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Big Island of Hawaii - Volcano & South Point Areas

Updated on October 28, 2015
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June is from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, but is currently residing in N.Y. She loves to cook and heal naturally with the plants from her garden.

Visit the Big Island of Hawaii - Volcano & South Point Areas - Part 4

Aloha! E komo mai!

Hele mai! Hele mai!

Welcome back!

Mahalo for continuing on our tour of the Big Island of Hawaii! If you missed any of the last 3 buses (pages) of our tour you can hop on by clicking the link below of the tour you missed or the tour you are interest in joining. I do recommend visiting the areas of the Big Island in the order lsted:

The Big Island of Hawaii, also named Hawaii, is the most diverse of all the Hawaiian Islands. You can travel around the Big Island of Hawaii in one day and go from white sand beaches to snow capped volcanoes; from cacti on cattle ranches to tropical rain forest; from black beaches to green sand beaches; and then on to live erupting volcanoes. All in one day!

But wait! You don't want to do it all in one day!

Relax, take your time, enjoy! There is so much to see and do on a Big Island of Hawaii Circle Island Tour!

If you have the time to stay and visit for a while, it is well worth it to plan on staying for at least a week. Then you can take your time to see the many things this island has to offer.

There are so many unique and interesting places to visit and enjoy on the Big Island that a week is barely enough time to take it all in. Driving around the island without stopping to see anything the island has to offer would be a huge mistake!

Slow down, absorb the beauty. Slow down and experience the diverse cultures and lifestyles, Slow down and savor the exotic tastes and aromas of Hawaii's Big Island.

This is a Hawaiian Hale (House) - Tradition Requires that You remove Your Shoes Before You Go Inside Someones Home in Hawaii. Some of the Temples in Hawaii Also

This is a Hawaiian Hale Please Remove Your Shoes
This is a Hawaiian Hale Please Remove Your Shoes

Eh! No Forget!

You Gotta Remove Your Shoes Before You Go Inside

Keali'i Reichel
Keali'i Reichel | Source

Kauanoeanuhea - Keali'i Reichel

Press the play button and listen to the beautiful and heart-felt music from my home in Hawaii, while you continue on the Big Island of Hawaii Circle Island Tour - Part 4.

This is one of my favorite Hawaiian songs sung and played by Keali'i Reichel.

Who am I kidding? They are all my favorites! His music is so beautiful and makes me so long to me home in Hawaii!

Pahoa - Kalapana - Volcano Area - South Point - Naalehu

The Big Island is an extraordinarily diverse island.

It is so very different from the other Hawaiian Islands most tourist choose to visit with their prearranged tour packages. Every part of the island that we visit has something different to experience.

The original site grew so large that I was forced to break the tour into 6 segments to make it easier to view.

Be sure to catch each bus (page) to see a different part of the Big Island of Hawaii on each one. Below you will find the links to the next 2 parts of the tour and at the end of each page I have put a link to the next bus (page) in line to board.

On this segment of the tour, we will be covering Pahoa - Kalapana - Volcano Area - South Point - Naalehu, and points in between, along the Southern part of the island.

These are the last 3 buses (pages) of the tour to catch.

Big Island of Hawaii - Part 5 - South Kona Coast

Big Island of Hawaii - Part 6 - Kailua-Kona

Big Island of Hawaii - Part 7 - North Kona Coast - Coming Soon

Puna District

The Puna Coastline to Pahoa - Puna District

The Puna Coastline to Pahoa
The Puna Coastline to Pahoa | Source

The Puna district overflows with the beautiful natural wonders of places like the Lava Tree State Park, the Volcano National Park, natural warm spring pools, and both black and green sand beaches.

Jungle-like rain forest can be seen along the rugged Puna coast on the drive to Pahoa. Much of the area has yet to add electricity and city water.

When traveling the coastal road on Route 137 you will pass seaside tidepools and quiet fishing spots.

You will hear the winds whistling through untouched pine forests growing along the ocean road; drive through open pastures and enter dense tropical rainforest thick with the scent of flowers and foliage.

Many of the local Circle Island Tour Guides on the Big Island call Puna, "the most scenic and rural area of the Big Island". Once you are mesmerized by the magic of this special place called Puna, it is very difficult to tear yourself away to leave.

Pahoa Aa Lava Cliffs at Sunrise

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Kapoho Red Road Pavement
Kapoho Red Road Pavement | Source

The Road to Puna

The road to Puna, Kapoho-Kalapana Road 137, is one of the most lush breathtaking drives of all the roads on the Big Island. The drive under a canopy of tropical is beautifully serene.

If you stop along the side of the road and there are no other passing cars, all you will hear are only the sounds of the life within the rainforest.

The road is nicknamed The Red Road. The Red Road got its name from the unique red cinder originally used to pave the road. The only part of the road left which is still red cinder is the Kapoho end of the road.

The rest of the road was resurfaced with black asphalt in 2000 when the road was rebuilt from the damage of the 1986 volcanic eruption.

The drive on this road is slow because of the many curves and blind hills, but it gives you the chance to really take in the beauty of the scenic drive. Remember to stop at the Scenic Points to take photos of all the fabulous views you will see on this road.


Photos of the Road to Puna

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Damage on Puna Road After Hurricane Iselle 8 August 2014
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Damage on Puna Road After Hurricane Iselle 8 August 2014
Damage on Puna Road After Hurricane Iselle 8 August 2014 | Source

A Very Slow Drive Into Pahoa Town

I like this video because it gives you a glimpse off what the drive is like once you reach Puna and drive through Pahoa.

Pahoa Village

In the Puna District

Pahoa is a little town close to the Volcano National Park that is lost in the '60's which to me is a very cool thing in that it has changed very little over the last 50 or 60 years. This quaint sleepy village has kept it's diverse culture, with everyone living together harmoniously.

Pahoa is off the beaten path and is a bit of a detour from the now main road to the Volcano area. It is a place that not a lot of tourist get to see, but is well worth visiting.

Pahoa was at first a rugged sawmill town, then a sugar town and also a crossroad on the old sugar railroad. The Puna Sugar Company closed down it's plantation in 1984.

It is still a very laid back community. There are areas that were devastated and covered over by the lava flow of 1960, but are now covered with lush tropical foliage as nature has once again worked to reclaim the area.

Pahoa ~ Lost in the '60's

Pahoa Yoga Center
Pahoa Yoga Center | Source
The Computer Hospital -  Pahoa, Hawaii
The Computer Hospital - Pahoa, Hawaii

Main Street in Pahoa is very charming and has maintained its western style storefronts with its wood boardwalks for years.

It has kept its charming and colorful 1960s psychedelic style of artistic murals, with its turn of the century Western - Victorian architecture.

The psychedelic wall paintings get replaced periodically as the old ones fade away from the weather but, for the most part, remains the same as it always has been since as far back as I can remember.

When you go to Pahoa, you get the feel that the village is "lost in the 60's". The village is an artist community with a mixture of artist, old hippies, colorful characters, and every ethnicity under the sun living together harmoniously.

Most of the old buildings are a showcase of the local artist talent and eclectic design.

The photo on the right is the storefront of the local computer shop, The Computer Hospital, which use to double as a bed and breakfast. Below, on the first floor is the Lehua Art Gallery.

And what village would be a village without a tattoo parlor? Check it out below.

