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Island of Hawaiʻi Travel Tips

There is so much to explore on the massive island of Hawaiʻi that it can be hard to know where to begin. Take a cue from the locals and start with knowing how to interact with the awe-inspiring natural diversity and fascinating culture. When you know the story behind the sites - whether it's of the ocean, the lava flow or the cultural site - you'll appreciate every moment all the more.

Warnings, Watches, Advisories and Outlooks for Island of Hawaiʻi

Please be aware of any advisories and what they mean.
  • OUTLOOK: An outlook is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is possible in the next week. Outlooks are intended to raise awareness of the potential for significant weather that could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.
  • ADVISORY: An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent, or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, that cause significant inconvenience and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.
  • WATCH: A watch is issued when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. Have a plan of action in case a storm threatens, and listen for more information and possible warnings, especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.
  • WARNING: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent, or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. If you are in the path of the storm you need to take protective action.

Volcano Safety and Updates

Closed Trails and Roads

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is full of adventure for guests who stay on open trails and roads. But closed trails and roads are dangerous - please do not enter.


Lava Fields

Exploring lava fields is fascinating, but cracks and sinkholes can be unstable and falls from crumbling edges have caused serious injuries and deaths. Please keep your distance.

Exploring Cliffs

Soaring cliffs are beautiful, but they can also be the source of unpredictable rockfalls. Please pay attention to your surroundings and do not venture into harm's way.

Wear Appropriate Shoes

Lava rock can be as sharp as it is beautiful. Please wear sturdy shoes and long pants when exploring, as falling on lava rock is like falling on broken glass.

Hiking After Dark

Because of the instability of the terrain, hiking after dark is too dangerous even for those who know the area well. Please allow enough time to return before dusk.

Hawaiʻi Volanoes National Park

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is a wild place. The dramatic landscape of Kīlauea volcano is constantly being shaped by powerful and uncontrollable natural forces. Please respect the dangers of this dynamic natural process and keep out of closed areas.



Minor seismic activity is a common if infrequent occurrence and it often passes with little impact or notice. To be prepared in the much rarer event of a large earthquake, please visit for detailed information about what to do.

Island of Hawaiʻi Travel Tips: Ocean Safety

There are beaches of every size and color on the island of Hawaiʻi. But no matter which one - or how many - you choose to cavort on, local wisdom is the same: learn about the current water conditions and how to navigate them safely. Water safety expert Iko Balanga is here to help. More

Land Conservation

  1. 1. Clean your gear (Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death) - ʻŌhiʻa, the most abundant native tree in the state of Hawaiʻi, are dying very quickly from a fungal disease called Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. All districts of Hawaiʻi Island have been affected and all trees statewide are threatened by this disease. Please do your part and clean your hiking gear, especially footwear, before and after embarking on a hike to avoid spreading this catastrophic tree disease.
  2. 2. Natural objects, such as lava rocks, contribute to the beauty and wonderment of the National Parks and should be left as they were found, so that others can experience a sense of discovery. Please respect our natural treasures and do not take lava rocks with you.


Emergency Numbers


  • 9-1-1 — Serious medical problem, fire, life-threatening situation or crime in progress. Be aware of your location.
  • 9-1-1 (text) — Only text 9-1-1 if you are unable to make a voice call.


  • 808-935-3311 — Non-emergency, non-life-threatening. Hawaiʻi County Police Department.


  • 808-961-8300 — Crime Stoppers, to provide anonymous tips. Hawaiʻi County Police Department.

Visitor Services 

  • Visitor Services (808) 926-8274 - Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaiʻi - provides support services to visitors in need. Call for initial assistance until family and friends at home can be contacted.

Explore Statewide Travel Tips