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Hawaii

Take a Journey through Hawaii's Amazing Lava Tubes

What makes Hawaii such a wonderful place to visit isn’t just its unique culture and beautiful ocean views but the numerous natural wonders that can’t be found anywhere else. Hawaii is undoubtedly very famous for its volcanic activity which has sculpted it into one of the most naturalistically beautiful places in the country.

As destructive as lava flows and volcanic eruptions can be they also hold the amazing ability to create. In their most dramatic form, lava expelled from the Earth from a volcanic eruption can create entirely new stretches of land. The islands of Hawaii, as well as numerous other islands in the South Pacific, were formed over several volcanic eruptions on the ocean floor.

Lava tubes

Perhaps the most unique of these natural wonders are the numerous lava tubes that have formed over Hawaii’s numerous centuries of volcanic activities. Lava tubes are formed when thick amounts of molten rock are expelled from beneath the Earth’s surface and travel slowly across the landscape. If the lava flow is slow and thick enough a hard layer begins to form on the top of the lava and slowly hardens into rock. As the lava flow continues to travel across the Earth’s surface and disperse and cool into solid rock, a labyrinth of caves is left behind.

Compared with other caves which are usually formed by water slowly eroding limestone over millions of years, lava tubes can be formed almost instantaneously but are nonetheless still just as magnificent and dramatic to explore as any other cave. One of the best places for anyone interested in exploring these unique formations for themselves is on Hawaii’s Big Island which offers guests some of the best ones to explore in the entire world.

Most popular for locals

Besides being an exciting activity for tourists to come and visit, the discovery and mapping of these lava tubes are one of the most popular past times for locals. The lava tubes offer a unique blend of adventure for spelunkers, valuable data for geologists, and even important historical and paleontological discoveries made in some of the oldest lava tubes in the country. If you’re visiting Hawaii for the first time don’t miss out on the unique chance to explore these natural wonders for yourself.

Hawaii's Volcano National Park

Hawaii’s Big Island is known for having the best and most dramatic of these lava tubes in the entire world. Perhaps the most famous of these lava tubes can be found in Hawaii’s Volcano National Park. Known as Thurston Lava Tube or Nahaku is one of the most popular destinations in all of Hawaii. Just a short hike through the rainforest from the parking lot will bring you face to face with this amazing natural wonder. The cave is a little over five hundred years old and has ceilings that reach up to twenty feet high and tunnels that span six hundred feet long. Another popular lava tube to visit is Kaumana Cave a twenty five-mile stretch of caverns with two miles open to the public. If you’re looking for a more in-depth tour of these unique cave systems you may want to consider booking a tour to see Kazumara, one of the longest and deepest in the world or Kula Kai Caverns, which is the second-longest in the world and well known for its labyrinth-like quality and the numerous ancient Hawaiian artifacts that have been discovered within its depths. Come and see what makes lava tubes one of the most popular places to explore in all of Hawaii whether you’re looking for an adventure, a breath of fresh air out in nature, or a unique educational tour there is a lava tube that can be explored for everyone.


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