Pahoa Tattoo Parlor

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Paolo’s Bistro
Paolo’s Bistro
Pahoa Village Cafe
Pahoa Village Cafe

Main Street Business and Restaurants

There is a very laid back and organic feel to Pahoa.

There are more people still living off the land here than you will find in the "city" of Hilo or the resort area of Kailua-Kona and most make a conscious effort to not leave any carbon footprints.

An amazing thing about Pahoa is the number of restaurants this tiny town has with amazingly fantastic food.

A few of the restaurants you may want to try are Luquin's Mexican Restaurant, Paolo’s Bistro, Pele's Kitchen, Pahoa Village Cafe and Kaleo’s. Kaleo's is probably as upscale as it gets in Pahoa.

There are a couple of Thai restaurants that opened within the last 5 years that weren't there the last time I was home; Sukothai and Ning's Thai Cuisine.

And last but not least there are several little sandwich shops, a cookie shop, a cyber bakery, a Subway and a bar.


Kaleo's Restaurant and Bar

Kaleo's
Kaleo's

Walking Through Pahoa

Have You Ever Dreamed of Living in a Castle? - Just Imagine Having Your Honeymoon in a Castle in Hawaii!

Castle in Hawaii
Castle in Hawaii

You can live your dream for a few days, a few weeks or a few months. The Castle in Hawaii is owned by a couple that just so happens to be friends of mine.

Sheri and John have turned this castle home into an eclectic B&B of sorts; they have several different packages to choose from. They are experts at taking care of your every need and have been getting rave reviews on their excellent service combined with the "aloha spirit" of Hawaii.

Sheri & John enjoy sharing their home on the Big Island of Hawaii by making your dream vacation come true.

Have you been dreaming of a Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon?

Perhaps you have always wanted to be that princess in the castle who is waiting for her knight in shining armor to come and rescue her.

Believe it or not, you can now have both dreams fulfilled. You can be the master & mistress of the castle in one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.

Imagine the magic of having your wedding on a gorgeous Hawaiian beach and then retiring to your fantasy castle for your honeymoon. It would be the most memorable time of your lives.

Allow Sheri to arrange your Hawaiian wedding and fantasy castle honeymoon or let her help you plan your next Hawaiian vacation by staying at the castle as a vacation rental for a few days, a week or longer. The Castle in Hawaii is located outside of Pahoa village.

For More information Contact:

Sheri Smith

Unique Oceanfront Vacation Rental

12-7030 Kalihikai St., Pahoa, HI 96778

Call Her: 1-808-965-1844

Join Her on Twitter: @CastleInHawaii

Visit Sheri on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/CastleInHawaii
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Castle-in-Hawaii/207732132583111


Rent a Castle in Hawaii

Lava Tree State Park

The Lava Tree State Monument is Worth Seeing Just a Little Down the Road from Pahoa Town

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The Lava Tree Monument State Park is actually located in the Nanawale Forest Reserve outside of the town of Pahoa. The park is an amazing exhibit of the effects lava can have in nature.

Hundreds of years ago, a fast moving flow of hot lava covered this area of wet 'O'hia and Monkeypod trees. The 'O'hia trees are an endemic species in the Hawai'ian Islands.

The lava covered all the trees in its path as it made its way to the ocean; encasing each one forever.

The encased tree structures left behind by the lava flow are now and forever vertical, hollow, lava tubes where each tree once stood.

They resemble hollow tubes of petrified wood and lava. Some are full of moss, fungi and lichens; typical of how the rain-forest naturally takes back the barren area with new growth.

Some of the lava covered trees look like people and it can be kind of eerie if you happen to go there at dusk. There is one which everyone I have taken there agrees, looks like Oscar the Grouch from "Sesame Street".

There are many trees within the park that get the biggest reactions from people. Some folks laugh out loud, some giggle and point, and some turn bright red. No matter who sees them, they all see the same thing.

Have a look at the photo of just one of the trees below and what does it look like to you? If you get embarrassed or offended easily.....COVER YOUR EYES AND MOVE ON TO THE POLL!)

Giant Lava Tree Phallic Symbol

Just Curious as to How Many of Us Have Our Minds in the Gutter

What does this lave tree look like to you?

See results

Pohoiki Road Called Mango Road Because of All the Old Mango Groves

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Ahalanui Park Hot Springs

Ahalanui Hot Springs - Pu'ala'a County Park

Ahalanui Hot Springs in Puna
Ahalanui Hot Springs in Puna | Source

The "hot pond" (as we locals call it) at Ahalanui Park, about a 5-minute drive from outside of Pahoa.

Ahalanui Park Hot Springs is an amazing natural hot tub. It is a manmade pond with cement walls, but the pond is fed by a natural geothermal spring at one end.

It was a well-kept secret for many years. Few tourist ever knew of it while visiting Hawaii unless they had rented a car. It is off the beaten path where the tour buses did not venture in the past.

Now the secret is out, but it is still a wonderful place to go. Soak in the "natural hot tub", have a picnic in the park and relax on the lawn with a fabulous view of the ocean.

The water is heated by the volcanic action located far below the pond's floor but is kept clean by the ebb and flow of the cool ocean tide that feeds into it keeping the water temperature warm, not hot.

The pond is huge and was seldom crowded, in the past. When I was younger, we were often the only ones there, but as the population of the Big Island has grown and more people have moved into the Puna district, you will usually find others soaking or swimming when you arrive. On weekends, it can get crowded.

Avoid the weekends as it is usually very crowded. The pond is about the size of 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

When I was a child there wasn't a parking lot or any ladders, but they have since been added, along with restrooms, showers, picnic tables, barbeque grills and lifeguards are now on duty.

We use to camp there for free, but when the State of Hawaii turned it into a state park they began charging a fee of $5 a month, then it went to $5 a week and now it is $5 a day per adults 18 years and over, $2 per day for juniors 13-17 and $1 per day for children 12 and under. Greedy, no?

Ahalanui Hot Springs - Puna, Hawaii

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Kalapana

Kalapana Black Sand Beach - This Was Then

Kalapana Black Sand Beach - This Was Then
Kalapana Black Sand Beach - This Was Then

Kalapana Star of the Sea Painted Church

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In 1990, the famous Kalapana Black Sand Beach and Kalapana town were completely covered by lava.

The church was not harmed, but a decision was made to move it to higher ground before anything did happen. This is the church as it stands today. It has been nicely repainted and will be safe for a while until "Auntie Pele" reminds us once more that her religion is the only one and cleans house again.

The church is an important artifact in Hawaii as like the Painted Church in Kealakekua, Kona, the inside of the church is completely handpainted with religious murals.

The upper part of the church, including the ceiling, was originally painted by Father Evarist Matthias Gielen, a Belgian Catholic priest. The bottom wall panels were painted years later by various commissioned artists.

In 1997, the Wahaula Heiau, a 700-year-old sacrificial temple was wiped out.

Lava Flow Covering Kalapana Village - 1990

Lava Flow Covering Kalapana Village 1990
Lava Flow Covering Kalapana Village 1990 | Source

Kalapana Devastated by the Lava Flow

Hawaii Kalapana devastated by volcano
Hawaii Kalapana devastated by volcano

Kalapana is Trying to Come Back

Coconut Tree Growing Out of Rock at Kalapana
Coconut Tree Growing Out of Rock at Kalapana | Source

Beach at Kaimu Bay Looking Toward Kalapana

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Kaimu Beach has since formed in Kalpana's place, and locals have been planting new coconut trees.

