The first day we arrived we just drove to the park, checked out the visitor center, checked into the cabins and then did a drive around to the Jagger Museum, which is a far as the road that usually circles Kilauea goes right now, as the volcano has been very active since March 2008. The above photo is from an area called Steam Vents - water dripping onto the hot rocks below comes out as steam.
The summit of Kilauea volcano - the caldera in the center is called Halemaumau, where the volcanic gas has been coming out since last year.
The gas coming out has Sulphur dioxide in it, so much of the park is closed right now to keep people out of the gas. We were lucky that we had such clear days and the wind took the gas away to the other side of the park (the part that is closed).
The second day we continued our drive around. This is a Tree Mold - where the lava solidifies around a tree (which is wet so cools the lava) and then the tree burns away, leaving these holes in the ground. They looked almost man made!
At the end of the Chain of Craters road you could walk across a road that was covered by lava in 2001. Some of the signs were still there....:0)
A short hike to these ancient Hawaiian Petroglyphs. I really enjoyed seeing these, and the 4 mile round trip hike.
That evening we went on a short 2 mile hike to some Sulphur Vents - where sulphur gas is coming up slowly from the active volcano. Though the gas is coming out really slowly, they form these yellow crystals and the whole area was just covered in tens of yellow vents.
The third day - an early morning to go out on a boat to see the lava pouring into the ocean. We started at 3am! There are some pictures I posted previously, so won't repeat, but this shot from the way back gives you an overview of the lava flow. That was a really amazing trip. The rest of the day we drove up to Mauna Kea outside the park and explored a little of Hilo by car.
The last morning we also started out early to visit the Thurston Lava Tube before the crowds arrived. We got in there before everyone and were the only ones, which was nice so we took our time and explored.
We then decided to do the Kilauea Iki trail (a small caldera to the side of Kilauea), which took us down inside a crater and back up the other side - a 4 mile circle. This photo is inside the caldera after the initial down. The floor of the crater was a lava field, it was amazing to see it up close.
On the crater floor there were a number of hot vents too, showing it is still active below our feet.
Looking back over the trail we just came, ready for the last stint back up the walls. It was a nice hike, took about 2.5hrs and we stopped and looked and photographed a lot too, so it was relaxed. After this we ate and headed out of the park. I got on a plane back to Oahu and Dad and Sanchia kept on going around the Big Island and then Maui. They come back tomorrow and we have a few days together again before they head out on friday.