There are many travel destinations—and then there’s Hawaii. Instead of flat, monotonous plains, Hawaii’s landscape is nature’s version of the drama. Craggy, lofty mountains, peer down on vast, misty plains. Forest and desert; the wild and the calm—all find expression in America’s youngest state. Here’s the truth. There are a thousand reasons every traveler should visit Hawaii at least once in a lifetime. The good news is that visiting Hawaii is possible even on a tight budget.
While there are many jaw-dropping attractions in Hawaii, in this article, we’ll focus on one of Hawaii’s well-guarded secrets, Keahole Point and its mysterious blowhole. Let’s dive in.
Hawaii’s Mysterious Blowhole That Literally Blows Water
When the waters swell and giant waves from—crashing onto the shoreline with relentless fury, the doors of an underground fountain seem to unfurl. Suddenly, water gushes forth in a large, bubbly effervescence, sending forth a cloudy mist several feet up in the air—as if propelled by some unseen power. This fascinating spectacle takes place in one of Hawaii’s 137 islands, the largest of them all—and home to the highest number of active volcanoes. That’s the reason it’s known as the “Big Island.” The “Big Island” is almost twice as big as all the other Hawaiian islands put together. Interestingly, scientists say it’s also the youngest.
The stunning natural display is a result of volcanic activity. Coincidentally, the whole state of Hawaii owes its very existence to a continuous, if an unseen region of restless magma—that ceaselessly roils and boils—several feet deep below the ocean floor. Geologists call this restive region the “Hawaiian hotspot.” On the “Big Island” itself, there are several volcanoes. These include Mahukona, Kilauea, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kohala, and Hualalai Volcano. The last is the one that gave rise to this captivating spot that mysteriously blows water up during times of high surfs.
The mystery is that when the waters are calm and tranquil—answering to the name of the ocean that holds them—nothing usually happens. This is usually in summer. During this time, the blowhole can be approached easily, and perhaps more importantly—safely. When one comes closer and nearer, to peer inside and outside the mouth, and along nearby cliffs of this amazing natural feature, one will likely spot small Hawaiian shellfish, known in the local language as opihi.
- What Is The Best Time To Visit Hawaii’s “Big Island” To See The Blowhole In Action? For those who want to see the bubbly fountain, the best time to visit Hawaii’s “Big Island” is in the winter. This is usually from late December to early April.
How Science Explains The Mystery Of Hawaii’s Mysterious Blowhole
According to scientists, there’s a lava tube just below the surface. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) defines lava tubes as natural conduits or passageways through which lava travels. With time, lava tubes form when these passageways solidify. Aside from the main conduit, there are usually other smaller tubes through which lava moves. The volcanic eruption that leads to the lava flow takes place when tectonic plates move above a volcanic hotspot. Hualalai Volcano last erupted over 200 years ago in 1801. Ostensibly, during its last eruption, lava—which is defined as magma that has come up to the earth’s surface—flowed into the sea from Hualālai. This flow onto the sea formed the Keahole Point on the west coast of the island.
When this eruption took place, two flows—through the lava tubes—reached the ocean, even going to the extent of extending the island’s shoreline. Geologists have not completely understood why these hotspots form in about 40-50 spots around the globe. To add to the mystery, most volcanoes form at the edges of the earth’s tectonic plates. However, the Hawaii hotspot volcanoes curiously form at the centers of the tectonic plates.
What happens is when the ocean swells, water rushes through the lava vents, roaring outwards and upwards above the water-bathed rocks that line the rugged coastline of this section of the “Big Island.” All around the area, water dramatically erupts into cloudy bubbles and fizzes out in misty leaps that spiral vertically above the blue, turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean.
- Where Is The Keahole Point Blowhole Located? Keahole Point Blowhole is located in Kailua-Kona, a town on the western side of the Big Island.
Other Nearby Attractions At Keahole Point Blowhole
Aside from the mysterious blowhole at Keahole Point, Kona Airport actually stands on top of the famous 1801 lava flow. Kona International Airport is just about 11 kilometers north of Kailua-Kona. Then there’s Keahole Point Light Lighthouse. About 9 miles away on the southeastern side is Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But even right on the shoreline, one can easily spot humpback whales leaping through the water in feats of acrobatic finesse.
Whichever time one chooses to visit Keahole Blowhole, being blown away by the mystery—and the beauty around Keahole Point—is a guarantee.