This is how the coconut grove at Kalapana Beach looks now. Quite different from what it use to look like and almost as if it is struggling to come back. You can see the uplift of the rift zone that acts as a shield and separates the volcano area from the rest of the Big Island.

Everything on this side of that rift is separating from the rest of the island and sinking slowly into the ocean. Scientists are predicting that this huge land mass might one day slide back into the ocean causing gigantic tidal waves and natural destruction throughout the Pacific like man has never witnessed.

Kaimu Beach

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Hawaii Volcano National Park

Kilauea Visitor Center - Entrance to the Park

Hawaii Volcano National Park

In the distant past, there wasn't any charge to drive through the Volcano area, but since it became a National Park you now have to pay $10 a car, for a 7-day pass, to get into the park. If you're hoofing it, backpacking or riding a bike then it is $5.

The National Park Service has designated the following fee free days for 2015:

January 19, 2015: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 14-16, 2015: Presidents Day Weekend
April 18-19, 2015: National Park Week Opens
August 25, 2015: Founders Day
September 26, 2015: National Public Lands Day
November 11, 2015: Veterans Day

Park entrance fees will be waived on these days.

Weather at the volcano area is unpredictable so be prepared before going as it can get chilly, but most of the time shorts are fine. Wear layers and bring a pair of long pants to change into just in case the weather does dampen off. The summit is about 4000 feet in elevation and can be cold and rainy and the trails at sea level are hot and arid

Wear sturdy shoes, or hiking boots if you plan on hiking around the park to visit the steam vents and petroglyphs as the terrain is very rugged, the a'a lava rocks are very sharp and can cut, and some areas are extremely hot!

Visit The Official Hawaii Volcano National Park website for more information on the park itself.

WARNING - Be Cautious at All Times!

Please respect the park while there.

1. Any trash that you haul in; haul back out with you.

2. DO NOT remove any rocks from the volcano area or suffer the wrath of Pele.

3. DO NOT remove any natural material.

It is strictly prohibited.

4. DO NOT feed any of the Nene geese.

They are a protected and endangered species.

5. If you have any respiratory or heart ailments,

are pregnant, or have infants with you;

avoid the volcanic fumes along the Sulphur Bank trail.

6. Stay Alive!

Kilauea Visitor Center

Stop at the Visitor's Center Before Entering the Park

Often people do not realize that they are already standing on a portion of the volcano once they reach the Kilauea Visitor Center.

I always get a kick out of it whenever I hear a tourist ask the park rangers, "Where the hell is the volcano?" The park rangers always grin when they answer. "You're standing on it!"

Cars or bikes can take one of the short drives around Kilauea Crater via Crater Rim Drive. This 11-mile drive circles Kilauea's summit caldera (Spanish for cauldron) and craters, passes through the rainforest to Thurston Lava Tube, through the arid desert region of the Kau desert, and provides access to well-marked scenic stops and short walks.

Places of interest include Sulphur Banks, Steam Vents, Jaggar Museum, Halema'uma'u Crater, Devastation Trail, Kilauea Iki Crater, and Thurston Lava Tube.

At the Kilauea Visitor Center, you can collect a lot of information, watch films of past eruptions and get maps and trail guide schedules from the park rangers.

Don't feel like driving or hiking? You can go on horseback or rent a helicopter.

If you don't want to go on one of the scheduled hikes with a park ranger, then stop and get a map at the Visitor Center before venturing out, so that you will know what areas to avoid and what trails are accessible while you are there.

Stay away from cliffs that overhang the ocean as they are hot and tend to collapse. My warning to "Stay Alive" was no joke!

Kilauea Iki 1959 Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii

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Childhood Memories of....

The Eruption of Kilauea Iki in November of 1959

In 1959 when Kilauea first erupted, we were staying with some relatives in Hilo while my father was at a Chiropractic convention. (My father, Dr. Parker, was the governor of the western United States for the American Chiropractic Association at the time.)

All of 6 of us kids were sleeping on futons in my Auntie's spare room when awakened by two very excited parents. It was "Wiki wiki - hurry up - get dressed the volcano has erupted!"

My mother bundled us all up as it was cold out and it gets even colder at night as the climb takes you to higher elevations.

I was dressed in a pair of corduroy pants over my flannel pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt over my flannel pajama top, with a thick Chinese style quilted jacket on top of that, to keep me warm against the cold night air.

In those days, there weren't many roads and we had to park the car at a lower level and hike to the volcano. The entire skyline was a fiery glow in the dark sky as far as you could see as if the world were on fire, and in a sense it was.

Our world was ablaze. The closer we got to the eruption the hotter it got and the clothes started peeling off, one by one, as the heat became more intense. We arrive at the edge of the crater at about midnight.

Kilauea Iki 1959 Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kilauea Iki 1959 Volcanic Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii
Kilauea Iki 1959 Volcanic Eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii

It was a sight that I will never forget as long as I live! We were at the edge of the crater, yet still a mile or two from the actual eruption, but the heat was so intense that my eyebrows and eyelashes were singeing.

All of the trees around the crater were on fire and the ground below us had split open with a fountain of liquid flames and molten lava shooting hundreds of feet into the air. My first thought was that God had opened the earth to show us what hell looks like because it looked like the hell of my imagination, but this was real and intensely hot!

My older sister and my father left the rest of us with my mother and the crowd that was beginning to form and ventured down closer to the eruption to get some photos.

When they returned, the skin on their faces and hands were slightly burned and all of the hair had been singed off. The intensity of the heat is indescribable. It is hard to imagine the feeling of something so blazingly hot from such a far distance as we were that night.

At the same time, the beauty of the fountain of white, yellow, gold and red lava shooting upward into the night sky against the backdrop of a black skyline was exquisitely breathtaking.

Then I saw her in the midst of the flames...

Madame Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess.

Her beautiful face with dark, high cheekbones and dark eyes flashing with the reflection of fire.

Her long black hair billowing and swirling behind and around her head and body in the gaseous winds created by the spewing lava. She seemed to be dancing in the flames as the smoke and liquid fire swirled around her.

I gasped and called out to everyone there in the crowd that had gathered, "Auntie Pele! Auntie Pele!", while pointing at her image. Everyone saw her. We watched mesmerized, as time seemed to stop and a few of the elders began chanting Hawaiian prayers to Ka-‘ula-o-ke-ahi (Pele's sacred spirit name)


Pele Honua Mea (Pele of the Sacred Land)

Painting by Our Beloved Hawaiian Artist and Author
Painting by Our Beloved Hawaiian Artist and Author | Source

As we watched our beautiful goddess dance away in the flames, I realized that what had seemed like hours had in reality only been about 15 minutes.

I remember wondering what had caused Madame Pele to be so angry with us to make the volcano erupt.

My Auntie I`o, who had been one of the chanters, later told me Pele wasn't angry with us.

Pele was just reminding us of her existence and of her supreme power in creating new life from the old, by cleansing away the past, as we should remember to do also.

My Auntie I`o told me to always remember the blessing that I had received from Pele's viewing.

To this day whenever I see photos of volcanic eruption, I can always pick out this Kilauea Iki eruption. There has never been, before or since, an eruption as spectacular as this one.

Videos of the 1959 Eruption of Kilauea Iki - The Reality

These archived videos will show you what I was a witness to as a child.

CSAV Hawaii: 1959 Eruption of Kilauea Iki

27 June 2014

Kilauea Iki changes course and heads toward the outskirts of Pahoa town.

