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9 MIN READ TIME

Some Like it Hot

KILAUEA IS A SHIELD VOLCANO in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that’s active and almost constantly rumbling away. When I took this photo, though, there was something unusual going on – a special moment in the volcano’s recent behaviour. At the Kamokuna delta, a massive torrent of lava had started gushing right out of the volcano and into the Pacific Ocean, from more than 20 metres high. The phenomenon was only at its peak for a few weeks so it was really exciting to see.

To get here, we drove with a guide across the island and then hiked into the park. From there, we took a tour in a giant armoured metal boat that could withstand the heat of the water. As the boat drew closer to the lava flow, the air got hotter and hotter. I could feel the cold ocean breeze on the back of my neck and steaming hot air on the front of my face simultaneously. Out of a mushroom cloud, a cascade of red lava leapt through thick plumes of smoke. It was an extraordinary demonstration of the power of nature.

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Lonely Planet
June 2018
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