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SITES: SACRED & HISTORICAL
(See also Museums / Galleries)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

South central, located mainly in the Kau and Puna districts. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the Big Island's premier tourist attraction - an unparalleled experience in geological grandeur.

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
P. O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052
(Volcano District)
Tel. (808) 985-6000 (open 24 hours per day, all year)
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encompasses 333,000 acres from sea level to the 13,677-foot summit of Mauna Loa, the world's largest and most active volcano. It is home to Kilauea Volcano, Mauna Loa's dynamic smaller sibling which provides frequent opportunities for lava viewing. For your safety, upon arrival talk to the ranger in the Kilauea Visitor Center about current lava flow conditions. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, the park has been honored as an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. An important purpose of the park is to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and promote appreciation of its traditional values. In addition the park has many archaeological sites, some of which are open to the public.

Following is information on:
  wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Pele, Goddess of the Volcano;
  wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  HVNP's "After Dark in the Park" program;
  wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  Annual Cultural Festivals held in the park;
  wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  The Volcano Arts Center (VAC) and the VAC Calendar of Events;
  wbulit.gif - 50 Bytes  The Petroglyph Fields in the park open for visitation.

PELE, GODDESS OF THE VOLCANO
At one with nature, Hawaiians were at home in a world alive with spirit forces. One such spirit is Pele, the unpredictable Fire Goddess, who is said to reside in Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea. Pele is volcanism in all its forms. She has long been held responsible for the lava flows of the Kilauea Volcano and anything else concerning heat or fire. Pele's poetic name is Ka Wahine 'Ai Honua, the woman who devours the land! A stunning oil portrait of Pele by Artist Arthur Johnsen can be viewed at the Kilauea Visitor Center.

AFTER DARK IN THE PARK
Ongoing series of free evening programs held at the Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium on topics of geology, biology, Hawaiian culture and history.

ANNUAL CULTURAL FESTIVALS

  • KILAUEA CULTURAL FESTIVAL:
    An annual summer festival co-sponsored by the Hawaii Natural History Association and the Volcano Art Center to celebrate Hawaii's unique island heritage. Hawaiian music and hula, hands-on instructions in native crafts and games, and demonstrations of island arts and traditions.
  • ALOHA FESTIVALS - ROYAL COURT INVESTITURE:
    A major annual Hawaiian pageant held at Halemaumau Crater in late August/early September. Photos.
  • NA MEA HAWAII HULA KAHIKO SERIES:
    Outdoor hula performances presented by the Volcano Art Center and usually held on weekends in May and June. (See Volcano Art Center Calendar.)
THE VOLCANO ART CENTER
The Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, educational organization created in 1974 to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawaii's people and environment through activities in the visual, literary and performing arts.

  • Under a cooperating agreement with the National Park Service, the VAC presents ongoing programs in the park. Please see the VAC Calendar for a listing of weekly cultural events and programs including hula, crafts, lei, Hawaiian language and more.
  • The VAC is developing the Niaulani Arts & Environmental Educational Facilities in nearby Volcano Village which will include a new arts and environmental campus, administration offices, lecture hall, classroom and studio facilities.
VISITING A HEIAU AND OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

You are invited to visit the traditional Hawaiian religious sites listed in this website. However, you are asked to remember that these are religious sites which are still sacred to the Hawaiian people. As historic sites, these places are also fragile and subject to damage and collapse. Please visit with respect and care for these important places.

  • View the heiau from the exterior. Please do not climb on or over the rock walls. The stacked roof is unstable and may collapse.
  • It is unlawful to take, excavate, destroy, or alter any historic site on state land. Any person who violates this law is subject to a fine of $10,000 (HRS Chapter 6E-11)
  • Wrapping a rock in a ti leaf is not a traditional offering. This damages the plants and the integrity of the heiau structure.
  • Offerings of coins, candles, incense and similar items cause long-term damage.

The historic sites of Hawaii are unique resources that are fragile and cannot be replaced. Please help us protect Hawaii's past for the future.

PETROGLYPH FIELDS IN THE PARK

PUU LOA PETROGLYPHS TRAIL
A coastal trail that traverses older lava flows to the most extensive petroglyph fields in Polynesia. Pahoehoe lava flows.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trail Miles / Hiking Time: 2 miles roundtrip / 1-1/2 hours roundtrip
Driving Miles / Time from Visitor Center to Trailhead: 20 miles / 45 minutes.
The trail begins at the Puu Loa parking area on Chain of Craters Road. Please note the Petroglyphs are fragile. Stay on the boardwalk. Bring water, wear sunglasses and hat.

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