The lava flow as of 8 February 2015 remains active,

but its advance is slow.

Breakouts remain active a short distance upslope

of the leading tip of the flow,

and continue to slowly widen the flow.

The most advanced flow front is still 600 m upslope

from Highway 130 near the Pāhoa police and fire stations.

Thurston Lava Tube

Thurston Lava Tube
Thurston Lava Tube

View of the Rainforest at Thurston Lava Tube

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Na Huku is the Hawaiian name (the literal translation is difficult but is basically a plural description of the way the tube protrudes or elongates into many) for the Thurston Lava Tube.

Scientist figure it to be somewhere between 400 and 500 years old. Having grown up in Hawaii, I have been through this tube numerous times.

The walk takes about 20 minutes and gets very dark, so you should bring a flashlight. It is also very wet and slippery as the tube is located in the rainforest.

Lava tubes are formed by the molten lava forcing its way through the harden rock and flowing through the mountain. The lava then flows underground, through these self-made tubes.

The distances that the lava travels are extended since the tube's roof effectively insulates the molten lava, keeping it fluid for a longer time. Once the lava flow stops, the lava pours out of the chambers, leaving an open chamber.

As the surface walls begin cooling, the tube hardens. Often the roof of the tube collapses over time, which forms pits or craters.

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Ohi'a Tree
Ohi'a Tree | Source

Plant Life in the Rain Forest

There are many lava tubes all over the Hawaiian Islands, but this is the largest that is accessible by the tourist.

Many of the lava tubes are on sacred ground and are kapu (forbidden) to visitors.

The flower shown on the right a Fuchsia plant and grows wild in the area.

Be sure to bring a flashlight. There are lights in the tube but they are dim and it is safer to have one when navigating the slippery path.

The tube is named for Lorrin Thurston, a newspaper publisher who played an a big part in creating the Volcano National Park.

To get to the entrance of the tube, you will walk a short distance through the rainforest that again is filled with hundreds of different species of ferns, plants and trees.

The ohi'a lehua trees (shown on right) are endemic to Hawaii and are found growing throughout the Hawaiian islands but are seen the most in volcano areas. The wood is very hardy and resistant to burning.

Unfortunately, many of the endemic species of Hawaii are in rapid decline nearing extinction because of a fungus introduced to the Hawaiian Islands on fruit tree nursery stock.

The next photo below is of the young shoot of a giant hapu'u (tree fern) of which you will find here in abundance.

The Soot of a Hapu'u Fern Unfurling

The Soot of a Hapu'u Fern Unfurling
The Soot of a Hapu'u Fern Unfurling | Source

Visiting the tube in the late afternoon is usually very quite as the tour buses have left to finish their circle island tours and it is much darker as the sun has changed its direction, in decline behind the mountain.

It is much cooler as the sun sets in the west and sometimes the wind comes whistling through the trees of the rainforest sounding like lost souls.

As kids, we use to scare the crap out of each other as it is very spooky in the lava tube at this time.

Videos of the Thurston Lava Tube - Nahuku

1. The first video has a lot more light so you can see the inside of Nahuku.

2. The second one is much darker and you can see how kids could get so easily spooked when in it alone.

3. The third video is exiting the cavern to Kilauea Iki rim.

Inside the Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii

Thurston Lava Tube - Hawaii Volcano National Park

Devastation Trail

If you have a full day and are relatively fit, the 4-mile hike on the Kilauea Iki trail is a highly recommended one. The trail descends about 400 feet through a Hawaiian rainforest, into the crater, and across lava flows still steaming from the 1959 eruption.

The possibility of hiking into the crater is unknown as of this writing. You'll just have to remember to check with the park rangers once you get there. Madam Pele is unpredictable and one never knows where she will turn up next.

The name Devastation Trail was so named as this is a leisurely walk through what was once an ohi'a forest and was devastated by Kilauea Iki's 1959 eruption. It is only a one-mile paved path viewing a landscape that is reminiscent of the surface of the moon.

You can see the plants returning to the stark landscape. This is one of the most photographed areas in the Volcano National Park.

Painting by the Island's Legendary, Renown Artist, & Author Herbert Kane
Painting by the Island's Legendary, Renown Artist, & Author Herbert Kane

The Legend of Pele and Kamapua`a

There are many stories about Madame Pele and her many lovers, most of whom did not survive her fiery love.

This is a short version of the tale of the one lover who proved a match for Madame Pele, Kamapua`a (the pig-man, a demi-god).

Kamapua'a had tattooed his chest, arms and head in black fearsome designs. He shaved his head and grew a short black stubble of a beard on his head and face.

He cloaked himself in the hide of a wild boar. Some said he looked just like a boar, but no one really knows for sure.

He eventually became so powerful that the pig god could also change and appear as a plant or as various types of fish, one of which was named after him, the humuhumu nuku nuku apua'a (the state fish).

He and Pele were at odds from the beginning; she covered the land with barren lava, he brought torrents of rain to extinguish her fires and called the wild boars to dig up the land, softening it so seeds could grow.

The legend goes that Pele was attacked near here by Kamapua`a. When Kamapua'a came to Kilauea to court Pele, she rejected his love when she discover what he was and cried out at him, "A'ohe 'oe kanaka he pua'a, you are not a man, you are a pig."

He was insulted and lashed out at her. In Puna, at a place called Ka-lua-o-Pele, where the land seems torn up as if a great struggle had taken place, legend says Kamapua'a finally caught and ravaged Pele.

Kamapua'a, was also jealous of Pele's ability to make lava spout from the ground at will, so he covered it with the fronds of the fern trying to smother the fire. He only succeeded in creating vog.

Choking from the smoke which she could not escape from anymore, Pele emerged and a furious battle ensued between them. Pele hurled fire and molten lava. Kamapua'a retaliated with storms of rain.

The battle raged and the two weakened as first fire won, then rain, then fire. Realizing that each could threaten the other with destruction, the gods had to call their fight a draw and divided the island between them.

Kamapua'a got the lush green valleys of Hilo, Hamakua, and Kohala ("windward" side), while Pele got the drier Ka'u and Kona ("leeward" side). After that, Kamapua'a turned himself into the "ama'u fern" and surrounded the summit caldera to be close to Pele.

Thus the name Halema'uma'u (house surrounded by the ama'u fern). The fern's poetic name, pua'a 'ehu'ehu (singed pig) refers to the new fronds' rusty red color, a sign that Kamapua'a was singed by the last bits of Pele's fire.

The two remained tempestuous lovers, it is said, until Kamapua'a whose heart was deeply wounded by Pele, sailed away never to return. A child was born, Opelu-nui-kauhaalilo, and Pele went back to her philandering ways. Click this link if interested in a longer version of The Legend of Madam Pele and Kamapua'a.

`Ama`u Fern at Halema`uma`u Crater
`Ama`u Fern at Halema`uma`u Crater | Source

`Ama`u Fern Seen at Halema`uma`u Crater

To this day the ferns seen growing around the caldera are tinged with a rusty orange color as if singed by fire.

The `ama`u fern are an endemic species of ferns (Sadleria). At the top of the pulu (trunk), is a mass of soft feathery scales used as pillow stuffing.

In the ancient days of my ancestors, the tasteless pith of the trunk was cooked and eaten, in times of famine. The fronds were, and still are, used to mulch dry-land taro.

The stems are used to weave baskets and as sizing for kapa cloth.

