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Volcano Air vs. Day trip

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Brooklyn, New York
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Volcano Air vs. Day trip

To be honest - we were going to skip the Volcano altogether, saving it for another trip, but my in-laws are insisting we cannot go to Hawaii without seeing it. We are interested in seeing the Volcano… but not really looking to spend a 15 hour day travelling for 10 minutes of oohing and ahhing if you know what I mean? We will be on Oahu, Kauai and Maui and are considering two options.

OPTION 1 - An all day trip - HNL to the Big Island, a 9-5 tour of the Island, evening return to HNL and then a hop over to Kauai. Pluses - seeing more of the Island, visiting the park, being "on the ground"

Minuses - all day trip, no view of the lava from above

OPTION 2 - Volcano Air tour from Maui.

What I like about this is that its only 2.5 hours and we will get to see the lava from above as well as Maui from the air which I am told is incredible.

Thoughts? Thanks!

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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1. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

I don't think it's possible to tour the Big Island in just 8 hours. Not sure you'd ever be able to get out of the car. You *might* be able to do just the volcano and east side. I'd go for the air tour.

ON, Canada
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2. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

How many days are you going to Hawaii for? With 3 islands already in the mix, it might be a bit hectic adding in a 4th one for one day.

The Volcano Air Tour sounds good if the weather co-operates. The reviews are mostly good, but the few negative ones would make me wonder if it's worthwhile.

Brooklyn, New York
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3. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

We are in Hawaii for 2 weeks. The 8 hour tour is actually an organized tour suggested by Tom's Barefoot that includes the park and some other stops.

I'm leaning towards the Air tour as well.

Thanks!

Oregon
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4. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

We spent a week in Kona this fall. Our 4th or 5th visit to BI. This time we took an almost 2 hour fixed wing flight from Kona to circle the island. very good trip. we have circled the island in a car and it is a long day, and i think we saw more from the airplane.

I gather your 8 hour tour of volcano from Hilo. Are you trying to do that from Maui? or spending night on BI.

We one time flew from Maui, rented a car and drove to volcano. and flew back to Maui

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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5. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

You might think about flying to Hilo early one morning, spending the night in Volcano and flying back to Maui the next day. Not the cheapest way to do it, but you'd get to see the lava glow at night as well as the rest of the park, and the Hilo area sights without exhausting yourselves. It might even be not too bad $$ compared to the helo from Maui.

Indianapolis...
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6. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

We would like to take a helicopter ride over the volcano area at dusk. What do you suggest? We will be there in February 2013

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

I don't think the air tours operate at night, too dangerous. But you'll get plenty of lava action during the day on the fixed wing or heli tours. I would go with Volcano Air from Maui, I've heard good things about them.

The bus tours are IMo the least interesting way to see VNP with no flexibility and very little likelihood of seeing any lava.

Brooklyn, New York
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8. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

Why very little likelihood of seeing lava? is the viewing platform to far away or now its not so frequent?

thanks

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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9. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

traveller, the bottom line is you never can tell. Madame Pele is notoriously unpredictable.

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Volcano Air vs. Day trip

What viewing platform are you talking about? At the moment, and this has been true on and off for years, the only way to see surface lava flows is via a several miles long, fairly strenuous guided hike. The only drive-up viewing of anything anywhere is of the glow from the lava lake at Halemaumau crater, visible from Jagger museum at night, when the tours don't operate. But even that's not actual lava flow or surface lava views, and you can't see inside the crater to the lava lake, although the glow itself is still quite impressive.

Edited: 11 January 2013, 06:44