Volcano Hawaii - Frequently asked questions: 
If you don't find the answer to you question listed here, just email us.  
We would be glad to help you.

Q:  I need to find out information about Volcanoes for a school project.  Where can I find it?

A: Check out our web page titled Volcano Information  

Q:  I read that the best time to see lava flow is just before sunset.  By then the park is already closed - correct?  So how do we go about it?  Do we just drive to the chain (something) road until we see the park ranger?  

A: The Park is open 24 hours a day. It is never closed. There is no gate. Only a tollbooth where fees are collected (during regular daytime business hours ).

Q:What preparations do we need when we watch the lava flow?

A: Bring good hiking shoes if you want to walk over the lava to get closer. Also a flashlight for each person (there are no marked trails ), and binoculars are a must.

Q: How far is the drive to see the lava flow?

A: It takes about 1/2 - 45 minutes to drive to the end of chain of crater's road from Volcano Village. Volcano and the entrance to the park is at about 4000 foot elevation, and the end of chain of crater's road is down at ocean level.

Q: From Volcano Nat'l Park, we will drive to Kona/Kohola area.  I believe the drive is a little less than 3hrs.  Where can we get gas along the way?

A: There are two gas stations in Volcano ( one closes at 7 PM, the other at about 7: 20 PM), there is a gas station in Kurtistown, Hilo, Waimea. Those are usually open till 10:00 PM. Best bet is to never go below 1/2 a tank. Whenever you see a gas station, fill up. If you are going the other way around the island to get gas, there is a gas station in Naalehu, just before Honaunau/Kealakekua, Captain Cook, and they sometimes close around 7-8 pm also. Kailua Kona has many gas station, and even one in the industrial area before the airport that is open 24 hours.

Re: Green Sand -  We visited Hawaii and the Green Sand Beach three weeks ago. My teenage son is extremely interested in the history behind the green sand beach but we were unable to find out why the sand is green. He wants to do a science project on this. Can you please tell us where we might find some information on why the sand is green and is it the only green sand beach of its kind?

Answer: The green sand is actually ground up "olivine", which sometimes is also referred to as "peridot". It is one and the same.... Olivine crystals occur naturally in lava rock and some other rock formation, however, the quality and size found in Hawaiian lava rock is not sufficient to make any jewelry out of it.

If you want to know more than this, do a search on "olivine" or "peridot"... you should find plenty on the web, such as chemical formula etc... 

Re: City of Volcano? -  

Answer: Volcano is NOT a city. It is a small Village nestled in a tropical
rainforest of Hapuu Ferns at a cool elevation of 3700 feet.

Re: Weather in Volcano? -  

Answer: The weather in one word: ....unpredictable!
It can shine one minute, and rain another. That why locals often wear 
the "layered look". There are no set dry or wet month... it always changes every year. Average temperature during the day about 65-75 F
at night anywhere from 55-65   It is always much cooler during "clear" nights, as cloud cover keeps the warm air on the ground.  

Re: Can I take a cab ride in Volcano? 

Answer: There are no cabs in Volcano!
The closest cab company is 28 miles away in Hilo, and a cab ride
from Hilo to Volcano cost about $ 50. It is more cost effective and convenient to rent a car. 

Re: What is a good souvenir to bring home from Volcano?

Answer: Regional Product: Volcano Video 
Kilauea: Close-up of an Active Volcano $ 25.00 
Eruption Update ( updated quarterly) $ 30.00 
For more information : Kilauea Eruption Videos

Re: What is a local taboo?

Answer: "Be in a rush"!

Re: What is an unspoken rule?

Answer: "Wave to everyone and smile"!

Re: Are there any hotels such as a "Marriott" in Volcano?

Answer: There is nothing like that in Volcano... Volcano has its own charm and is a very picturesque tranquil place to get away from it all. Volcano has a large seletcion of small to medium size Bed and Breakfast places and many wonderful vacation houses that can be booked through B&Bs and individuals.

Re: What is the average price of lodging in Volcano?

Answer: B&Bs range usually from $ 65 - $ 95 dbl occupancy, and vacation houses go from $ 125 - $ 165 average dbl occupancy.

Re: What is the average cost of local food?

Answer: Breakfast is around $ 5 - $ 7, basic lunch (sandwich and soda) goes for about $ 8 per person, and a regular dinner (nothing fancy) about $ 9 - $ 14 per person, and a "nice" meal with a atmosphere at the Kilauea Lodge is between $ 16 - $ 24 ( it comes with soup and salad and bread ).

Re: Monkey Wood -  Thanks for your website. I found it while trying to research a table I inherited. I've been told it is made of either "Monkey Wood" or "Monkey Burl". I believe it was acquired in the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1930's. Do you have any info on such a table or the wood? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Answer: The wood you are referring to is commonly known in Hawaii as Monkey Pod. It is a fast growing wood that is commonly cleared to make room for rice fields. The Thai word is Chamjuri. This wood has been used for a variety of Thai musical instruments. It grows large enough to be used for Japanese Koto drums. 
Also check out this page from Winkler Wood Products in Hilo: monkey pod .. There is an email address to the company (they also mfr. products and some furniture).. and they might be able to help you more. Another place to check is:  RAIN TREE (Monkey Pod) 

Camping on the Big Island -   .......my husband would like to go to the big island, as he has heard there are not alot of people there.....we have done several vacations where we have brought our backpacking gear along, although we have never done this with the kids...Are there any campgrounds that would be available & worth the effort of hauling x2 tents, etc.? we love to travel without plans for motels/camping...does anyone know if this is possible in Hawaii??? thanks for any help...

Answer: The Big Island, also the "County of Hawaii" has 11 places camping is permitted. The link below will get to to the County site to get your camping permit, and also show you a map of locations and some other information.

Personally we recommend Spencer Beach Park, Hookena Beach Park, Punaluu Beach Park, and Kolekole Beach Park, and Hilo, and of course the Volcano Campground, which is run by the Volcano House Hotel in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.. Always go grocery shopping first, as there is usually no stores close to the campgrounds. As long as you are nice and friendly you should have no problem with the locals... Just remember that there is always a bad apple on any  tree,...no matter WHERE you are in the world... so just use your common sense.

The Big Island is more than twice the size than all other islands combined, and has only about 114,000 people living on it, with the majority in Kailua-Kona and Hilo. 

A car rental is a MUST for the Big Island. There is no good public transportation. And one taxi ride can cost you as much as a days car rental.


The following link makes it possible to book a campsite at any of the 11 Hawaii County Parks and pay via credit card:


Then click on 'Online Camping Permit' ...or go directly to:

After booking and paying for the reservation online, you can print the permit and take it to the park without having to go to any P & R office.  Please read the instructions and rules before purchasing a campground permit.  Info:  Hawaii County Parks & Recreation: 961-8311 cohparks@interpac.net


 Volcano Gallery / Volcano Lodging, P.O. Box 699, Volcano Village, Big Island of Hawaii (Hawaii) 96785
Phone ( Local / Int'l) 808-967-8617    Toll-Free ( USA) 800-908-9764 
Email Us

www.volcanogallery.com   www.volcanolodging.com
last edited:  April 10, 2015 - Copyright 1998-2015, Volcano Gallery, Volcano Lodging,  Div. of Rainbow Moon / Islandsource
HVCB Member
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- * Not responsible for typographical errors.  Rates / Prices subject to change without notice.
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