Kazumura Cave Tours is a family run operation that focuses on visitor education while stressing cave preservation. We believe that the best way to preserve the cave is by educating visitors about this fascinating environment.
When we were told about the cave in 1995, we followed the directions a cave surveyor had given us and found the entrance. Initially, very little of the cave was accessible. The passage abruptly ended at a black chasm. But determined to continue we returned with a rope. The decent was only twenty feet, but the passage just went on and on. That one trip was all it took to realize we wanted to share this beautiful place with others.
Access was our first problem. Aside from the twenty foot drop near the entrance, there were three lava falls which needed to be ascended. Our solution was to build pole ladders which we anchored to the walls. We also needed to clear a few trails to safely get visitors through the cave; and by the middle of 1996, the cave was ready for visitors.
When we first started showing the cave, we knew nothing about lava tubes or caves in general; but with the help of our visitors we were able to piece together the processes that form and shape a lava tube. This information, along with what we've learned about preserving the cave, is shared with visitors on every tour.
After fourteen years of tours, we began to see some damage in the cave. The degree and frequency of which increased over the next few years. When signs stating Hawaii's cave laws and penalties were posted near the entrances, the damage subsided. But there were other problems.
One visitor brought news of a collapse caused by a bulldozer clearing a lot. Another source informed us that garbage was regularly burned in one of the cave's entrances. Clearly, a more active role in preservation was needed. Our solution was to set up the Kazumura Cave Preserve.
It was determined that the Preserve should have three main functions.
- Set up and maintain a website to educate the public about the cave and the potential hazards related to developing the land over the cave.
- Establish a fund to purchase lots over the cave.
- And lastly, send letters to lot owners to informed them about the cave under their property. (A person cannot be expected to avoid a hazard if they have no idea that one exists.)
It is hoped that through the purchase of lots and by soliciting the help of land owners, this national treasure can be preserved for future generations.