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Lava Rock in Kailua-Kona and Other Warnings and Dangers

SmarterTravel

Lava Rock

Lava rock is abundant in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Big Island, especially in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While the sights are fascinating, there are of course warnings and dangers to consider while visiting this natural wonder.

Heat Reflection and Sharp Lava Rock

Lava rock in some areas can be sharp and cut you if you fall on it. For this reason, the National Park Service strongly encourages you to wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Be especially careful on a’a lava, you can tell this type because it usually looks very crumbly and sharp. Also remember that lava (for the most part) is black. it absorbs sunlight. It gets hot, and a lot of time it reflects too. So bring the sunscreen and bring plenty of water. You could get sunburned in half the time that you would normally would if you were on a white sand beach.

Cultural Respect and Superstitions

If you’re visiting Hawaii for the first, second, or third time, you may be tempted to take a piece of volcanic rock or a handful of sand for a souvenir. Local Hawaiian legend says, however, that taking a lava rock or black sand from Hawaii will cause bad luck to the person who takes it. Some visitors who have taken rocks claim this is true, while others haven’t experienced any misfortune yet. Regardless of the motive or outcome, it is generally best to leave the lava rocks alone out of respect. Don’t play with them or stack them into ‘towers,’ since that is viewed by native Hawaiians as disrespectful and mocking their culture. Much of this can be avoided with simple insight and understanding.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about lava rock in Kailua-Kona. 

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