One thing Bob really, really wanted to do was take the helicopter ride over the volcano. Kilauea is not currently spewing lava, but there is still steam rising from the vents and the crater is impressive.
The helicopter seated 7. The crew decided where each person would sit based on body weight. We literally had to get on the scale so they could determine that. No lying about your weight there!
It was hot outside and not cool within the helicopter. Keeping the air vents open was a challenge.
Here is our pilot. The red reflection is Bob waiting to board.
He was very informative about the land use, facts about the volcano, age of the lava flows, plant life, where the best waterfalls were located, etc. We had a great time! Our hotel was at Haupuna beach and the heliport was just above our location, minutes away, Sunshine Helicopter.
If you see shadows on the photos they are most likely reflections from my skin and hands, etc. Tried to crop most photos to remove them, but cannot possibly get them all.
Approaching the ” Culdera” According to Wikipedia “is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcano eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is gone. The ground surface then collapses into the emptied or partially emptied magma chamber, leaving a large depression at the surface. “
Though Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has a hotel and cabins I cannot say I would EVER want to camp in this area. Just the idea makes me feel too vulnerable. “The crater rim drive leads for 4 miles through steaming vents and rainforest,” says the national park folder. We were amazed that we could cross the street from the visitor center, walk into the Hawaii Volcanoes lodge and be at an overlook of the crater we saw from the air! We ordered our lunch there for carryout and ate in the car. The dining room was packed for Mother’s Day.
The Kīlauea Caldera , officially gazetted as Kīlauea Crater, is a caldera located at the summit of Kīlauea, an active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands. It has an extreme length of 2.93 mi , an extreme width of 1.95 mi, a circumference of 7.85 mi and an area of 4.14 sq mi . It contains Halemaʻumaʻu, an active pit crater near the caldera’s southwestern edge.USGS information