What Is A Lava Tube?

As I walked inside a lava tube for the first time, I turned around to ask my buddy, “what’s a lava tube?” She told me that a lava tube is basically the underground pipe system of a volcano. She said that a lava tube is formed by lava and that active lava once flowed through the tube.  As I kept on walking, I was impressed by this magnificent product of nature.

How a lava tube is formed


Kaumana Caves / Lava Tube

If you’re interested in visiting a lava tube on the Big Island, I highly recommend you check out Kaumana Caves State Park. Once you reach the park, you can walk down a flight of stairs to the entrance of a huge lava tube. The entrance of the lava tube was verdant. It almost felt like we were in a mini rainforest because of the moisture. As we stepped in and went further into the lava tube, darkness quickly surrounded us.

As you enter the tube, look up and see the roots hanging from the ceiling of the lava tube. The Hawaiian basalt rock (lava rock) is very porous which allows the roots to easily penetrate the lava rock.

lava tube entrance

lava tube entrance 1

lava tube entrance 2

lava tube entrance 3

lava tube entrance 4

It was quite an experience for us to explore the lava tube. We advise you to bring a flashlight and wear closed toes shoes to hike/walk through a lava tube.

If you want to learn more about what to do on the big island, we invite you to read: Top 33 things to do on  Big Island and 5 Day Itinerary On The Big Island.