Incredible Video Footage of Kilauea Erupting in 1959

If you’ve been reading Go Visit Hawaii for a while, then you know that I’m an admitted volcano nerd 🙂 and that one of my favorite Hawaii hikes is Kilauea Iki. From my post on the hike, you may recall that I mention the 1959 eruption that generated fountains of lava that reached up to 1,900 feet in the air. Well, I was blown away at this YouTube video with footage of that eruption. This high quality video lasts ten minutes and is well worth the time to watch it. I was amazed.

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. Wow Sheila, thanks for sharing that amazing footage!
    I hope lava like that never comes close to our house. We haven’t seen the glow at night lately from the current lava flow because it is moving away from us towards Royal Gardens (last I heard).

  2. Hi HVG – I’m glad you found the video interesting and I sure hope the lava stays far away from your house!

  3. Hey Sheila, is this “end of highway 130” comment still accurate as of now? I’m working on adding this to my list of “to do” items for Big Island!


  4. Brian – The lava has been flowing to the ocean at the end of 130 for the last couple of months. Here are some links to check when you get closer to your trip:
    Daily Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report for Kilauea:

    The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

    From the last link:
    “Hawai`i County has opened a viewing area at the end of Highway 130 (the Kea`au – Pahoa bypass road). Visitors may enter the viewing area between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily (vehicles must exit the area by 10 p.m. when the gates will be locked).

    Visitors may call the lava update recorded message for more information about the lava viewing area: (808) 961-8093.”

    By the way – this video ion this post s from 1959 and is much more dramatic that what we saw a couple of months ago.

  5. Amazing footage!

    Newsreel-style coverage also interesting. Narration not too technical but informative. Back then, natural disasters were classier and came with orchestral accompaniment! 🙂 Fortunately they turned off the music around 6:00 so you can hear the steam flow.

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