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Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)
Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)

Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 1 Crater Rim Dr, Volcano, HI, 96178

The Basics

The Thurston Lava Tube, also known as Nahuku, is one of several points of interest located along the park’s Crater Rim Drive. From the parking area, a 15- to 20-minute walk leads down through a fern forest to the cave-like tube. The tube features on just about every guided tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as well as circle island and volcano-themed tours of the Big Island.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii

star-5
Lava Flowing
Carla_S, Mar. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Actually seeing the lava flowing from the dormant volcano. Wow, wow, wow. The operator (Josh & Wife) of this tour was very professional and enlightening. They have nice, clean, and comfortable vehicles. I would definitely use them again when I return in November.
star-5
Josh is a fun and caring...
Hui_S, Aug. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Josh is a fun and caring tour guide. We enjoyed the trip. We got to see the lava and we’re very excited
star-5
Great Tour 🙂
Keri_A, Jul. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
We had a really good experience on this tour. Josh was very knowledgeable and friendly. He made us feel welcomed and was very accommodating to everyone in the group. I definitely recommend this tour!
star-5
Excellent
JORGE_M, Jul. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
This tour is amazing, excelent information by our guide. Great experience in the active volcano, beautiful waterfall and delicious chocolates to finish de day.
star-5
Fantastic day with Josh!...
Leni_M, Jul. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Fantastic day with Josh! So knowledgeable and had a ton of very interesting facts! Weather was a little rainy, but the sun came out at times which was great. Loved everything about the day and will definitely go back to the park to explore more when we are back on the island.
star-5
Wow!
Andi_R, Jul. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
What an awesome adventure! Jill is an excellent storyteller as well as tour guide, and this tour takes you to some fantastic locations. Pick a time early in the day to beat the crowds (and the heat) and be prepared to walk about a mile each way on flat road. This tour is a Hilo must do!
star-5
Fantastic Tour
Nancy_D, Jul. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
This was an amazing tour packed full but not so much that we were exhausted. Jill was excellent as our guide and very knowledgeable and passionate about the island. She was very patient with our questions and gave good information about not only what we were seeing but also local legends, customs and culture. I would highly recommend taking this tour. Note: pack a lunch as food to buy options were limited.
star-5
Fabulous experience
Shannon_H, Jun. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Our tour guide was knowledgable and wonderful! Jill shared stories of the local culture and legends, and was very patient with any questions anyone had! The whole experience was amazing.
star-5
Jill is amazing with great stories
Kristin_D, Jun. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Amazing experience and Jill is very knowledgeable of the area. Learned a lot more than if I had seen the sites without the tour
star-5
Wonderful experience
Janet_A, Jun. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
The tour was great. We were taken to very beautiful places. The tour guide went above and beyond. He was a terrific guide, told us stories and folklore. I would highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Amazing!!
Tina_K, Jun. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
Josh was so great. He was full of amazing information and was able to answer everyone’s questions with fun and informative stories. Highly recommend!
star-5
Wicked cool! Beautiful! Informative!
CarolAnn_M, Jun. 2022
Hilo Shore Excursion: Active Volcano, Lava Tube, Waterfall and Gardens
We really enjoyed this tour. It was so unique and Jill, a native of the island, was so knowledgeable about the volcanoes, the mythology, and history of their activity. Great for my two boys, 20 and 17, who found the lava fields really cool. Lavatube was amazing too! All around awesome day! They also picked us up right at the port. Was glad to so this tour rather than NCL, it also saved us some $$
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Thurston Lava Tube is a must-visit for first-time park visitors and anyone with an interest in volcanology.

  • Watch your head: There are some low spots within the 600-foot (183-meter) tube.

  • Bring a flashlight to take a closer look at some of the cave’s natural features.

  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.

  • The Thurston Lava Tube is not wheelchair accessible, though there are accessible restrooms in the parking area.

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How to Get There

The easiest way to reach the lava tube is to drive. The parking area and trailhead leading down to the tube sits 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) past the park entrance on Crater Rim Drive. From there, a short trail (0.3 miles or 0.5 kilometers) leads to the tube entrance.

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When to Get There

Since the Thurston Lava Tube is one of the most accessible, and therefore most popular, natural features within the park, it’s a good idea to head there first thing in the morning to explore the tube with fewer people.

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Other Attractions of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If you’re visiting the national park independently, there are several notable points of interest you won’t want to miss. Smell the sulfurous gases of the volcano at Sulphur Banks, breathe in the warmth at the Steam Vents, take in the lunar-like landscapes of Devastation Trail, hike across the floor of Kilauea Iki crater, and watch the glow of the active volcano from the Jaggar Museum observatory.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)?
A:
Attractions near Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?
A:
As well as visiting the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: