Why Exploring a Volcano is the Only Reason you Need to Visit Hawaii

Kates Cottage Volcano

When most people think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to mind is sun, sand and the beach, but not for me! The highlight and focus for me on this trip was to visit Volcanoes National Park. 

Many people asked me why I would want to visit Hawaii when we have so many beautiful beaches here in Queensland and my answer is culture and volcanoes! The best island to see Volcanos is The Big Island of Hawaii which has five volcanoes and three active volcanoes which can be found in Volcanoes National Park. 

To be honest, I had very high expectations for seeing volcanoes on this trip including having a chance to see real lava up close. This is something that is offered on the Big Island of Hawaii when the time is right but unfortunately the Lava flow was in an inaccessible area when we visited, so we were unable to see any fresh lava. Sad face!

Even so, the Volcanoes National Park was still a huge highlight of the trip with lots of amazing things to see and do. Ironically, this park is located in a town named 'Volcano'. My SO and I stayed in a little rain forest cabin in the town of Volcano and only a short drive from the park itself. The cabin is called Kate's Cottage and I highly recommend staying here if you wish to visit VNP yourself.

Kates Cottage Volcano

Kates Cottage Volcano

We arrived at the cabin in the evening and the very first thing we did was drive down to the national park to have a look at the glowing crater of Kilauea. Kilauea is quite a famous volcano that has been erupting lava continuously since 1983

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

When we arrived at the volcano we were surprised how close we could get to see the bright glow of the crater, considering it is an active volcano and all. It truly was a stunning, once in a lifetime experience to see the crater of an active volcano up close.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

The following day we were excited to explore the rest of the park by car and on foot. Our first stop was the steam vents that lined the rim of Kilauea crater. A haze of sulfur steam rose up from the ground along the fence barrier of the crater itself. The steam from these vents are warm to touch and have an odor but these ones were not dangerous. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

We were then exited to hike the highly recommended Kilauea Iki trail. The trails starts off with a walk through lush rain forest that circles the Kilauea Iki crater. As we walk through the rain forest, we look down on the massive crater and lava lake below that we would later be walking across. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

In 1959 a vent of lava erupted in this very crater with a height of 1900 feet. The eruption continued for five weeks with fountains of lava creating a huge basin of liquid flowing lava that eventually hardened and cooled to create this jagged and harsh environment. 

As we walked down to the surface of the crater, the environment was much harsher than it seemed from above. I had never seen such a desolate landscape which is a stark contrast to the lush rain forest we had just walked through.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Despite its starkness, I found this landscape to have its own unique beauty. We spent our time walking over the massive rocks that would have been flung out from the earth with great energy and heat over 60 years ago. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

We also picked up and examined many of the smaller rocks lying around us. These hardened lava rocks were so varied in shape and form, each individually created depending how they were ejected from the deep earth below. Rocks blasted form the vent would look very different to the rocks formed from a lava flow. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

A couple of steam vents were also spotted along the lava lake, reminding us that despite the hard surface, there was still a molten hot lava lake stirring deep beneath our feet. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

This hike was made even better thanks to our hiking trail guide book providing us with all of the information we may want to know about this crater and the amazing landscape. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

After our hike, we drove further through the national park where we passed hardened lava fields as far as the eye could see. The shapes and rippled of the hard lava rock were built up over many many years of lava eruptions and flows to create an almost alien like surface. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

We drove closer and closer to the waters edge where we came across the awesome sight of rippling black lava rock cliffs meeting the sea. This lava created more fresh land to add to this Hawaiian island. 

We pulled up at the waters edge where we took our time to look over the intricate and beautiful patterns formed by the hardened lava beneath our feet. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

We also came across the naturally formed lava arch that perched out from the lava cliffs into the ocean. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 2015

It truly was an amazing day at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We barely scratched the surface on our visit as there was so much to see and do. We learn't so much about volcanoes and it really is a once in a lifetime experience to say that you have actually visited an active volcano. If you ever decided to plan your own Hawaiian holiday, be sure to put Volcanoes National Park at the top your your list of places to visit!

Have you ever seen a volcano? Does Volcanoes National Park sound like a place you would like to visit?


The Cutest Bed Socks to Keep Your Feet Cosy

cute kawaii teddy bear bed socks

There is nothing better on a cold winters night than to pop your frosted toes into some warm and cosy bed socks! It is the next best thing to wrapping yourself up in a quilt on a cold winters night.

But when we seek out bed socks, there are so many adorable selections available to us these days, showing that these socks are no longer just for warmth,  they are stylish pieces of self expression that could turn into a collection obsession. 

I currently own seven different pairs of bed socks. Their comfortable practicality provides me with an excuse to buy even more and amass a bed sock collection.

