Kumukahi Lighthouse

Puna Big Island

The Kumukahi Lighthouse stands as a sentinel on the easternmost point of Hawaii's Big Island, at Cape Kumukahi. Built in 1934, this is not a picturesque lighthouse. The 125-foot steal beacon is a reminder of the fickle nature of Pele and her lava flows.

Some other characteristics and a bit of history about the lighthouse:

  1. Historical Significance: The lighthouse has withstood several natural challenges over the years. Notably, in 1960, a lava flow from the Kilauea volcano came towards the lighthouse. While the flow destroyed nearby structures and altered the landscape, the lighthouse remained untouched, which some locals considered a miracle. The lava flow stopped just short of the lighthouse, and today, the contrasting landscape around the lighthouse—marked by the black lava rock—serves as a testament to this event.

  2. Function: Like all lighthouses, its primary function is as a navigational aid for ships and boats. The light from Kumukahi Lighthouse helps vessels navigate the waters around the Big Island.

  3. Location: The area around Cape Kumukahi is rugged and marked by lava landscapes, as this part of the Big Island has seen several volcanic eruptions over the years. The air here is considered some of the freshest in the world, as it travels thousands of miles of ocean before reaching the point.

  4. Accessibility: As mentioned previously, while the lighthouse is not generally open for public tours, visitors can view the area from the outside. It's an isolated spot, so those who make the journey experience the Hawaiian landscape's raw beauty. As of the 2018 lava flow, there is no longer a road to access the lighthouse.

Given its resilience and the stark beauty of its surroundings, the Kumukahi Lighthouse is not just a navigational structure but also a symbol of endurance and the ever-changing nature of the Big Island's landscapes.

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