Volcanoes National Park Odyssey
Duration: 4 1/2 hours
Tour Code: ilo-001
This excursion is a wonderful opportunity to experience the most well-known attraction on the Big Island of Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you will embark on a scenic 1-hour journey to Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii's only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival at the Park, you will enjoy a drive along the 11-mile Crater Rim that circles Kilauea's summit caldera and craters. Frequent stops allow you to appreciate first-hand the wonder and unique beauty of Hawaii's volcanoes. Marvel at the smooth (pahoehoe) and jagged lava (a'a), lava tubes, sulphur banks and bleak desert areas that comprise this dramatic landscape and be sure to bring along your camera as you'll certainly want to capture some of these incredible sights as a reminder of your visit. Later, a short walk along a rain forest path leads you to the famed Thurston Lava Tube, a natural wonder unique to Hawaii. Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher, discovered the tube in 1913 and it has fascinated all who visit it for decades.
Continuing on, you will make your way to the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, located next to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (not open to the general public). Museum visitors can see ongoing videos of volcanic eruptions, geologic displays, and working seismic equipment relating to the adjacent Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. From this location there are spectacular overlooks into Kilauea Caldera and Halema'uma'u Crater. Oval-shaped Kilauea Caldera is 2 to 2.5 miles across, depending on where you stand, and is approximately 400 ft. deep in some places. Within this caldera is Halema'uma'u Crater. This close to the crater, you can smell the brimstone (an old-fashioned name for sulphur) and hear steam hissing out of fissures in the rock.
Leaving the Park behind, you will next travel to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory for a visit. Macadamia nuts are considered by many to be the world's finest nuts and before you leave, you will have some time to browse the popular gift shop and perhaps pick up some to take home with you.
Following your visit to the Macadamia Nut Factory, you will transfer back to the pier where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing. There are some steps to negotiate in order to view the Thurston Lava Tube. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, can make their own way on and off the coach and have a companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. It is important to note that natural sulfur gases found around the craters may affect those with respiratory problems. The volcano area is known for being cool and wet, so guests should bring a light jacket and an umbrella as well as wear flat, comfortable walking shoes. Participants should not expect to see molten lava. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.