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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, located 30 miles east of Hilo, is an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site renowned for the incredible story of evolution within it. The park encompasses 333,086 acres, seven ecological zones including rain forests, and is the home of Kilauea volcano - one of the most active volcanoes on earth. The chance to witness the primal process of creation and destruction makes this park one of the most popular visitor attractions in Hawaii and a sacred place for Native Hawaiians.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is pleased to announce reopening on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Most of the park has been closed to visitors since May 11th due to recent seismic activity and lava eruption from Halema'uma'u, the summit crater of Kilauea Volcano. Park Rangers are offering modified programs for visitors at the park's Kahuku Unit, Volcano Art Center's Niaulani Campus, and Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo. For current program information, please visit the National Park Service website.

Sightseeing by Car

Sightseeing by Car

Whether you prefer a guided tour by one of our many land tour companies or plan on driving your own car, please set aside an entire day for this adventure. To really get the most out of this day it will take at least 10 hours round trip. We recommend taking the beautiful Hamakua Coast on the way to the volcano modified programs, such as the Kahuku site, and then head back on Saddle Road after dark so you can pull over on the side of the road to view the red glow from a distance.

Sightseeing by Air

Sightseeing by Air

Helicopter tours are by far the best way to view HVNP. If leaving from the west side of the island, closest to Fairmont Orchid, the Big Island Spectacular Tour (2 hours) takes you through Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa directly to the park. After viewing the crater, the flight continues over rain forests, along the north eastern coast, and into the northern valleys to view beautiful waterfalls before bringing you back to the Kohala Coast. If you prefer a shorter flight time, you can drive to the Hilo airport (1 hour 45 minutes) and hop on a quick 45 minute flight just to view the crater.

Sightseeing by Boat

Sightseeing by Boat

Concierge recommends the company Kalapana Cultural Tours for lava view from the sea. The ocean is rough on that side of the island so it is recommended to travelers who are able to stomach the ocean swells. They offer an early morning tour which leaves Hilo Bay at 4am and an evening tour at 5pm. Both tour times offer viewing the full length of the ocean entry at a safe distance and the duration of the tour will show a transition from night to day and day to night.

Connecting our guests to the best of Hawai'i, the Concierge Team at Fairmont Orchid is always happy to provide additional information, insider tips or reservations and can be reached by email or phone at 808 887-7320. 

Images courtesy of Island of Hawai'i Visitors Bureau (IHVB).

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