The most adorable bed socks I have found on my hunt for winter warmth are these precious socks shown above and below that turn my feet into cute little teddy bears. So cute I almost squeal at the sight of them. 

cute kawaii teddy bear bed socks

I found these cute little feet bear socks at Kmart here in Australia. If you would like a pair for yourself, be sure to swing by your local Kmart before the winter season is over to pick up your own pair, and who knows, it may even kick off a bed sock collection of your very own!

Do you love bed socks as much as I do? What do your favourite bed socks look like?


Eating our way around Brisbane via Instagram

My home town of Brisbane is filled with delicious food which is why a fellow food photography enthusiast and I have started our own Instagram page called Brisbane Food Fanatics where we share various food pictures from places we eat at around Brisbane.

My friend and I are hardly food connoisseurs, however we do enjoy eating and we always take pictures of our food when we eat out, so we decided to share this passion and interest of ours in this neat little instagram page. 

We cover casual dining, cafes, restaurants, take away, sweet treats and beverages in our pictures. We don't necessarily eat fancy, but we do eat tasty!

Here are a few example of food pictures we have up on our Instagram page so far:

Ferrero Rocher Cupcake from the Cupcake Patisserie Chermside

Corn fritters with poached eggs and tomato chutney from Next Door Kitchen and Bar Southbank

Warm chicken and cous cous salad from Groove Train Chermside

Ramen from Hakataya Ramen Indooroopilly 

Sweet Potato Kusabi from Wagamama Chermside

If you love these food pics and want to see more, please do follow our instagram page here >> Brisbane Food Fanatics 


On The Weekend - RSPCA Million Paws Walk

On the weekend, I attended a wonderful event called the ‘RSPCA million paws walk’. It’s an event where you bring your dog along for a walk to raise money for the animals in the RSPCA animal shelters. There are also stalls selling pet related products, food stands and entertainment. It is a great event and there was a big turn out.

I went along with my mum and sister and we brought the family dogs Tyson and Pixie. Tyson is a mutt who is cross with a mastiff while Pixie is a fox terrier. Obviously we had to dress them up for this special occasion. 

Pixie was wearing a little minnie mouse costume I purchased in Tokyo and Tyson was wearing a matching red and white bow tie. So cute!

Tyson and Pixie are best friends. They have been inseparable ever since they first met. Pixie will also often give Tyson kisses.

When we arrived at the event, it was great to see so many different types of dogs and they were all very well behaved. Tyson was happy casually meeting all of the other dugs but Pixie was a little cautious and overwhelmed.

We could choose to do a 1.5km or 4km walk. We chose the shorter walk. It was a lovely warm day and every man and his dog was in a good mood.

If you ever think of going to this event, I highly recommend it. Its great fun and its for a good cause too!


Tokyo DisneySea

I consider myself to be a big Disney fan, but I had never heard of Disney Sea until I visited this amazing park in Tokyo. 

Disney Sea is a completely unique Disney theme park that can only be found in Tokyo. The park has a few well known Disneyland rides included such as Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones, however most of the rides are completely unique to this park.

Instead of the park being centred around the castle, Disney Sea has a volcano in the centre which erupts randomly throughout the day and evening. 

DisneySea also has an array of wonderful themed lands you can wander through. This park is the most visually stunning I have ever seen. The theming in each area is so amazing and realistic, I was literally walking around with my mouth gaped open the whole time.

My favourite ride had to be The Tower of Terror, however the story behind this ride is completely different to the USA version. I will not give it away so that you can discover for yourself when you visit. Easily the scariest ride in any Disney park.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth is another great Jules Verne themed ride unique to Disney Sea. The robots and theming in the ride is so realistic and there is a great thrill at the end that will make you scream.

I also can’t talk about Disney Sea without mentioning Duffy. Duffy is a cute teddy bear who can only be found at Disney Sea. He is also a unique Disney character originating in Tokyo who is suppose to be Micky mouse’s beloved teddy bear. 

He is EVERYWHERE here. Not just in the Disney Sea park, but in Tokyo too. People young and old will walk around the park carrying Duffy bears or wearing some sort of Duffy themed merchandise. 

There are also Duffy photo spots around the park where you can sit your Duffy bear for the perfect photo op of your bear visiting the park. Only in Japan!

Disney Sea also has a selection of fabulous shows and parades we were lucky enough to see. The day time parade on the water is called ‘Legends of Mythica’ and it has to be the best daytime parade I have ever seen. The robotic floats out on the water were so extravagant. Just amazing! 

I didn’t think that could be topped until we saw ‘Fantasmic’ the wonderful night parade and show. It really summed up the Disney feel so well and the show was filled with lots of oohs, aahs and wows from the crowd. Truly magical!

I will go out on a limb here and say that this is the best theme park I have ever been to. I can’t even put into words how amazing this park is. Its not even the rides that make it, it’s the theming, the detail and the wonderfully magic atmosphere that is created here. The Disney magic you find in Disneyland is found here but with extra pizzaz and a slightly more adult appeal.

I hope you do visit one day. You won’t regret it!
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