The big Island- exploring The Lava Zone Still steaming hot 2 years later

We may not be able to Travel right now due to the coronavirus . But it is fun to think about the places we have been or would like to visit. Hawaii is usually pretty high on people’s list and for good reason! It is so beautiful. But it does have it’s share of natural disasters which adds to the fascination. I have been fortunate enough to be able to visit the big island in September and then again in February. The perk of having a daughter living there! This will be the first of a series of posts sharing with you about some of my favorite spots on the Big Island.

Who doesn’t want to go to paradise?

In September of 2019 the government beach road did not continue. through because the road was still too hot for them to rebuild it after the eruption on May 21, 2018. I returned to Hawaii in March of 2020 and was surprised to see that government road now continued on through the lava zone. Seeing it again in March was probably one of the highlights of my trip. If you are going to the Big Island- when life returns to normal after this pandemic – add this to your list.

It was scary driving in the lava zone
With steam surrounding us

Not only is the Lava zone impressive you will definitely want to drive down Government Beach Road and enjoy the stunning views. I really like it, because it is not crowded and you can sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery . This is not a swimming spot- but I enjoy watching the waves crash against the cliffs. I spent a lot of time here on my first trip when I dropped my daughter off at the University. It was a nice place to relax as I prepared to be an empty nester. This really helped calm my soul in this difficult time.

Mentally preparing for empty nesthood in paradise.

There is not great cell service- nor are there gas stations once you get away from Pahoa. So make sure to be prepared. I should add that much of government road is through the rainforest and is only a single road with two way traffic-but people are courteous and it’s not too bad of a drive. Just take your time.

Just to give you a little map of the Lava Zone

We then had a nice little walk around Lava Tree State Monument. It was free and a nice opportunity to stretch our legs. It is no major hike- it took about 15 min. Interesting stop- Plus there were bathrooms.

I will add that I always stop in Pahoa to get a coffee and a pastry at my favorite bakery It is a total hole in the wall and is literally a tin shack. But I always enjoy a Cappuccino and a gf pastry or quiche. They have many non gluten free options too.

To make a full day of it with lots of places to stop along the way head from Pahoa to Mackenzie State Park. Be sure to have whatever food you will need-once you leave Pahoa there really are no services of any kind and no cell service.

You will definitely want to drive all the way to Mackenzie State Park. Take some time to watch the impressive waves that come crashing against the cliffs and go up 30+ feet in the air. I have been here twice now and was in awe of the size of the waves. Again- no swimming here!

You will want to drive from Pahoa to
Star of Sea Church
On to Mackenzie State Park
Allow extra time for stops

This doesn’t do justice to it the cliffs are so high- and it is splashing high into the air.

Mackenzie State Park

This shows you a larger picture of the beauty of Mackenzie State Park

Wow! It is hard to believe how much has changed in less than a month- I was in Hawaii enjoying this beautiful scenery. A reminder to make the most of each and every day. Hug your loved ones. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But for now- Shelter in Place. 😀


  1. Great pics! I love those big waves. I could also go for another piece of cake from the tin shack. 😋

    By the way, I can’t seem to comment or like within the blog which is why I’m doing it here. I may need some tips. Well, hopefully you will get this little message.

    Have a good day! ❤️Anne



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