The Legends and Myths of Hawaii

If interested in more of Hawaii's legends and Hawaiian folklore, I recommend reading this book written by Hawaii's ruling King David Kalakaua.

I like this book so much better than books written about Hawaii from a British or English point of view. Although the writing style may take a bit of getting used to for someone not from Hawaii, I believe the history to be much more accurate coming from a pure Hawaiian Monarch.

Mo’olelo (stories passed down from generation to generation) by my ancestors about our history and legends coincide with King Kalakaua's writings. I was a bit shocked (but not really) with some of the British and American publications of Hawaiian history.

If nothing else, enjoy reading the colorful legends that make up a good portion of the Hawaiian culture.

Halema'uma'u Crater Rim

Halema'uma'u Crater - A Sacred Place

Halema'uma'u Crater - A Sacred Place
Halema'uma'u Crater - A Sacred Place | Source

Ho’okupu (Gifts or Offerings) Left for Pele

Ho’okupu (gifts or offerings) to Pele at Halema'uma'u Crater
Ho’okupu (gifts or offerings) to Pele at Halema'uma'u Crater

Halema'uma'u Crater - Home to Madam Pele

Halema'uma'u Crater is about 3,000 feet across and nearly 300 feet deep. Please respect this place when visiting the Volcano National Park as a sacred site.

The Halema'uma'u Crater spews forth about 300 tons of sulfur dioxide daily. The sulfur dioxide is oxidized in the air and when moisture is present, returns to the earth as sulfuric acid.

The Halema'uma'u area receives 30 to 40 inches of rain per year, an amount that would support a diverse ecosystem were it not for the acid rain.

Hula Kahiko at Halema'uma'u Crater

Hula Kahiko at Halema'uma'u Crater
Hula Kahiko at Halema'uma'u Crater

Hawaiian Festivals and cultural events are often held at the Volcano National Park. Be sure to check at the Visitor Center for the current programs.

Volcano Riff Steam Vent

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Steaming Bluffs and Sulphur Banks

The Steaming Bluff is a treeless plain between the inner and outer cliffs of Kilauea Caldera. The ground just a few feet down is so hot that tree roots cannot survive, but shallow-rooted grasses & plants grow here.

Take the short walk to the caldera's edge to see the steam along the bluff. Across the road is the Sulfur Bank Trail where volcanic gases seep from the ground, depositing sulphur crystals and other minerals on rocks along this paved trail and boardwalk.

The sulfur comes from hydrogen sulfide, which is one of the gases emitted by the volcano. As the gas rises, it cools and forms minerals at the steam vents.

The steam vents are caused by the rainfall dripping down onto the hot lava rock beneath the surface and forming steam, which, of course, rises to escape through the pukas, holes, in the ground.

Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs

Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs
Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs

Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs

Only A Few Are Still Visible In This Area

Along the Chain of Craters Road, there is a pile of puka puka stone with a sign stuck in the center of the stones that says "Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs" and that is just about the only direction you will have unless you got a map at the Kilauea Visitor Center which is just a wee bit better.

As the aina (land) changes, you never know what will still be there and what will not, so that it is always better to have the latest map updates from the Kilauea Visitor Center

Follow the trail until you come to the boardwalk and then follow the boardwalk and you will see the petroglyphs. The boardwalk was built to protect the petroglyph from the millions of visitors who come to see them.

It is not only the walking that causes the erosion but also by the constant "rubbings" people were taking off the images to take home with them. Please, while visiting the petroglyphs, take photographs, but do not touch or rub the ancient symbols, lest they are worn out of existence, or pau (no more) as we say in Hawaii.

Pu'u loa in the Hawaiian language is a long or distant swelling or hill. The center of Pu`u loa consists of a volcanic pressure dome with different levels and areas of ancient pahoehoe (smooth, billowy, or ropy surface) lava hence the name is a description of the lay of the land.

The archeologist date Pu'u Loa back to between AD 1200-1450. This place is a sacred place to us in Hawai'i.

The archeological site of Pu`u Loa contained over 23,000 petroglyph images. These images contain pukas (holes), circles, spirals, and other geometric and cryptic designs, including anthropomorphic drawings including people, canoe sails, and even pictures of Hawaiian capes.

This is not the only place on the Big Island that petroglyphs can be found, but this is the area most accessible to tourist.

Reverend William Ellis, a missionary to the Hawaiian and Society Islands, recorded the earliest written observation of the petroglyphs at Pu`ul oa in 1823:

Ancient Hawaiians left these carvings in their travels lie leaving notes for other travelers.

When there were a number of concentric circles with a dot or mark in the center, the dot signified a man, and the number of rings denoted the number in the party who had walked around the island or around the area.

When there was a ring and a number of marks, it denoted the same; the number of marks showing off how many in the group; and the ring, that they had traveled completely around the island.

When there was only a half-circle, it meant they had returned to the same spot after reaching their destination.

There are amazing places where you can see the fossilized footprints of ancient Hawaiian warriors where the walked in the ash in their bare feet.

Just imagine the strength of the ancient Hawaiians, some as tall as 7 feet, walking on the still-warm lava, yet soft enough to leave their footprints. Imagine them stopping to draw these signs as they traveled through the area.

Some of the largest footprints on record, measure up to 15 inches in length. Talk about big foot!

Puako Petroglyphs - Hawaii Petroglyphs

A side show of petroglyphs near Puako, on the Big Island of Hawaii

Nene Geese ~ Hawaii's State Bird

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Gosling Sprint
Gosling Sprint | Source

Nene Goose - The State Bird of Hawaii

The Hawai'i state bird is the Nene (pronounced nay-nay) goose and is an indigenous species (Branta sandvicensis) of goose found solely in the Hawaiian Islands.

You can often see them often at the Hawaii Volcano National Park.

The nene was at one time quite prevalent in Hawai'i but is now one of the rarest bird in the world.

With the introduction of the mongoose to the Hawaiian islands to eradicate the rat infestation brought by the visiting ships, and the hunting of the bird for its meat and feathers, the population has dwindled to the point of extinction.

Another factor that has contributed to the demise of the nene population has been the destruction of the bird's natural habitats from urban sprawl.

By 1952, there were only 30 known birds left in the islands.

Because of successful breeding in captivity, the birds were reintroduced to the wild in 2004 and the estimated count is somewhere around 800 birds in the wild and 1000 in captivity.

Nene's were no longer found on Oahu at all and could only be found on Maui, Kaua'i, and mainly on the Big Island.

A year ago, on 27 March 2014, the nene returned to Oahu. A nene pair of birds were discovered at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge with 3 goslings bringing the total nene residency to 5 on Oahu.

Nene Geese and Gosling Family Out for a Stroll

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Do Not Feed the Nene

When you see the birds at the Volcano National Park, please do not feed them as they tend to flock in the parking lots looking for more food once they have received it from visitors.

This can also be detrimental to the birds as cars have inadvertently run them over in the parking lot by the unobservant motorist that have just finished feeding the birds.

The Nene's are now protected by the Federal government and it is a Federal crime to cause injury to these birds. By refraining from feeding and injuring the birds, you will have a pleasant vacation, not a ruined one, by being thrown in a Hawaiian prison.

You have been warned!

The End of the Trail Chain of Craters Road

It's the end of the road and time for a refreshing cocktail at the historical Volcano House next!

In the next video, the sound is horrendous from the wind so turn down your speakers.

