Face to Face with Hawaii's Mauna Loa Volcano
By Dallas Sherringham
I love Hawaii with its many legends, many of them based around Pele
You see, the Volcanoes in Hawaii are culturally significant and are connected to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes.
The recent eruption of Mauna Loa stunned the world, sending aazing images around the world.
The most accessible volcano is Kilauea, an easy drive from Hilo.
The eruption also bought Pele's story back to life.
Pele travelled to the Hawaiian Islands by canoe, after being banished by her father from Tahiti due to her fiery temper. Her sister, Nāmakaokahaʻi, the goddess of the sea, chased Pele, wishing to put an end to her fires, as well as Pele herself after it was thought that Pele had seduced her husband.
When Nāmakaokahaʻi caught up with Pele, the sisters battled to the death, with Nāmakaokahaʻi emerging victorious. Pele turned into a spirit and having travelled many thousands of miles in search of a suitable abode, she decided to settle in the summit of Kīlauea, within Halema‘uma‘u crater on the island of Hawai‘i.
In Hawaiian culture, Pele is known as a symbol of power and resilience, playing the role of both creator and destroyer of the land. The lava from her fiery volcanoes created the Hawaiian Islands, representing the fiery passion of the Hawaiian culture itself.
As the creator of Hawai‘i, her fires and lava rock are not only a symbol of destruction but equally a symbol of rejuvenation, with her mineral-rich magma expanding the Earth from the inside out, creating new land for the next generations to prosper on.
Back to Nature in Hawaii
Well-known for its volcanic and geological significance, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is also one of the most fascinating biological landscapes in the world.
Located more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the Hawaiian Archipelago is the most geographically isolated group of islands on Earth. Hawaiian plants and animals began to evolve over 70 million years ago in nearly complete isolation and over 90% of the native terrestrial flora and fauna in Hawaiʻi are found only in the Hawaiian islands. This level of endemism surpasses all other places on Earth— even the Galapagos Islands.
Despite their protected status, the park's treasure trove of species faces decimating threats. Declining habitat outside park boundaries, invasive plants, bird malaria, wildfires, feral cats and pigs, and introduced goats, sheep, rats, mongoose, ants, and wasps are all taking a toll on this wondrous place.
The Ultimate Experience
By Dallas Sherringham
One of the great experiences of my travelling life was flying over Kilauea Volcano aboard a Paradise Helicoters flight.
Kilauea was erupting mildly at the time but I can tell you it was like flying into the Dawn of Ceation.
I still tell the story every chance I get!
The Lava & Rainforests excursion showcases Hawai‘i's story and its inextricable link to the elements. You will fly over Kīlauea, one of the most active volcanoes on earth and search out any activity at Halema'uma'u crater, Ahuʻailāʻau, or Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent. The windward side catches enough rain to make Hilo the wettest city in the United States.
All this water fills tunnels that once flowed with lava, creating incredible rivers, pools, and waterfalls all over east Hawai’i. View Hilo’s lush rainforests, Mauna Loa’s vistas, and the plunging Wai‘ānuenue (Rainbow Falls), so named for the rainbows you can see in the mist when the early morning sunshine hits the water.
If go to Hawaai and dont do a helicopter experience you are missing out on so much.
Flight Details Tour departs fromHilo Airport
Flight Time1 hour**Flight times are approximate, do not include check-in time, and total times may vary depending on weather conditions and where the best sights are at the time of your tour.