Driving to the "End of the Earth"

Hawaii Travel Blog

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The drive to the end of the earth
Earlier in the week my mom had said, "I want to go to the end of the earth, I just need to figure out how to get there." I laughed so hard; I had no idea what she was talking about. She was referring to Ka Lae (also known as South Point), which is the southernmost point of the United States. We were leaving Hawaii that day, but had a red eye flight. So we decided to circumnavigate the island and hit up South Point and Volcanoes National Park.

After a bit of driving along Highway 11, we reached South Point Road. The scenery grew increasingly desolate as we got closer to Ka Lae. You do get a sense that you are approaching "the end of the earth." There were a few farms and houses along the rocky one lane dirt road. At one point there was a fork in the road and of course no sign telling you which way led to South Point.
View from South Point
We chose the wrong side and had to turn around, no easy feat on that road. There is also no parking at the end of the earth so be prepared for volcanic rocky parking.

We got out of the car and walked to the edge of the cliff. The bright blue sea stretched on and on. There were some locals fishing. A few (crazy?) travelers were jumping off the cliff into the water. We hung out at this spot for a little bit, had some sandwiches and were on our way. Driving on the island can eat up your time quickly because of how slow moving it is.

On our way to Volcanoes National Park, we got stuck behind the worst possible vehicle... a student driver. When we finally arrived at the park, we were warned that much of the park was closed because of toxic sulfur fumes. We went to look at the Halema'uma'u Crater which was one of the only things that was accessible that day. But when we got there and stepped outside the car, the sulfur fumes were incredibly strong. The park rangers were saying the levels of sulfur were very dangerous for everybody and encouraging everyone to go inside. Standing there for just a few minutes gave me an insta-headeache. Needless to say, we didn't end up spending much time there!
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The drive to the end of the earth
The drive to the end of the earth
View from South Point
View from South Point
Driving along the coast
Driving along the coast
Halemaumau Crater
Halema'uma'u Crater
Hawaii
photo by: WorldXplorer