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

Aviation

Destinations

Tourism

International airport to be built “right on top” of world-famous tourist attraction

If you’re a travel professional and doing all you can to avoid the dangers of overtourism like the plague, you might want to sit down while reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Report finds brakes weren’t used before plane crash that killed 41

Those seeking answers to why the Russian Aeroflot plane crash that killed 41 people occurred have been given a bit of clarity around the tragic incident.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Technology

TripAdvisor steps in after restaurant roasted for issuing tourists huge bill

We’re such tight-arses here at Travel Weekly that we often adopt the ‘dine and dash’ strategy when eating out.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Wholesalers

Excite Holidays launches new guide to Indonesia

Coincidentally, Indonesia has just re-elected its president, and Travel Weekly’s editor is having dinner at an Indonesian restaurant tonight.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

The 13 mobile apps travellers can’t go without

Here are 13 must-have apps for travellers, with Tinder, Grindr and Candy Crush Saga surprising omissions.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Next Story Group’s Alex Billing

We recently shared a blanket in front of the fire with Next Story Group’s regional vice president of operations. Oh, and we interviewed him too.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Wholesalers

Trafalgar and TTC sister brands celebrate National Agent Appreciation Day with deals, treats + more

Travel Weekly staff are using the excuse of National Agent Appreciation Day to hold an office beer pong tournament, with Panadol and Berocca on standby for tomorrow.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise wrap: P&O hosts Qld Maroons fan meet, SeaDream’s new sustainable ship, Cruise360 news + more!

Here’s a cruise wrap complete with a few ripper footy legends to get you in the mood for some State of Origin action next month.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Migrants flood French airport terminal, demand to see PM and Air France CEO

by Christian Fleetwood

Hundreds of migrants have flooded an airport terminal in France. As in they turned up in droves – not turned on all the taps.

Share

CommentComments

Events

ATTN: Women in Travel Awards 2019 finalists revealed!

Yes, the time has finally arrived for Travel Weekly to announce the finalists for this year’s Women in Travel Awards! We even bought a klaxon for the occasion.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Michael Slater removed from Qantas flight after heated argument onboard

Ex-Australian cricketer and current Seven Network presenter Michael Slater has been dismissed by a Qantas umpire after a heated argument onboard.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Events

Yippee! All the shots from The Amazing Tastes of Thailand event in Sydney!

The photos from the ATOT event in Sydney are up! We promise there are no squinting guests or flies left undone in any of the shots.

Share

CommentComments