Hawaii emerged from the sea millions of years ago, forged by the power of volcanoes. Today, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island is one of the few places in the world where visitors can come face to face with an active volcano.
There are currently three active volcanoes in Hawaii. On Hawaii Island you'll find Maunaloa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . Maunaloa last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. Loihi is located underwater off the southern coast of Hawaii Island. Erupting since 1996, this emerging seamount may break the surface in about 250,000 years, adding a ninth island to the Hawaiian chain.
The exciting volcanic activity continues to evolve on Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On March 5, 2011 several miles downslope from the summit, a new fissure erupted with a curtain of fire that rose up to eighty feet high. This eruptive phase cannot be accessed by the public, however the rangers at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park visitors center are sharing the latest videos and photographs from this site and others around the park.
http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/ - For daily Kilauea eruption updates, (808) 967-7328 http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/KIcam/ - For a live view of Halemaumau Crater Coastal Viewing Meanwhile, 25 miles down to the coast at the end of Chain of Craters Road you can hike to an area where lava from Kilauea Volcano was at one time flowing into the sea. In July 2008, there were especially dramatic explosions as fiery lava burst into the sea, and from spectacular outbreaks of molten lava in remote upslope locations. The show is currently northeast of the park on the coast at Kalapana, located at the end of Highway 130 in the Puna
Hawaii is also the birthplace of big wave surfing. In the 1950’s surfers began to ride the powerful winter waves of Makaha on Oahu’s west shore and Waimea Bay on the North Shore. Big wave season in Hawaii happens roughly between November and February on Hawaii’s north shores. Some of the best surfing competitions in the world are held on Oahu’s North Shore in November and December including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (the Super Bowl of surfing).
Breathtaking trails for every level, each island has trails for everyone and all abilities.
Explore hidden and tucked away beaches, wildlife, enchanting waterfalls or take in a romantic sunrise or sunset.
Recently Google and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau launched an interactive map of hiking trails on the Big Island. Take a peek and see for yourself what Hawaii has to offer.
Kohola (humpback whales) are one of the larger species of baleen whales, with adult males ranging between 40 and 52 feet and weighing up to 45 tons. Despite their size, humpback whales are surprisingly graceful acrobats. Keep your eye on the ocean and you might see one "breach," propelling up to 40 percent of its body out of the water and landing on its side with a spectacular splash. If you've ever heard a whale song, you've listened to a male humpback whale. Their haunting melodies can be heard underwater from up to twelve miles away.
Why do whales come to Hawaii? Just as our idyllic weather beckons to tourists around the world, the warm shallow waters (less than 600 feet) surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands are a favorite destination for humpback whales. Scientists estimate that two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population returns to Hawaii to breed, calve and nurse their young. They race over 3,000 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Hawaii in less than two months, then stay for a lengthy vacation, frolicking off our shores and entertaining spectators from December through May . In Hawaii, the return of the kohola is considered more of a homecoming than a visit. Humpback calves are born in Hawaiian waters, making them "kamaaina" or native born. Some Native Hawaiians also believe the kohola are aumakua (family guardians), and so these gentle giants are treated with great respect.
Lounging at the pool is always nice, but why not feel the sand between your toes and enjoy the warm waters of Hawaii? From surfing and canoeing on Waikiki beach to swimming with manta rays on Hawaii Island, get out and experience an unforgettable water adventure in Hawaii.
From indigenous marine life to friendly seasonal visitors, the warm waters of Hawaii Island are home to a variety of sea animals that can be easily discovered—if you know where to look.