- What you should know before visiting Kazumura Cave
- Safety Tips in Kazumura Cave
Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kazumura Cave begins in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and descends into the Kilauea Valley. As one of the world’s geological spectacles, the cave attracts scientific minds and students eager to learn more about Hawaii’s volcanoes with lava plunge pools, whimsical lava falls, and breathtaking stalactites.
The lava tubes extend up to 40.7 miles, raising the curiosity of history buffs and experienced cavers alike. Here’s everything a tourist needs to know before circumnavigating this lava-sculpted geographic wonder.
About the Kazumura Cave
The recently discovered Kazumura Cave is not only the world’s largest lava tube, but also has rich cultural and geographical significance. Every geology fan’s dream is to discover the next unique phenomenon on Earth’s surface. In 1993, Kevin Allred and Mike Meyer fascinated the world when they discovered a hole connecting the two caves, later known as the longest continuous lava tube yet. Since then, Kazumura Cave has grown into a tourist attraction with numerous adventurous underground sections.
The complex cave features numerous lava falls and overlying tubes that tell a story of the multi-stage development of volcanic activity. The structures are impressive and tourists are allowed to photograph the lava blades, lava plunge pools and dangling stalactites. In addition, these caves and tubes are home to species adapted to life in the dark, namely spiders and a variety of moth species.
Tours are led by the passionate Harry Schick who runs Kazumura Cave Tours. The three adventures available include The Lava Falls, The Pit Room, and The Maze Room. The tours are quite technical and can last from one to eight hours. But four hours of discovery is the recommended duration.
- Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday
- Tour cost: From $50 per person
What you should know before visiting Kazumura Cave
Kazumura Cave is a must-see when visiting Hawaii. For tourists planning a trip to this unique Big Island destination, here is some important information worth considering before visiting.
The cave is not for everyone
A tour of Kazumura Cave is also a fascinating geology lesson, making it a paradise for curious travelers. The minimum age for visitors is 11 years. This age limit is based on safety as the tour around Kazumura Cave involves walking over loose, rocky terrain and climbing ladders.
For a less stressful trip, tourists suffering from claustrophobia or afraid of underground, enclosed spaces should inform the tour guide before the tour. Some interior parts of the cave are deep and dark, requiring tourists to use ladders and ropes to descend and ascend while navigating. Visitors who are afraid of heights should therefore avoid the tour or complete vertical training a month before the trip.
The Kazumura cave tours give a vivid insight into the volcanic evolution. Here are three categories of tours.
- Lava Falls Tour: The tour is easy to moderate depending on your experience. The walk offers an inviting introduction to the cave with filigree gypsum crystals.
- The pit room. The 25 x 35 foot hole at the bottom of the cave is the next leg of the tour. During this walk, tourists can see ceilings decorated with lava while the friendly guide shares the details of their creation. Safe to explore on foot, the centuries-old destination is home to intricate features that are hard to believe are made out of rock.
- The Labyrinth Tour. This section is suitable for experienced speleologists. The adventurous tour leads to the Sexton Maze and the Eureka Falls. The highlight of the trip is the series of incline points that each tourist in the group must descend. First is the 10 foot drop at Mongoose Falls, followed by Eureka Falls, a 37 foot drop. Finally, a 30-foot double-rope drop awaits any avid caver who has made it to the end.
Safety Tips in Kazumura Cave
For newcomers to Kazumura Cave, the experience can be overwhelming. Despite the fun and adventure, it’s important to understand the rules of the cave to avoid injury or other accidents. Here are a few safety tips tourists should keep in mind when exploring Kazumura Cave.
- Tours in Kazumura Cave are only available upon prior reservation. Early booking is therefore recommended, preferably by telephone.
- Visitors must wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, and knee and elbow pads. However, gloves, flashlights and hard hats are provided in Kazumura Cave.
- Children are not allowed on the maze tour.
- Eating is forbidden in the cave. This is a conservation measure in the cave environment, as food droppings can attract bacteria and fungi that can harm creatures in the cave.
- The atmosphere in the cave is dripping wet and the water droplets in some sections of the cave intensify during the rainy season. Therefore, wearing a thick jacket is recommended.
Kazamura Cave is one of the most spectacular features of the Big Island. The destination is great for visitors who want to learn about Hawaiian history while being adventurous. With proper research and planning, first-hand experience with these tubes is enough for any tourist to understand how the earth changes and changes shape over time.