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

Leave a Reply

Tourism

John O’Sullivan on Experience Co.’s reset, travel’s recovery and Westbury’s “appalling” comments

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly has gone one-on-one with Experience Co. CEO and former Tourism Australia boss John O’Sullivan. As in interview him – not verse him in an online game of chess or Battleship.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Labor senator calls for corporate watchdog to investigate Rex

Rex is facing a possible probe from Australia’s corporate watchdog, after its deputy chairman revealed plans for the airline to expand capital city services without informing the ASX.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Australian Border Force extends cruise ban by three months

Those of you who had clients ready and raring to sail out by mid-June may want to prepare a stiff drink before reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel investor Jerry Schwartz proposes helipad for Sofitel Darling Harbour

The prominent Aussie hospitality identity has launched the bold proposal to help revive Sydney’s tourism and conventions profile.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

STUDY: Investing in additional staff training critical for travel industry’s future workforce

Investing in extra training will not only engage staff, but it will also prepare them for the changing landscape of travel, according to new research.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia’s pubs and cinemas to seat 80 people from June, as WA plans eased regional travel restrictions

by Christian Fleetwood

The moves from each state come as Jacinda Ardern weighs in on the Australian state border row, which she said would need to be sorted out before the trans-Tasman bubble gets the green light.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Air NZ shrinks exec team, Etihad’s new Sydney-London route + MORE

This week’s Aviation Wrap is a bit like that Two-Face character from Batman comics and movies, in that it’s got both good and bad sides to it.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Weekly webinar series to connect agents and suppliers

If you enjoy drinking coffee and having a yarn with your fave suppliers, you’re going to want to get in on this one.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

G Adventures extends suspension of trips, launches another agent challenge

Although international travel is still off the table for the immediate future, G Adventures is keeping agents busy with the launch of a new challenge.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Giants in need: How the dependency on tourism endangers the wellbeing of captive elephants

by Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach

Despite the fundamental ethical concerns of using elephants in tourism, it can be very profitable and in normal times pays for their upkeep. But what if tourists stop coming altogether?

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Woman dies after falling from balcony at Sydney hotel

by Huntley Mitchell

In other news, Gold Coast detectives have charged three men with murder following the death of a 19-year-old man at a Surfers Paradise holiday apartment complex over the weekend.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Government’s $60bn JobKeeper cost error could see program extended for tourism sector

by Christian Fleetwood

Amid industry calls for its extension, underspending on the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme could be good news for the tourism sector.

Share

CommentComments