According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the most recent lava eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii is “offering the best daytime lava viewing opportunities for airborne tourists in years.” A Hilo pilot told the Advertiser that, “I’ve been doing tours from Hilo for seven years, and this is the best lava flow I’ve ever seen.” The above ground stream of lava is currently about four miles long and the only way to see it is by air. As a result, air tour business is booming. From my own experience, I can highly recommend taking a helicopter tour to see the active eruption.
If you are on another Hawaiian Island for vacation and feel so close yet so far away from seeing an active volcano, consider taking a day trip to the Big Island. Inter-island flights are relatively inexpensive at about $80 round trip. You can fly into Hilo and pick up a helicopter tour from there. To make the most of your day trip consider renting a car at the airport (all the major rental agencies are there) and drive out to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the ground.
Can’t get to the Big Island to see the lava flow? Then take a virtual visit. You can see the live panoramic view of the lava flow via web camera. If possible try to catch glimpses during Hawaii’s night time when the red glow from the lava is more visible and dramatic.
Photo credit to USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.