The Famous Volcano House

A Brief History of the Volcano House

You cannot leave the volcano area without having a visit to the historic Volcano House Hotel, at least for a cocktail in uncle George's Lounge!

The first Volcano House had it's humble beginnings as a grass hut around 1824 when Princess Kapiolani with her aloali'i ka`alani (members of the court) stopped at the rim of the crater and build a grass hut for shelter.

After many years and many buildings later, in 1866, a more substantial Volcano House was constructed of grass and ohia poles.

Mark Twain was a guest at the hotel the very same year and described it as a "neat, roomy, well furnished and a well-kept hotel. The surprise of finding a good hotel at such as outlandish spot startled me, considerably more than the volcano did", wrote Mark Twain.

The Volcano House continued to evolve and in 1877 a newly build hotel had a rustic, warm, mountain lodge feeling with a huge fireplace made out of puka puka stone from the volcano.

The same fireplace has survived a fire and has burned continuously for 133 years keeping visitors warm with its aloha and the same warm feeling of aloha, to this day, reverberates within its walls.

The fire went out for the first time in all those years with the renovations of 2012. The end of a wonderful century old tradition to move forward in a modern world.

"Uncle George" Lycurgus bought the place in 1895. "Uncle George", as everyone called him, was from Greece. He ran that hotel for 65 years. He ran it with warmth and charm until he died at 94.

Everyone said that he could communicate with "Tutu Pele". For years, he had been able to predict when the volcano was going to erupt.

The day of the 1959 Kilauea Iki eruption we had been at the Volcano House with my mother paying a visit to Uncle George. He told us kids, that day that the volcano would erupt that night and it did.

Deluxe Guest Room
Deluxe Guest Room | Source

The rooms at the Volcano House are by no means high end luxurious. They are quaint and clean, but you will not find a TV or a telephone in the rooms.

Whenever I have stayed there I never felt I needed one as there was always some sort of Hawaiian entertainment going on in the lounge. The hotel is very ohana, family style, very warm and the service very gracious.

The Hawaii Volcano House is heated by the steam from the volcano. There is a Japanese style fudo, steam bath, also generated by the steam from the volcano, that is wonderful to soak in after hiking around the craters all day. Just ask the front desk for the key.

Once you have soaked away the aches of the day, dined on some of the wonderful food the hotel has to offer, had cocktails, and entertainment, you won't need that TV addiction. You will be so relaxed and full that all you will want to do is sleep anyway!

The new renovations have brought the hotel into the twenty-first century by including complimentary WiFi internet access. However, still no TV or phone.

Volcano House Videos

Even if you don't stay for the night you should stop at the beautiful koa wood bar in the hotel for a cocktail or soft drink before continuing your journey.

Hawaii's Historic Volcano House Hotel

Ka`u District

Sugar Cane
Sugar Cane | Source

The Drive to South Point

As we head towards the most southern part of the island we are entering the District of Ka'u.

The next place we will be passing through is another old sugar plantation town called Pahala.

Sugar cane was raised in Pahala from the 1800s until they shut down in 1996.

The word Pahala is the ash residue left from burning the hala (cane leaves).

Pahala Town

Old Pahala Sugar Plantation House
Old Pahala Sugar Plantation House

An interesting fact about Pahala Sugar Mill was in 1970 when there was the first gas shortage in Hawaii, a fella by the name of Bob Shleser had proposed an idea to Doc Buyer, the CEO of C Brewer Sugar Company, to convert the Pahala Sugar Mill into producing Ethanol fuel from sugarcane.

All of us environmentalist and conservationist back then were talking about the use of fossil fuels; looking for alternative energy sources; warning people not to have so many babies, as the earth would not be able to support them; slowing down the consumption of petroleum products, organic gardening, etc, etc, etc.

When we heard about this proposal we thought it was a fantastic idea for the use of sugarcane. It would be a much better use than actually eating the sugar. LOL and it would keep everybody working. There were three and four generations of families that had worked these fields. It was all they knew how to do.

Bob Shleser had also proposed a bill that would require 25% of all of the automobiles in Hawaii to be retrofitted to use Ethanol by the year 1985.

Doc Buyer chickened out on the whole plan. What a short-sighted idiot! This would not only have been a way to save the sugar plantations, save the local jobs and economy, but it would have made C Brewer gazillions and who knows what it would have done for the environment as far as Ethanol production!

In 1994, Doc Buyer made a last-ditch effort to keep the mill running. But it required all workers to take drastic pay cuts; most would have to accept minimum wage. The workers refused. Can you imagine trying to live in Hawaii on minimum wage? Auwe! That was a no can do, however, that sealed the fate of the sugar legacy in Pahala and the Hawaiian islands. It was cheaper to produce sugar cane to import to the mainland from the Caribbean.

The last sugarcane was hauled and processed at the mill. Over the next 2 years, the mill was dismantled and sold as parts to other manufacturing plants around the world. The sugar plantation and mill shut down in April 1996.

By 1960, Macadamia nut plantations were growing and have completely replaced the sugar cane on the Big Island.

Wood Valley Tibetan Buddhist Temple of Pahala

Wood Valley Tibetan Buddhist Temple of Pahala
Wood Valley Tibetan Buddhist Temple of Pahala

Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling "Immutable Island of Melodious Sound" is a Buddhist temple and retreat located on 25 acres in Wood Valley, the Ka'u District of the Island of Hawai'i.

The Wood Valley Temple opened it's doors in 1902 and became the Nicheren Shu Japanese church.

In 1973, the Wood Valley Temple was established into a Tibetan Buddhist Temple by the Venerable Nechung Rinpoche and was named Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling. Sometimes old names are hard to change in Hawaii, as all the local people still call it Wood Valley Temple.

Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling is a retreat for meditation and the learning of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. It has been established as a place for great masters to teach students in the ways of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a place for students to receive and actualize these instructions through contemplation and meditation.

The Dalai Lamai has honored the Big Island of Hawaii with two historic visits to the Wood Valley Temple & Retreat Center in Pahala in both 1980 and 1994. Thousands attended the honored visits to pay homage to a truly spiritual man and receive his blessings.

For more information on the Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Retreat:

Contact:

Post Office Box 250

Pahala, Hawaii 96777

Voice: (808) 928-8539

Fax: (808) 928-6271

Send Email Here: Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Retreat

Inside the Temple

Inside the Nechung Tibetan Buddhist Temple and Retreat
Inside the Nechung Tibetan Buddhist Temple and Retreat

Keoki Kahumoku's Hawaiian Music Camp

If you ever had the dream of learning how to play the Hawaiian ukulele, the Hawaiian slack key guitar and living the Hawaiian lifestyle, the Pahala Plantation house features the popular Kahumoku Hawaiian Music & Lifestyle Workshop.

Keoki Kahumoku will be holding his 10th annual Kahumoku 'Ohana Hawaiian Music and Lifestyles Workshop from November 7 through November 15, 2015, in the district of Ka'u.

The workshops teach hands-on instruction in ukulele, slack key guitar, acoustic Hawaiian steel guitar, slack key bass, as well as song improvisation, chanting, song pronunciation and interpretation.

Participants can also enjoy private lessons and nightly kani ka pila (jam sessions).

Scholarships are also available. Last December's camp finished off with a traditional luau. It was a real local style (authentic) not haole style (tourist).

