Summer is just around the corner and longer days mean more time to enjoy the engaging lineup that Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has planned. From hula arts and Hawaiian cultural demonstrations to After Dark in the Park programs and more, here’s what the park has in store for both residents and those enjoying a Hawai’i vacation this June. 


Digging Hawaii’s Agricultural Past

Did you know that Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has a unit called Kahuku in Kaʻū, just 31 miles away from its unit in Volcano, Hawai’i? And in Kahuku, you’ll find an impressive agricultural field system established way before Western contact. The agricultural systems of the Hawaiian archipelago are recognized as some of the most intensive in the Pacific and the large agricultural landscapes in Kaʻū are especially remarkable. 

Part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park ongoing After Dark in the Park programs and co-sponsored by the Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Digging the Past is a free presentation about the Hawaiian Field Systems of Kaʻū by Seth Quintus, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Anthropology Department. It will be held at the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium on Tuesday, June 4th at 7pm. 

Hawaii’s Salt Gatherers 

The first major export from Hawaiʻi was not sugar, pineapples, or even sandalwood. It was actually salt! Paʻakai, Hawaiian sea salt, enabled ancient Hawaiians to preserve meat and fish, and made it possible for them to settle in districts not particularly ideal for agriculture. By 1786, numerous ships stopped in Hawai‘i to provision. After discovering paʻakai, they generated a substantial demand for the Hawaiian sea salt. 

Co-sponsored by the Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park programs, Hawaii’s Salt Gatherers is your chance to join archeologist and manager of the park’s Cultural Resources program, 

Summer Roper Todd, as she leads participants in the footsteps of traditional Hawaiian salt gatherers. This free program will be held at the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium  on Tuesday, June 18th at 7pm. 


Lei Hulu 

Lei hulu were feather lei that were bestowed upon aliʻi (chiefs) after lengthy preparation. Sometimes, preparations could span entire generations! As they were precious, priceless, and difficult to obtain, Native Hawaiians treasured lei hulu

And on Wednesday, June 12th from 10am to 12pm, you can join renowned lei hulu artist Kilohana Domingo at the Ōhiʻa Wing (across Crater Rim Drive from Kīlauea Visitor Center). Here, he’ll demonstrate his mastery of the intricate, traditional art of lei hulu. Co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the Lei Hulu demonstration is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Hawaiian cultural programs, ‘Ike Hana Noʻeau (Experience the Skillful Work). 

Unulau Hālau Hula Performance

Unulau hālau hula (hula school) is on a mission to perpetuate Hawaiian knowledge and education through hula arts. The hula school is known for its ancient ʻaihaʻa style of hula rooted in traditions predating Western contact. Under the direction of Kumu Hula Pele Kaio, the hālau prides itself on perpetuating this distinctive hula, which features low-postured, eruptive movements honoring the power of Pele, the sacred goddess of Hawaii’s volcanoes, and Hiʻiaka, her sister.  

On Wednesday, June 19th, you can immerse yourself in one of Hawaii’s most prolific traditions at the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium. Unulau will be performing from 7 to 8pm as part of the Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices of Hawaiian Music” concerts and presentations, which are co-sponsored by Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association. 


Volcano Art Center Hula Arts at Kīlauea Performances

Can’t get enough hula? We feel the same way! Which is why we’re thrilled about the Volcano Art Center’s ongoing Hula Arts at Kīlauea program, which is sponsored by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and/or Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. 

This month, you can catch an authentic hula kāhiko performance by Hālau Malani on June 8th at 10:30am, at the Kahua Hula (hula platform) near the Volcano Art Center (VAC) Gallery and Kīlauea Visitor Center. Under the direction of Kumu Hula Liana Aveiro, the halau will perform rain or shine, so bring an umbrella and soak up the magic.

Tutu’s Tip: This is a popular halau and parking is limited at the visitor center, so get to VAC early! Additional parking is available at Kūkamāhuākea (Steam Vents).

A Literary Journey

Join National Parks Arts Foundation’s June 2024 artist in residence writer Leah Newsom for a free talk about her creative process, literary journey, and the discoveries she’s made while developing her craft. Born and raised in Arizona, Newsom is an award-winning writer and novelist who is bringing her extensive literary background and passion for environmental storytelling to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park for the month of June.  

While the development of her forthcoming novel will be pivotal to her residency, Newsom also plans to explore the Mauna Ulu lava flows and experience the landscape as a living, breathing character itself. Meet her on Saturday, June 15th from 9:30am to 11am, at the Kahuku Visitor Contact Station in Kaʻū, south of the 70.5 mile marker on the mauka side of Highway 11.

Giving Back

Stewardship at the Summit Rainforest Restoration 

Non-native plant species can prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, which makes their removal vital. Join project leaders Paul and Jane Field on June 22nd or June 28th at 8:45am as a volunteer and you can help to remove these non-native plants. Wear a pair of long pants and sunscreen, lace up those sturdy trail shoes or hiking boots, and grab your rain gear, a hat, some water, and a day pack with your favorite snacks, and meet the Fields at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Don’t worry about gloves and tools. Those will be provided for you!  

Mark your calendars now for Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s enriching events and programs. Whether you’re visiting from Kona, another island, or from somewhere further away, the park has something for everyone. All events are free, but park entrance fees may apply, so be sure to check the park calendar for more information and possible changes. 

Our charming cottages, Tutu’s Place and the Ola’a House, are conveniently located within minutes of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, so book your stay today and get ready to experience all the art, history, culture, and adventure of Volcano this June.