The Big Island: From a Volcano to the Beach
The Big Island is pretty big standing up to its name and Kilauea volcano is adding more land by the year.
A drive to the other side of the island and back definitely takes the better part of a day. We were lucky in that there was a beach just down the road that we found extremely suitable for our needs. From a volleyball court to a lifeguard on duty, showers, bathrooms and a picnic area, it had it all. It certainly wasn’t the biggest or longest or held the whitest of sounds though it’s name was White Sands, but it was great for a place to head in the late afternoon when we weren’t quite done beaching it, but were back from an adventure out. It was also good for families with little ones. The waves could be a bit rough, but one end had some rocks and tide pools so little tots could splash around.
Next to White Sands is also a grassy area with picnic tables and a barrier wall which was awesome for a little family dinner near the ocean. With the wall, the toddlers could waddle around and be protected and with the picnic tables, we could all grab some grub and enjoy the amazing sunsets.
One of our day trips out took us to the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach for some sea turtle watching and the nearby Volcanoes National Park home of Kilauea volcano and Maunaloa volcano. This volcano park is one of the most popular attractions because you can actually see steam rising from the depths of the earth. Though, from afar it wasn’t as stunning as it sounds but we got a kick out of it. While active volcano sounds huge and intense… this is not. There is a lava-tube to walk through, a museum for an explanations you may need and tons of walking trails. Don’t be confused, the paths are pretty flat so it’s not hiking like my uncle expected. These are very easy walking trails around the volcano. Maunaloa volcano last erupted in 1984 but Kilauea has been erupting since 1983. Due to shifts in the wind, some trails also get cut off because you don’t want to inhale any noxious fumes. The day we went, we weren’t able to walk around the entire perimeter because of the wind. Kilauea is known as the “drive in volcano” because you can literally drive in to all of the sites. It’s very easy to drive in, see and head out which worked well for us and our babies.
Scientists have no idea when the current eruption will end. They say it could last another 100 years or end tomorrow. It’s currently producing 250,000 to 650,000 cubic yards of lava per day! It’s worth the drive-in trip for sure though.