4.5 star rating: Recommended 992 Reviews

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  • Address: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 1 Crater Rim Dr, Volcano, HI 96178, USA
  • Hours: Open at all times.
  • Admission: 7 Days: $10 per vehicle (including passengers), $5 per individual (by foot, bicycle).
Set inside of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Thurston Lava tube is the most accessible lava tube on the Big Island of Hawaii. Discovered in 1913 by newspaper publisher Lorrin Thurston, this dark recess is the result of subterranean lava which once flowed through this young section of earth. 400 years old and 600 feet long, the tube is now lit by electric lights to create an eerie glow for visitors who venture inside.

On the 15-minute walk down towards the cave the dense rainforest surroundings make it hard to believe that magma ever flowed through here at all. Nevertheless, as you make your way down a set of metal stairs, the entrance to the tube stares at you like a black abyss in the jungle. Although the ceiling can be a little low at points, the walk through the tube is completely safe and is a surreal contrast to the foliage outside. Roots of ohia trees can be seen on the ceiling, and ridges on the walls of the tube indicate where lava flowed and hardened at different speeds.

When you reach the end of the tube there is a small staircase which loops back towards your car, although those who brought a flashlight can venture into an unlit section of cavern that would be pitch black if you didn’t have a light. It’s a strange feeling to stand inside a tunnel which was carved by the Earth itself, especially in a part of the world where the geology is still so active.

If you only have a couple of hours to spend in the park then a 30-minute visit to the Thurston lava tube should be at the top of any itinerary. Although the ease of access means that it isn’t very “extreme”, it’s a sight which can be appreciated and enjoyed by even the most hardened of adventure seekers.

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Hawaii Grand Circle Island Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Hawaii Grand Circle Island Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

Your arrival, into the middle of a lava field, might almost seem like a moon landing. Lava, now solidified, created the wave-like, rippled fields that spread ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $108.00
Kilauea Hike and Glow from Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Kilauea Hike and Glow from Hilo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Get your hike on with one of the Park Service certified guides on this Kilauea Hike ‘n Glow tour. This is a specialized tour designed for adventurous guests ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $134.37
Hilo Volcano Special Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Hiking & Camping
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Hilo Volcano Special Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. While lava flow sightings cannot be guaranteed, you are likely to ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $93.00
Early Bird Volcano Express, Big Island of Hawaii, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Early Bird Volcano Express

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

The morning Volcano Express AM Tour offers the only direct tour from your hotel accommodation in Kona/Waikoloa/Kohala/Hilo to the highlights of Hawaii ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $103.12
Small Group Guided Big Island Twilight Volcano Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Small Group Guided Big Island Twilight Volcano Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 49 Reviews

See rare black sand beaches, stunning tropical waterfalls, and the fascinating sight of volcanoes at night. Visit the Big Island's most spectacular natural ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $196.00
Volcanoes National Park Private Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Night Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Volcanoes National Park Private Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Discover Volcanoes National Park on this private and personal tour. There are no "mixed" groups on this tour allowing you to see what you want to see ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $395.00
Volcanoes National Park and Waterfall Hilo Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Private ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Volcanoes National Park and Waterfall Hilo Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour

This is the perfect Private tour for a family or small group of up to 11 people to take a must see tour for one price.: Volcanoes National Park including ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $799.00
Hilo Hot Steam Volcano Tour: Waterfalls - Big Island Candies - Black Sand, Big Island of Hawaii, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Hilo Hot Steam Volcano Tour: Waterfalls - Big Island Candies - Black Sand

The Small-Group Hilo Hot Steam Volcano Tour is the one of the best and easiest ways to explore the highlights of Hilo and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $155.21
Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach, Big ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Hawaii Big Island Circle Small Group Tour: Waterfalls - Hilo - Volcano - Black Sand Beach

Circle the Big Island of Hawaii along the Mamalahoa Highway (Belt Road) that follows a natural path around the biggest Hawaiian Island. During this full day ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $186.46
Hawaii Island Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Hawaii Island Adventure

This tour of the Big Island takes you on a scenic drive from Hilo to the Hamakua Coast. Explore the Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $299.00

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