Welcome to the

    Kilauea Caverns of Fire   

The Kazamura Lava Tubes are the longest and deepest system in the world!

These beautiful and colorful caverns will fill you with a sense of awe and mystery as you are lead through their maze by a knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Our guide will lead you through years of island history and review the unique plate tectonics that have been occurring here in the pacific ocean, and explaining the creation of lava tubes and various lava formations throughout the islands.




Once you enter the tube, you will be standing inside the most active volcano in the world. Carved out between 500 and 700 years ago, these spacious caves,  standing some 80 feet high and 100 feet wide in places, are covered in colorful flow stone, stalactites and stalagmites.

 

                

 

       

 

 

 

About 500 years ago, Kilauea Iki, a crater on the east side of Kilauea Volcano Caldera, started to erupt..  Lava from the crater began to flow down the north east flank of the volcano toward the sea, 25 miles away.  As the lava covered more and more of the surface, channels started to form in the flow.  These channels allowed the bulk of the flow to be carried downstream more efficiently.  Levees would then begin to build up on the sides of the channels followed by the crusting over of the top.  When the crusting over was complete, the channels became a lava tube.

 
Lava traveling through a tube is insulated against the cooling effects of the air and can travel great distances with little heat loss.  If you could see lava flowing through a lave tube, it would appear to be very fluid; but in reality it is a river of molten rock that has the consistency of wet concrete.  Like wet concrete, lava is very abrasive.  The walls and floor of the tube are heated to a putty-like consistency and then gouged out by the flow.  In this way a lava tube can become deeper and wider.  Given enough time and favorable conditions this down-cutting can create canyons and lava falls.  Lava can also be forced into cracks or holes in the rock.  This could possibly speed up the process of enlarging the tube.  
 
Sometimes when lava has been injected into the walls or ceiling it will just remain there until the lava level in the tube begins to drop.  At which time lava will ooze or gush from these holes and can create soda straws or soda straw like formations called vermiform, meaning worm-like.  

 
 


Sunlight falling through a hole in the ceiling.
The skylight is 3m by 3.50m and is 17m above the floor.
Photographer: Rob Ratkowski

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Here is a computer-animated video of how lava flows through an active cave system

 

 

 

As lava levels in the tube drop; dripping from the ceiling can produce lavacicles.  As lava levels drop further and the tube begins to drain, air from outside begins to rush in.  At this point yet another tube in a tube is formed.  Lava flowing over the falls is already cooling to a puttylike consistency and begins to pile up upon itself forming an irregular column called a dribble spire.

 
 Thick crusts form over the plunge pools at the base of lava falls and then begin to sag as lava drains away from beneath, unable to support it own weight.  The last tubes to form also begin to collapse without lava to support the weight of their crusts.  Cool air cracks the hot surfaces and in places, rocks fall from the walls and ceiling.  

 
It can take years for a lava tube to cool.  Plants and insects will have already begun recolonizing the surface.  When the tube finally does cool enough to support life, insects will find their way into the newly formed cave.

 
Kazumura Cave is just one of several tubes that formed in that eruption which began at Kilauea Iki 500 years ago.  Lava flowed for anywhere from 60 to 150 years, depending on who you talk to, and is quite possibly the reason why Kazumura Cave is the world's largest known lava tube.  With 40 miles of surveyed passages and a vertical extent of 3,602 feet, Kazumura Cave is not only the longest lava tube, but is also the deepest cave in the United States.      

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Tours are by appointment, 20 people maximum on the walking tour and 8 people maximum on the adventure tour.
Participants must be at least 5 years of age. For booking, please call: (808)-217-2363

 

Tours last 1 hour for the walking tour, and 3 hours for the adventure tour.
Hard-hats, gloves, and flashlights are provided.
Dress appropriately:
Hiking Boots or some other well made shoe is required.
Lava is sharp and will slice up your feet if they are not covered.
Long Pants can protect your legs in the event you trip and fall, or walk to close to a sharp rock.
Jacket (optional).  The cave temperature is 61 degrees F. and wet.  Water drips all the time in places, more when it rains.
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All visitors are asked to observe two rules while visiting the cave:
 
1. Please Do Not Touch Anything! All lava formations are irreplaceable.  Many are quite fragile.  When a lava formation is damaged or broken, it is damaged or broken forever.  It will NEVER grow back!  Crystals found in Lava Tubes are also quite fragile so please do not touch anything.
2. Please Do Not Remove Anything From The Cave so the cave can be preserved for future generations.



We offer you a choice of two tours:

1-Scenic Walking Tour (1+ hrs.) only $29
(safe and easy)
2-Adventure Tour (3+ hrs.) only $79 
(long and adventurous, a spelunkers' dream)
 

To book your tour, please call: (808)-217-2363

We are located just south of Hilo off Highway 11, between Mountain View & Kurtistown.

E-mail: curtishill505@hotmail.com

 

 

 

E-mail: curtishill505@hotmail.com