beauty, including volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches, and diverse wildlife. Hawaii is the only U.S. state completely made up of islands, with a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles. The islands have a rich history, having been inhabited for over 1,500 years and later becoming a U.S. territory in 1898 before gaining statehood in 1959.


Each island has its own distinct personality, offering unique experiences such as legendary surf, breathtaking mountains, and rich history. On our world cruise we are visiting two of the Islands, Hawaii and Oahu. Today we are in Hilo, Hawaii located on the eastern side of the Big Island. We began our adventure at Rainbow falls which was the site of a massive Banyan Tree. These trees are known for their aerial roots, which grow down from the branches and take root to form new trunks.



We then headed to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, which encompasses a portion of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet. The park's caldera is a prominent feature and a highlight of our tour which included a vantage point to admire its vastness and distinctive volcanic characteristics. During our visit, we had the opportunity to witness the Kilauea Volcano, the youngest and most active volcano on the island, known for its frequent eruptions with only brief periods of rest in recorded history. The Kīlauea Caldera, situated at the volcano's summit, measures 2.93 miles in length, 1.95 miles in width, with a circumference of 7.85 miles, and covers an area of 4.14 square miles. Within the caldera lies Halemaʻumaʻu, an active pit crater located near the southwestern edge of the caldera.



The arrow at the top of the diagram point to the vantage point where the photo of the caldera was taken. The walls of the caldera consist of fault scarps that have formed as a result of down-sinking of the caldera floor. The photo to the right shows the depth to which it has sunk recently. Much of the caldera floor is covered by lava flows erupted since the 19th century. The most recent eruptive activity took place from September 10-16, 2023, within the caldera and Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

The arrow to the right on the diagram above points to Thurston Lava Tube, a 500-year-old lava cave. It was formed by a river of lava gradually building solid walls and a ceiling, leaving behind an empty cave when the lava flow stopped. The tube is about 600 feet long, with a flat rock floor and a ceiling height of more than 20 feet in places. It is lit by electric lights and is a great introduction to lava tube geology. The cave is home to unique ecosystems of creatures adapted to live in this dark isolated world, including distinct species of crickets, spiders, and special microbial colonies. The tube is also of cultural significance to Native Hawaiians, who used it as shelter and for storing food due to its cooler, thermally stable environment.

After a brief stroll through the rainforest, we had the incredible opportunity to witness the lava tube up close. It's truly astonishing to think about the immense power of nature that carved through rock and soil with molten lava.



We were in for a delightful surprise after the National park, as we visited the extraordinary "Volcano Garden Arts" gallery. It was truly the most remarkable gallery we had ever experienced. The 100-year-old Hawaiian house, lovingly restored by its owner Ira Ono, served as the perfect setting for our picnic lunch and a leisurely exploration of the diverse art on display (like these sculptures). Among the many captivating art pieces, I found a truly unique work created by Ira, which I happily added to my collection.


Posted by Where2FromHere 08:07 Archived in USA

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents



by Jack Schwerman

This was my fourth time, Jeff's third trip to Hawaii. We stopped over in Oahu for two days on our way to Australia a few years back so we could see Pearl Harbor. We both came here with our friends Chris and Emily when a hurricane interupted our planned trip to the Bahamas. And I came here once with mother and dad and Lynn when we were teens. I really liked the big Island. Not what I was anticipating after having been in Maui and Oahu.

by Where2FromHere

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: