The Big Island of
Hawaii is about twice the combined size of all the other Hawaiian Islands, hence the name "The Big Island" of
Hawaii. Size is not her only unique quality as the island of Hawaii encompasses a vast range of climates unique to
Hawaii only. Climates range from tropical to sub arctic and Hawaii is the only island in the entire chain of islands in
Hawaii where you will find snow with an erupting volcano. The Big Island Hawaii is host to Kilauea an erupting
volcano and the world's highest mountain measured from base to top, Mauna Kea. Two of five volcanoes that created the
Big Island Hawaii are active. Kilauea Caldera's present eruptive phase dates back to 1983, while Mauna Loa last
erupted in 1984. Both Kohala as well as Mauna Kea are extinct and Hualalai is dormant, since it last erupted in 1801.
Hawaii's scenery covers the total spectrum complete with Hawaii lava flows, high sea cliffs, rain forest, lush
coastal valleys, deserts and rolling pastures.
The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands. Although
nearly twice the size of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined, Hawaii is still growing.
Places Of Interest:
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island.
Kilauea Situated in the heart of HAVO.
Mauna Kea The pinnacle of all Hawaii.
Parker Ranch Large U.S. privately owned ranch.
Kona Coast Catch Pacific Blue Marlin.
Hamakua Coast See the cliffs of Waipio Valley.
Big Island Highlights:
Helicopter Flights Depart from Kona and Hilo.
Explore Lava Tubes on The Big Island of Hawaii.
Humpback Whales Watch whales off the Kona side.
Night Diving Dive with Manta at Kailua Bay.
Touring Ancient Temples Places of early refuge.
Stargazing Mauna Kea, Onizuka Center.
Eruption! - Taken from a helicopter,
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park HAVO,
is an amazing place to visit during your
Hawaii Vacation. The preserve encompasses two active
volcanoes in an area of approximately quarter million acres. The terrain in HAVO varies,
ranging from sub-arctic atop Mauna Kea Summit to stunning coastal cliffs and tropical
beaches along the Puna Coast. For hikers the park offers an array of hiking trails that
range from half-day excursions to multi day adventures. Hike along secluded beaches,
through native forest and desert as well as atop the world's largest active volcano -
Mauna Loa. Park entrance admission: Vehicles, $10; Hikers and bikers, $5.
South East Hawaii
Kilauea, possibly the most active volcano on earth has added some
500 plus acres of coastal land to the island since 1983, when the latest
succession of eruptions began. Situated in the heart of Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park, Kilauea is accessible by land or air. There is a Visitor Center in
Kilauea where park rangers provide updates on the region's current volcanic
activity as well as backcountry trail conditions. There are videos on volcanoes,
guided walks and even programs for kids. Guided tours by private tour operators include,
land excursions with a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube Trail to complete aerial tours.
Check out Leigh Hilbert Photography
for more up close and personal information about Hawaii's volcanoes.
Mauna Kea lies to the north west of Kilauea and is the pinnacle of all Hawaii, reaching into
the sky almost 14,000 feet at the summit and boasts the utmost collection of large astronomical
telescopes in the world. In contrast to the coastal shorelines where temperatures hover around
80 degrees F year around, the summit at Mauna Kea can get below freezing. Thin air at high altitude
and below freezing temperatures are a sure reminder of how diverse the climate is, in different regions
of Hawaii. If you are interested in visiting the summit, the
Visitors' Information Station offers guided tours Saturday and Sunday weather permitting.
Parker Ranch shares its history with visitors in a small museum north west
of Mauna Kea in the town of Waimea. Claiming to be the nations largest privately owned
Ranch and rightfully so, encompassing some 225,000 acres of land, upwards of 35,000 head
of cattle and producing an estimated 15 million pounds of beef annually. Admission is $6.50.
South West Hawaii
Just south of Waikoloa is Kona; famous for her Kona Coffee and white sand beaches. You can
fish, dive, snorkel or swim in the water along Hawaii's Kona Coast, where some of the
Big Island's best beaches are. Enjoy an evening on the water with live entertainment as you
set out on a sunset dinner cruise. The Big Island Hawaii is where you will find some of the
best marlin fishing in the entire world. Kona, Hawaii is one of the world's premiere spots for
Pacific Blue Marlin fishing.
Certainly one of Hawaii's most picturesque coast lines, the
Hamakua Coast, located on the northeastern shoreline winds
along the island's tall cliffs of Waipio Valley and down to the
the town of Hilo, Hawaii's second largest port. Make the drive
on a clear day and you'll be glad you did. Sights along the
way include the natural beauty of streams, waterfalls and picturesque
views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean as well as views of Waipio Valley.
Helicopter Flights - Hawaii
Helicopter Flights over The Big Island
Helicopter flights leave from Waikoloa on the Kona side and
from Hilo on the windward side of the island. There are several helicopter
flights to choose from, ranging from an hour scenic tour to several hours
exploring The Big Island. You can even take an airplane ride over the
island that leaves out of Kona. Although there are a number of tours to choose
from with fees varying based on selected tour, we strongly suggest
you make reservations in advance. Fly over spectacular volcanoes.
As far as we know this is the only place in the United States
and possibly in the entire world, where you can tour a live volcano.
Explore Lava Tubes
South East Hawaii
There is perhaps no other place on earth of comparable size,
which has as many caves as The Big Island, Hawaii. Caves in Hawaii
are known as Lava Tubes and remain one of Hawaii's most valuable
natural resources. Hawaii is home to Kazumura, the world's longest
lava tube and one of the world's top ten longest caves. Located near
Kilauea in the Puna District, Kazumura has over 40 miles of cave
passages. A couple of other caves are the Kaumana Cave which is actually
a 25-mile long lava tube above Hilo created by a flow from Mauna Loa in
1881 and the Thurston Lava Tube [only show cave], located in Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park. Each Wednesday HAVO offers a ranger-guided tour, (reservations are required).
Whale Watching on The Big Island is nothing less than awesome.
Although you will see more Humpback Whales around the island
of Maui, Kona on The Big Island is also a favorite place among visitors
for Whale Watching. Sightings are common during the winter months
between November and March. This is the time Humpback Whales spend
in the Hawaiian Islands after making their 6,000-mile annual migration from
Southeast Alaska to the pacific blue waters of the Hawaiian Islands. Whale watching
tours are for the most part concentrated in and around Kona, where you can charter a boat
or go as a group along with other visitors.
For anyone who has ever experienced the underwater world at night,
or would like to, Hawaii has some of the best night diving
in the islands. Dive with large Manta Rays in the waters
off Kailua Bay. These friendly sea creatures can get Big,
some as large as 3 to 4 meters. Although they are gentle giants
and will swim right along with you, don't touch.
Touring Ancient Temples
While in Hawaii be sure to visit Pu`uhonua o Honaunau
National Historic Park and Hale o Kaewe Heiau. In old Hawaii, anyone who ventured outside
the normal way of life and broke kapu [highly regulated rules] was thought to anger
the gods, which resulted in death. One could be spared life by reaching the sacred
sanctuary ground of the Puuhonua. Admission is $5 per vehicle or
$3 per person on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle. Ages 15 and younger are free.
The OCIA Visitors' Information Station (VIS), offers a stargazing program
at the "mid-level" facilities 9,300 ft altitude each evening from 6pm to 10pm, where
you'll get to view planets, galaxies and star clusters. Skies above the Visitor Center
are among the clearest, driest, and darkest on the planet. The Visitor Center site is
located at an elevation above most of the major telescopes on Earth! The stargazing
program is free and kids are welcome.