For information on the next workshop that will be held or for scholarship applications, visit Hawaiian Music & Lifestyle Workshop

You may also contact the Pahala Plantation House at:

E-mail: mahalo@aloha.net

Phone: 808-928-9811

Mailing Address:

Pahala Plantation House

PO Box 940

Pahala, HI 96777

Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop 2014

Kahumoku 'Ohana Music & Lifestyle Workshop 2013

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is famous for the population of honu green sea turtles that love to come ashore to bask in the sun. The turtle are now protected by the federal government and they show no fear of humans while they rest, enjoying the sun.

Young Green Sea Turtle

Young Green Sea Turtle
Young Green Sea Turtle

The honu, green sea turtles are the ones that come ashore during the day and the Honu'ea, hawksbill turtles, are the night dwellers.

The reason they are federally protected, obviously, is that their numbers are dwindling.

The oceans have been overfished and the turtles are still considered a delicacy to many Asian and European countries. Pollution and fishing nets are also big killers

The sale of products made from turtle shell is still banned in the USA, but that doesn't stop poachers from selling their meat and shells on the black market overseas. The black market is still paying high dollar for the sale of their meat and shells.

When coming into contact with the turtles napping on the beach, please KEEP YOUR DISTANCE and do not bother them or try to drag them back into the ocean.

They will leave on their own accord when they are good and ready.

Great harm can be caused to these peaceful sea creatures by dragging, poking, trying to force feed them, or any of the other idiot things humans will do to them for entertainment.

Honu Taking a Nap at Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Green Sea Turtle Sleeping At Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Green Sea Turtle Sleeping At Punaluu Black Sand Beach | Source

With that being said, Punalu'u is an awesome place to swim, snorkel and dive. It is a wonderful place to just kick back and enjoy a relaxing day on the beach.

Just a reminder...you are still in Pele's home. Do not remove the black sand from the beach to take home as a souvenir! You may just live to regret it.

You have been warned!

Na'alehu

Na'alehu is Still Old Time Hawaii Farms

As we drive leisurely towards South Point, Na'alehu springs into sight as the last town before we enter the Kona Coast District.

Na'alehu promotes its claim to fame on numerous signs as the "Southernmost Community in the U.S.A."

Na'alehu is mostly dairy with chicken farms. This is where our island milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs come from. Many of us will not buy the imported dairy products. We only buy our local Na'alehu dairy products!

Kalaekilohana & Retreat - Hale Kipa Na`auao

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B& B Hosts -Kilohana and Chef  Kenny
B& B Hosts -Kilohana and Chef Kenny
Kilohana Feather Craft
Kilohana Feather Craft

A Bed & Breakfast that is well worth noting for its aloha spirit and culture is the Kalaekilohana - Hale Kipa Na`auao which is a spacious, sugar-plantation-style house. It has four bedrooms with private baths.

The inn It opened about 10 years ago and its focus is on the Hawaiian culture and the Hawaiian arts. They host workshops that teach how to make the traditional Hawaiian haku lei.

A haku lei is a lei which is woven, or braided, out of the native Hawaiian flowers and plants rather than flowers that have been strung on a string.

They also teach traditional Hawaiian lauhala basket and hat weaving. The name Hale Kipa Na`auao means "guest house of learning" in Hawaiian.

Kilohana, the host, is very helpful with the orientation on what to see and do in the area, including tips for the malihini (newcomer) on being a respectful visitor. Here you will find gracious Hawaiian hosts and ono (delicious) food. It is more like being with family than being a visitor, in beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

Kilohana is an accomplished fresh flower lei and feather lei maker. He is recognized locally and nationally for is artful craft.

He is well connected within the hula and Hawaiian artisan community. His fresh lei work has won many awards. He is a recipient of a Smithsonian fellowship related to his feather work.

He has had pieces on display at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and can be found in their publications. He has presented classes and demonstrations in cities from coast to coast and is a regular participant in several cultural events locally.

He is a member of the highly regarded Hula Halau Na Kamalei. He holds a degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaii.

The Na'alehu Hobbit House - Waiohinu, Hawaii

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All over the Island of Hawaii there are many eclectic and unusual homes. I have stayed in beautiful homes ranging from, fully functional tree houses in the rainforest to coffee shacks in the mountains.

The hobbit house is just one of the types of homes that have been built by people of unconventional vision.

Want to stay there? You can. Darlene and Bill run a B & B out of this house and I just discovered the Hobbit House is for sale

Contact: Darlene & Bill Whaling

P.O. Box 269

Waiohinu, Hawaii 96772

808-929-9755

Visit their website at:

Naalehu Hobbit House

You must watch the video to see the inside of the house and the property. Then put it on your list as a place to stay the next time you are in Hawaii. It makes an excellent honeymoon getaway too!

Hawaii Honeymoon Hobbit House Vacation Rental

South Point Hawaii - Ka'lea

The Most Sountern Point of the United States

The Most Sountern Point of the United States
The Most Sountern Point of the United States

Ka'lea - South Point

What is the most southern point of the United States? Ka'lea, or South Point, is the most southern point of the United States. This is a trivia question often missed on mainland game shows.

South Point is a great place to fish for ulua from the shore or to jump off the cliffs for a swim. We use to fish for Ulua right on the shoreline using a bamboo fishing pole. Yummy! So ono (delicious) to eat! You can also catch the really big ones offshore in a boat.

South Point is also a great place for deep sea fishing! We have pulled in many an ahi (yellowfin tuna), Ono (wahoo), mahi-mahi (dolphin fish) and ulua (Jack trevally) trolling here at South Point. These are my favorite fish to eat! Nah! I like 'em all!

We use to take a 42-foot fishing boat, the Ravakai, out to South Point for three-day fishing trips. You can catch quite a haul out there.

This is a giant ulua caught from a boat at sea off South Point. I have seen people pull in fish this size from the shore too using just bamboo fishing poles,


Fishing at South Point Videos

Video #1 Diving South Point

Video #2 These guys caught an ahi right from the cliffs. Auwe! Only in Hawaii!

Fishing for Ahi (Yellow Fin Tuna) Off South Point

Film Your Underwater & Land Adventures

.It's not enough to tell people what you saw underwater when you get back home....

You have to show them the beautiful crystal clear azure Pacific ocean water filled with the brilliant colors of the multi-hued tropical fish swimming amongst the majesty of the manta rays.

Film the protected honu sea turtles swimming amongst the brilliant scarlet pencil sea urchins that only seeing is believing.

If you need an excellent underwater camera to film all of the wonders of the Pacific ocean while you are diving in Hawaii, consider this well respected Panasonic Lumix brand.

You can return home with bragging rights accompanied by the underwater photos of your fabulous Hawaiian dives because of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera.

Green Sand Beach at Ka'lea

kalea green sand beach south point Hawaii
kalea green sand beach south point Hawaii

Olivine - Hawaiian Diamond

Olivine
Olivine | Source

To the east of the boat ramp is a trail where you can hike down to Papakōlea Beach, also known as Green Sand Beach or Mahana Beach, The hike is about two miles, but is well worth it.

The beach is situated in the center of an ancient cinder cone on Mauna Loa’s southwest rift

The green color of the beach comes from what us locals call Hawaiian diamonds (olivine) that has been broken down by the surf pounding on the shoreline.

Sometimes you can find large stones on the beach, such as the one pictured to the right, that haven't yet been ground down.

Olivine is usually named for its typically olive-green color, all though it may alter to a reddish color from the oxidation of iron.

Transparent olivine is sometimes used as a gemstone called peridot, the French word for olivine. It is also called chrysolite, from the Greek words for gold and stone.

