Walking on Living Lava in Hawaii

You’re walking on lava that is just a day old.

That explained the waver forms everyone had to sign earlier before boarding the plane for a day tour to Hawaii’s Big Island. And the regular reminders to stay together at all times and not wander off individually over the volcano’s irregular surface.

Hawaii Big Island Lava

The whiff of sulphur fumes was seeping deeper in my nostrils as careful steps over solid lava took me further into the volcano’s recent eruption.

Hawaii Big Island Lava

Streaks of glowing rock peered from cracks below reminding me that it was living and temperamental. I bent down to touch it, hard, rough yet warm all at once. I have never known a large solid mass to feel so alive and dangerous. It was sharp and can seriously slice through skin if anyone had the misfortune to trip over its surface.

Hawaii Big Island Lava

I could feel my shoes building up heat. Someone yelled out that his rubber soles had started to melt. I looked around. The bus on the side of the road looked so small indicating we were a good distance in. The guide suddenly declared that we should return to the bus. And so we did, one careful step at a time breathing one sigh of relief and another of exhilaration.

Hawaii Big Island Lava
Lava, Big Island Hawaii


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Walking on Living Lava in Hawaii was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  1. Oh!  I am so glad that you are posting your Hawaii posts.  I absolutely loved the feeling of walking across the molten rock with the lava flowing underneath.  Love these pictures!

  2. This is absolutely awesome!! I haven’t been to Hawai’i since my parents took me back in 1979! Need a trip there soon! Especially after seeing Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Hawai’i. Now, this! Beautiful! The day-old lave looks like elephant hide!

    • Jen: Thank you 🙂
      Poor elephant! It feels like glass in parts. I only touched it v-e-r-y carefully.

  3. wow, excellent photos.  Now I have always been afraid of walking over lava. I just wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about the fact that it might break and I will fall to a painful death. I know, it is silly, We all gotta fear something eh?

    • Dave and Deb: Really? I am the lest adventurous person I know yet I wasn’t as afraid as I thought I would be, so you may surprise yourself. But yes, we all have some fears. That’s why I can never do 1/4 of the adventures you both do, and why I enjoy reading about them 🙂

  4. Pingback: Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Big Island, Hawaii | Gourmantic

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