During this tour you will be provided with an intimate and unique experience told through the voices and faces of people who lived through and witnessed the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption.  This is a unique and one of kind experience that is not available anywhere else.  We will drive you to each of the four different properties to explore where you will have the option of taking the guided tour or feel free to walk around on your own.  On the guided tour you will have the option of learning about the 2018 eruption, the history of each property and the opportunity to ask questions of the owners who witnessed the eruption first hand. Each property has its own story along with providing special features and views.  For example you can walk through a recently active fissure, feel 200 degree steam vents right from the ground and peer down an 80’ fracture in the earth that was recently spewing 2000 degree lava.  That’s all just on one property!

The four properties included in this tour are The Canyon, the Cracked Yard and Gardens, the Fissure’s Views and Fissure 9 and the Remnants of a House.

The Canyon

                This property has impressive views of Fissure 8.  Yes, that Fissure 8. F8 is the one that everyone has heard about and the fissure that ate Puna (that was an intentional play on words).  You can take in the majestic views of Fissure 8 along with the lava flow field.  You also have views of Fissure 24 and Little 8.  There is a Canyon on this property that at one point was over 100’ deep.  This canyon ended up saving a few homes and countless properties during the eruption.  Pictures do not do this property justice.  You have to see it in person to appreciate it.  In photos you cannot see the depth and when you show your friends the photos they won’t be able to appreciate it the way you do.

Cracked Yard and Gardens

                This property was going to be the location for Rod to build his dream home on.  He spent the past 10 years and countless hours perfecting the property with fruit trees, ornamentals, palms, Hapu’u ferns and anthurium flowers.  In addition to all the plants he had made a path through the Ohia trees to where his dream home was going to be built.  He brought in over 60 tons of cinder to level his property out to make it the perfect layout.

This property has the perfect balance of old Leilani with the new Leilani.  You can see the flowers, fruit trees and green growth and walk the path to what was once going to be his home.  That path now has a bridge so that you can cross over one of the larger cracks safely.  You can also see the dead trees and the end of fissure 10. The property is no longer level and you can walk over up to 50 foot deep cracks with some as wide as 4 feet.  This property has a lot to explore and is very quiet.

The Fissures’ Views Property

                The Fissures’ Views Property aka “Views” has outstanding views of Fissure 1, Fissure 3, Fissure 7, the famous Fissure 8, Fissure 21 and Fissure 22 with the ocean behind it. I have never seen a view of Fissure 22 where you can also see the base of the fissure as well.  You walk onto this property from the lava flows edge and follow an established path through the flow field to a point where the lava is about 30′ thick. In addition to the Fissure views listed above you also get an expansive view of the flow field along with steaming vents.  On a clear day you can see Mauna Kea in the distance and the telescopes on top.

 F9 and House

                This property has the remnants of Heath’s burned down home from the eruption.  It is rare to find the remnants of a home from an eruption as they are usually covered over in lava.  Walk around a home that burned down with all the owner’s possessions inside.  You can see what remains of the children’s bike, their trampoline and several household items.  This is the only home that Heath’s children have ever known and they still visit frequently.

On this property, you will get to see and feel the steam vents that are still at 200 degrees.  Walk over steaming cracks and the highlight of this particular property is you get to actually walk inside a fissure.  You read that correctly, you get to walk inside Fissure 9.  At the top you can pier down an 80’ hole that was once spewing 2000 degree lava.  There is a perfect photo location inside the fissure and at the top you have a great view of Fissure 8 and the ocean behind it.

 

INCLUDED
Access to four different properties One of a kind views and experiences not available anywhere else
Walk thru a recently active fissure 200 degree steam vents
Ability to walk over still steaming cracks Walk around the remnants of a burned down home from the eruption.
Views of several of the fissures Sights, sounds and smells of a recent eruption.
A garden yard with huge cracks all across it. This is the perfect place to see the new and the old. Stories from firsthand accounts of people who lived through and witnessed the eruption.
Numerous photo opportunities Bottled water
Restroom facilities

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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 6 reviews
August 15, 2019

It was a unique experience. Rod, Heath and Chris was informative for their place. The steam in Rod’s place, the ruin and left over in heath new house, the field of lava pass by on Chris’s place. And Pam’s big hole, all is shocking to us and first hand experience with what’s occur years ago. Highly recommend this tour, and Heath introduces us to Kaelo’s for lunch is a plus to complete our tour.

August 17, 2019

The tour provided by these three veterans of the Kilauea eruption is sensational for a few reasons. One, it takes you to places that are inaccessible to the public, places where you looking down into fissures and cracks in the earth, where steam is venting and the lava lays out for miles. These cracks are opening every day; the earth splits apart as it settles and rearranges itself. But best of all, are the three guys. Their narrative makes the tour special. Each one lived through the eruption and each one lost their home to it. They tell compelling stories. Each story could be a movie, the earth erupting combined with their drama of survival and saving lives. I plan to take the tour again next year when I return to Pahoa because the changes in the earth and the story of their lives keeps unfolding.

October 20, 2019

Heath gave a great tour of the assorted fissures over four properties. We came expecting to see interesting lava flows but left with not only that physical beauty but the knowledge of the entire eruption and the impact on the community.

October 22, 2019

This was an impressive tour. Not just the sites and sounds but the stories these people share. It is very impressive and humbling to listen to what happened and how it impacted not only these individuals and community but the island as a whole. The resiliency and general attitude they have is very uplifting.

The steam vents on Heath’s property are still HOT HOT HOT and it’s been a year and half since the eruption! Rod’s property is absolutely beautiful and yet heartbreaking at the same time. Kris has expansive views of what seems like the entire eruption field. The one property you are right on top of Fissure 8 and one heck of a canyon!

These people and this tour is absolutely amazing and it was just amazing and a pleasure to meet them. This is something I plan to do again the next time I visit the Big Island. It will be worth it just to talk to them again and to see how they are doing. The tour will just be a bonus in my eyes. Thank you for sharing not only your stories but what felt like your heart.

November 15, 2019

This tour is one-of-a-kind and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the immediate aftermath of a volcanic eruption and get the inside perspective from the people who lived there when it happened. You’ll see steam vents and feel the heat coming up from them, and so much more. Highly recommended!!!

March 18, 2020

The following review was left in January 2020 on TripAdvisor and the tour was taken with one of our partner tour companies.

“…Highlight of our tour was with Heath, a resident of Leilani Estates. We were saw the affects of the 2018 volcano eruption. Heath walked us through his property where he has left most of his home and articles the way it was after the devastation. It was amazing to see and could only imagine the how the lost was/is for him and his family. Heath was in process of updating and adding space to the home he purchased and lost everything but his family and the clothes they were wearing. We saw tiles stacked, brand new lawn mower and table saws, etc., burned to the ground…”

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