Some of the finest gem-quality olivine has been obtained from a body of mantle rocks on Zabargad island in the Red Sea.

Diamond Head, on Oahu, was so named for the olivine that was seen sparkling in the rocks of the extinct volcano when the first seaman sailed into Oahu and mistook the stones for diamonds.

Hawaii has an abundance of it in the volcano areas on all of the Hawaiian Islands.

from Maui Divers of Hawaii

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Hawaiian Peridot Pendant with Diamonds

This beautiful piece is a 14K yellow-gold pendant set with a gorgeous Hawaiian diamond (Peridot) faceted oval-cut stone,

The stone is 11x9mm, with twenty faceted round Diamonds totaling 0.50 carats, total weight. Imagine wearing this this lovely piece this Easter. The color is perfect for spring or winter.


Ka Lae Wind Turbines

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Wind Turbines at South Point

South Point is known for its powerful winds, making it the perfect location for the wind farm located there.

Yup, it's so windy that some of the trees are growing horizontal, with their branches growing low to the ground, and in the same direction as the wind as you can see from the photo to the right.

The original South Point Kamaoa Wind Farm at Ka Lae was first turned on in 1985. It was shut down in August 2006 because of it's older and obsolete technology.

Westinghouse, the original manufacturer of the turbines, quit manufacturing the turbines and all replacement parts. As the parts wore out, the cost of maintenance increased and the old units were no longer an efficient energy source.

Apollo Energy Corporation purchased and re-powered the retired Kamaoa Wind Farm in April 2007. It is now owned and operated by Tawhiri Power LLC and has been renamed Pakini Nui Wind Farm.

The farm consists of 14 General Electric wind turbines producing almost 21 megawatts of power to the Big Islands electricity grid, which equates to about 7% of the total Big Island electrical use.

The plan is to more than double the old Kamaoa Wind Farm's power-generating capacity. Several other wind farms have cropped up in other areas of the island, helping to reduce the Big Island's dependence on imported oil.

You can still see rows of the old turbines standing like lost souls against the windblown landscape at Ka Lae.

Ka'u is a Special Way of Life for the Hawaiian People

Save Ka'u

The southernmost coast of Hawai`i is nearly uninhabited, however, the local Hawaiians are out there both surfing and body surfing at dawn. The ancient Hawaiian heiaus, temple sites, are still guarding the high cliffs above the sea.

Estuaries are home to native wildlife, some of which are indigenous to Hawaii and can not be found anywhere else in the world.

Although Pahala is surrounded by the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Ka`u Coastline is privately owned, and is still vulnerable to land developers from both the mainland and overseas interest such as Japan and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

With the U.S. government's past history of "legalized stealing" by rezoning and raising taxes to take what they want from the Hawaiian people when they can't pay, it is feared that this aina (land) will also be destroyed for the sake of "progress and the all Amerikan dollar" translated as greed.

A community movement urges preservation of Hawaiian sites, native species, ocean access and open spaces, ahead of a large population growth expected in Ka`u, along the southernmost shore of the 50 United States.

"Some success has been achieved. The Nature Conservancy purchased 24 acres at Kamehame, a key nesting place for the honu'ea (hawksbill turtles).

Trust for Public Land and Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo acquired 225 acres for a park at Honu`apo, and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund led an effort that transferred 1200 acres along the Waiohinu shore from cattle ranching to state forestry management. The SAVING KA`U'S COAST film project assisted at Honu`apo and Waiohinu," according to SAVING KA`U'S COASTLINE

SAVING KA`U'S COAST, has created a 15-minute film on preserving the southern most shore in Hawai`i, and is presented by the monthly publication The Ka`u Calendar.

The film expresses views of people intimately related to the shore, particularly at Honu`apo Bay & Fish Ponds, Kawa surfing beach, and Punalu`u Black Sand Beach.

All three shoreline estuaries are the locations of historical and sacred Hawaiian sites. They are also popular seaside recreational areas not only for the local people but are favorites for the tourist as well.

The film is one of the tools employed to raise more than $3.4 million to purchase 225 acres along the shore to protect Honu`apo. However, Kawa and Punalu`u are still in danger of being developed, as they are considered to be prime real estate property as they are significant shoreline sites between Honu`apo and South Kona.

The film is available for shipping and handling costs of $7.50 per DVD.

Send check or money order to:

The Ka`u Calendar

P.O. Box 940

Pahala, HI 96777

Call 808-928-9811 to purchase by credit card,

or email info@kaucoast.org

Those wanting to preserve Ka`u's Coast may share this film with others, contact organizations promoting parks and environmental stewardship, contact Native Hawaiian groups, and by contacting Hawai`i county, state and federal officials.

To learn more visit Free Hawaii

Big Island of Hawaii - Part 5

Thank you for visiting and continuing on with our Big Island of Hawaii Circle Island Tour.

We will be continuing on to Ho'okena in South Kona, along the west coast of the island, as we travel back towards Kailua-Kona where our tour of the Big Island of Hawaii comes to an end.

Please continue on with the Big Island of Hawaii Circle Island Tour - Part 5 - The South Kona Coast to see another portion of this magnificent tropical island.

Have Questions About The Big Island of Hawaii?

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    • k4shmir profile image

      k4shmir 3 years ago

      nice lens. thanks for sharing

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
      Author

      June Parker 3 years ago from New York

      @CoachGary: LOL.. Don't quit your job. Just take a vacation.

    • CoachGary profile image

      CoachGary 3 years ago

      Wow awesome lens. This is making me want to quit my job and hop on a plane to Hawaii

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image
      Author

      June Parker 3 years ago from New York

      @Aunt-Mollie: I wouldn't live that close to it either. I wouldn't want my home covered in lava.

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      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      This is a gorgeous place, but living on a volcano would just frighten me!

    • Keepingscore profile image

      Keepingscore 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed visiting South Point, was nice to hear the wind farms were re-powered. You have a double sentence above I'm sure you want to know about. The crater is about 3,000 feet across and nearly 300 feet deep. Please respect this sacred site.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos - this page really makes me want to visit the Big Island of Hawaii :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Place to travel, visit, live at during the cold months, great article to read on daydream day.

    • RCGraphicsDesign profile image

      RCGraphicsDesign 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I love Hawaii - it must be like a dream state to live there.

    • BlueTrane profile image

      BlueTrane 5 years ago

      Maybe this is the year for a hike to green sand beach.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Absolutely smashing lens. Had a great time viewing the pics!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow. Amazing and great lens. Thanks for this.

    • profile image

      r2fish 5 years ago

      I'm amazed to see a lens with so much description on the Hawaiian Islands.

    • profile image

      Teanytiny 5 years ago

      I was enjoying your lens very much, very detailed and hard work. Place worth visiting :)

    • Pat Broker profile image

      Pat Broker 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Wow! Very comprehensive lens. I've been to a few of these places and hope to visit many more after seeing this lens.

    • profile image

      queenmbeautycosmetics 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for the insight :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is one of the most thorough views of the Big Island, in a small space, that I've had the pleasure to look through. Love the pictures and home videos :-)

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 5 years ago

      Very beautiful lens on a beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.Thanks.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      I've visited many of these places and they are even more beautiful than one can imagine. This is a wonderful tribute to the Big Island of Hawaii.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 6 years ago

      Thank you for this Great Lens on the Big Island of Hawaii - Volcano Area & South Point

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