Destinations

The Island of Hawaii Five Ways

Ashlee Galea

The Island of Hawaii is full of scenic surprises.

One lap around Hawaii’s largest island features everything from volcanic lava fields, rainforests and waterfalls to green pastures, white, green and black sand beaches and the state’s tallest mountain Mauna Kea (often snow-capped).

With all but four of the world’s climate zones existing on this Hawaiian Island, it’s a fascinating place to visit. The Island of Hawaii abounds in exclusive adventures, many of the land, sea and air tours can only be found on this island.

Read on for five unmissable experiences on the Island of Hawaii.

Helicopter

Nicknamed the Big Island, the Island of Hawaii is roughly the size of all other Hawaiian Islands combined.

It’s a great isle for road trips, but also helicopter tours where a lot of ground can be covered quickly. Hawaii Island is home to five of Hawaii’s eight National Parks including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park featuring Hawaii’s only active volcanoes.

Viewing this park from an aerial vantage point feels out-of-this-world with rocky lava fields, deep craters, steam vents, open lava tubes and jagged sea cliffs. Fly high over the volcanoes in a doors-off helicopter with Paradise Helicopters or keep the doors on with Blue Hawaiian and Safari Helicopters.

15444

Night Snorkelling with Manta Rays

For those courageous enough to jump into the ocean at night, a surreal encounter awaits on the Island of Hawaii.

Giant manta rays are unique to this part of Hawaii and become visible after dark on a manta ray night dive or snorkel tour. Participants are given torchlights to shine deep into the ocean which in turn illuminates plankton and attracts the mantas to feed.

These gentle creatures, drawn to eat, frolic in the water underneath the snorkellers and above the divers putting on an awe inspiring show. Hang out with manta rays with Jack’s Diving Locker or Fair Wind, they are likely to book out so reserve your spot on the boat ahead of time.

MANTA-6

Snorkel and Scuba

The Island of Hawaii has more marine conservation districts than any other Hawaiian Island, making ocean activities here a no-brainer! There is so much fun to be had in the water, particularly snorkelling and scuba diving off Kona’s coastline.

Get ready for unforgettable underwater sights. By day, see huge schools of tropical fish, sea creatures and colourful coral with the possibility of spotting spinner dolphins, green sea turtles, reef sharks, eels and the occasional octopus. By night, swim with giant manta rays (more on that later). Snorkel and scuba companies are plentiful, try Fair Wind and Big Island Divers, to name a few.

Star Gazing

Standing 4200 m above sea level the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in Hawaii (and in the world when measured from base to summit).

This key attraction on the Island of Hawaii is arguably the best astronomical site on Earth due to low humidity, clear skies and a lack of light pollution. The peak of Mauna Kea houses thirteen working telescopes and is a premier location worldwide for stargazing.

Only a select number of tour companies are permitted to bring guests atop this mountain. With limited access make sure you confirm your tour seat as soon as possible.

Options include Mauna Kea Summit Adventures (west side departures) and Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Ad-ventures (east side departures).

stargazing

Rainforests & Waterfalls

Each side of Hawaii Island is very different. The west side, home to Kona and the Kohala Coast, is dry and sunny. The east side, home to Hilo, is wet, lush and rich in botanical gardens and rainforests.

Waterfalls are a major drawcard to this area. The most popular waterfalls are easily accessible, visitors can take a short hike past ferns, orchids and bamboo shoots to the stunning Akaka Falls or drive up to a lookout for views over the beautiful Rainbow Falls.

Don’t forget to check out Anaconda‘s hiking range before you go for the latest boots and hiking accessories.

Arrive early in the morning for the best chance of seeing a rainbow in the spray! Hire a car to get to them or book a seat on the Hilo Tropical Water-falls Tour with Hawaii Forest & Trail.

RAINBOW_FALLS-1_0


Ashlee Galea is an Aussie living in Hawaii who enjoys sharing Hawaii insider knowledge and travel advice on her blog The Hawaii Admirer (thehawaiiadmirer.com).

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Destinations

Six Need To Know Travel Hacks for Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands offer a myriad of travel options and experiences but these six hacks can help you get the most out of your island holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Updates from The Hawaiian Islands

If you’re headed to the Hawaiian Islands in April, save the date for some of the aloha state’s best events.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Final chance to WIN a trip to Hawaii!

Australian travel agents have one week left to participate in our Extra Comfort incentive for the chance to win a 3 night escape to Waikiki!

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Virtuoso travel week, agents hit Japan, TTC deals + more!

You agents sure have been up to a lot this week, and we’ve got the photos to prove it! Can we tag along next time?

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week

Whip out the finger buns and party poppers, it’s time to welcome some new hires!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

ATO: keeping its eyes on rentals, hosts on platforms like Airbnb overclaiming tax

by Christian Fleetwood

The government is cracking down on shifty Australian property owners overclaiming on tax, while Travel Weekly’s editorial is slamming its reporter for pronouncing “gif” as “jif”.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

News

Aussie airline in hot water for letting unaccompanied minors sleep in airport

by Christian Fleetwood

After being told to sleep in an airline meeting room, three boys were left to play forts for the night without their parents’ knowledge of their whereabouts.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

News

Traveller busted smuggling human embryo into India

by Christian Fleetwood

Here’s your daily does of “WTF”: A man has been busted for smuggling a human embryo into India. The man claims this isn’t the first time, either. We usually just bring a toothbrush when we travel, but…OK.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Events

Holi: Hindu festival of colour’s springtime celebrations are underway around the world

by Christian Fleetwood

Happy Holi everyone! Here’s a rundown of how to make the most of the holi-day. Sorry, we can’t resist a good pun.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Research: 14 per cent of drunk purchases are travel related

After hearing that one couple actually purchased an entire hotel while under the influence, we no longer feel bad about our late-night kebab runs.

Share

CommentComments

News

Australia to review travel advice for Turkey following ANZAC comment

by Ali Coutlon

The Turkish President said that Australians visiting Gallipoli with anti-Muslim sentiments would return in a similar fashion to the ANZACs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Excite and VisitBritain launch new agent guide

The new guide has a special focus on foodie and cultural adventures and to be honest, you had us at food.

Share

CommentComments