22nd Dec 2012 10:33am | By Editor
When it comes to booking a thrill-seeking holiday, some people will pick off-piste snowboarding, some may lean towards camping in the barren desert and some may want to wrap a chord around their feet and jump off bridges – pah!
These activities are for wimps, when compared to standing on the lip of a mountain that spits boiling hot juice. If you’re looking for an epic adventure, climbing and peering into the mouths of these natural deathtraps might well be for you. Let us ease you in to this gently.
Molokini crater, Hawaii
The first volcanic beast on our list is a partially submerged crater. While it’s not exactly dangerous – it last erupted about 230,000 years ago – Molokini is still a sight to behold. The crater itself has a stonking area of 23 acres, and part of it pokes above the water to form a small islet in the ocean between Maui and Kaho’olawe islands, Hawaii.
Visitors can book a glass bottom boat trip and motor right into the belly of the crescent. Then, if they dare, they can jump out, go snorkelling and get up close to the rocks. Rare marine life also loves this cosy spot. The crystal-clear visibility (often exceeding 30 metres) means snorkellers and divers can spot turtles and all manner of sea creatures at different depths. The unusual rock, and high algae concentration, attracts a range of colourful critters including 250 strange-looking fish species, such as jacks, emperor fish, hawk fish, bigeye scad and Hawaii’s former state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Really.
In this area there are also often sightings of humpback whales, which range from 12-16 metres in length. Blink and you may miss them jumping above the ocean surface, but if you do witness one it will stay imprinted in your memory forever.
To finish off your trip, hang around after your snorkel session and wait for the sun to set. It’s possible to book sightseeing and barbecue trips with tour companies in the area. They’ll cook you a feast, while you crack open a beer, and watch as the orange blob dips on the horizon, behind the crater.