Topic Wiki

List of TR's:
JewJitSew, Something Fishy, Cbs, MendyP, PBaruch, mechayamom, 3yummyboys, PBaruch, shulem92, Yehoshua

Kosher Food/ Restaurants:

Synagogue:

Things to Do:
Lava (find out in advance what the best way is to see the lava):
  • Helicopter
  • Hike/Bike
    • Surface flow - depending on the conditions, it might be possible to hike to surface flow.  Inquire with Kalapana Cultural Tours.
    • Ocean entry - At the present time, there are three ways to access the area where lava is flowing into the ocean: (i) walk the approximately 10 miles round trip over the county emergency access road from Kalapana (you can also walk over the road from the National Park side as well); (ii) rent a bicycle from one of several companies and ride to the ocean entry; or (iii) pay for Kalapana Cultural Tours (www.kalapanaculturaltours.com) to drive you most of the way and then hike or bike the remaining approximately 1.8 miles each way. 
  • Boat

Caves/lava tubes

Mountains
  • CAUTION: after SCUBA diving, wait 24 hours before going up the mountains
  • Mauna Loa
    • Mauna Loa Observatory - if this interests you, contact MLO to arrange tour; they'll ask, "you know we don't do astronomy, right?"; will give you code to gate; one-lane, seriously winding and undulating road
    • ways to summit:
      • day hike from parking lot just before MLO gate
      • minimum 3-5 day hike from Mauna Loa Access Road
  • Mauna Kea
    • visitor center for telescopes in evening
    • to do at summit
      • view sunset
      • Keck Observatory
      • Lake Waiau

Waterfalls

Historical/museums

Beaches
  • Waipio
  • Kalapana/Kaimu - black sand; 10(?) minute walk over lava rock
  • Punalu'u - black sand; good place to see turtles (I once saw 4)
  • Papakolea/Mahana/Green sand beach - there is a local family that shuttles folks from the parking area to the beach for a nominal fee.  Private tours can also be arranged to the beach and surrounding area.
  • Hapuna - has been rated #1 in US, top 10 international

Snorkeling

Snuba (ages 8+)
  • from shore
    • Snuba Doo available (ages 4-7)
  • Fair Wind snorkel trip to Kealakekua Bay
    • no Snuba Doo
    • may allow <8 if child has done Snuba Doo

SCUBA

Swimming with dolphins

Coffee Farm Tours

NPS sites

Botanic Gardens
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden htbg.com

Miscellany
  • Lava Tree State Monument
  • Ahalanui
  • Seahorse Farm (great place for kids)- http://seahorse.com/
  • Cape Kumukahi Lighthouse - you can see where the lava came right up to the fence surrounding the lighthouse
  • South Point
  • Atlantis submarine
  • Hilo farmers market, Wednesdays (and Saturdays)
  • Pololu
  • Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo
  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center - skippable; more expensive than Walmart; Rabbi Chazanow, previously of the BI has said that nuts without any chocolate/dairy are PAREVE, including Dry Roasted and Honey Roasted, even when bearing the OU-D

Hotels:
  • Kohala
  • Kona
  • Volcano
  • Hilo

Getting Around:
  • rent a car
    • Harpers - only rental car company that allows you to drive anywhere on the island
  • Bus
  • tours
  • bike
  • hike

Notes:
« Last edited by SSLPhD on May 28, 2017, 11:34:36 PM »

Author Topic: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread  (Read 68341 times)

Offline JewJitSew

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 69
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Clearwater, Florida
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2013, 04:17:58 PM »
http://blog.flickr.net/en/2013/03/15/man-braves-2000-degrees-lava-flows-the-adrenaline-is-insane/
Let's be honest, do his adrenaline shots compare to my green sand beach photo?

Some really amazing shots he took including the moonbow - never heard of that.

Offline Cbs

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 4505
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: Hertz President Circle, HHonors Gold, Silver Medallion, United 1k, AA Executive Platinum
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2013, 02:27:15 PM »
TRIP REPORT

Flew Hawaiian Airlines to Hilo as part of my Multi-City flight from LAX to HNL. Luggage was $17 a piece.
The Rental company - Hertz - was a PITA to deal with. They refused to give me a Jeep Wrangler (4x4) for the points i used -600 for one day - they made me put down 1800 points for one day. My plan was to rent for one day from Hilo and return it the next day as we drive around the north part of the island to fly out of Kona and we would pick up a one way rental full size for 1200 points. But G-d Had other plans (read below)….in any case we took the Jeep since everyone here said its a must, and it was. Just don't tell them that you plan to go off road with it because they don't allow it.

We drove 5 minutes out of airport and checked in at Hilo Seaside Hotel that we found for $89 total on priceline. Decent room, but all we needed was 2 beds for a few hours so it was good. the downside, Wifi only worked in the Lobby.

Moana Kea - We then went on the hour and a half journey to the Moana Kea - Tallest Mountain in the world from the bottom to top (32,000 feet)
Driving up is fine until 9,000 feet. At 9k there is a station to rest at and get used to the air. Its very cold up there so make sure you bring a warm sweater or coat.i didn't have one and i was FREEZING! Officialy you are supposed to wait at the station for anise half hour to adjust to the oxygen level but we saw we wouldn't make it in time to Sunset which is the highlight and purpose of driving up. so we only waited 10 minutes and went up. The Drive from 9k to top (13.5k) takes a nice 20 minutes and going 15-20mph NOT MORE, or you'll C"V go right off the mountain. The road is very bumpy full of rocks and sandy and no traction and you must be in Low gear. They only let 4x4's go up. Already from 9k i was feeling a little dizzy and on way up i felt a little more nauseous. So we stopped on side with a nice view and drank some powerade (sugar boost) and i took over to drive and felt fine.
We made sunset by literally 2 and a half minutes or so and it was GORGEOUS. your on the same level as the clouds and its about 10 degrees if not colder and the sun bright going down. A sight to remember!
Driving down at night is not such a big deal, just go slow.
At the 9k station ppl sit there and drink tea and wait for the stars to come out. They say you can see every star in the sky there, but we had a bit of a cloudy night but we still saw plenty and saw the moon and jupiter up close from massive telescopes.

Last day in Hawaii- One crazy day and many many hours spent in the car

4:30 am we woke up and started the day. Checked out of hotel and started down to the Volcano National Park.
Officially it costs to enter the park but early in the morning no one sits at the booth so you can go straight in. We entered the park about 6am and went straight down to the Jagger Museum which is about a mile or so down the road when u enter. There aren't really any signs how to get there when u enter but keep going straight till you see it. I would recommend to go to the park in the early AM because no one is there and its really nice and quiet. Only when we were leaving at 10 am all the tourists and busses started coming.
Jagger Museum - we saw Live Lava burning in a hole where you can't really get to but it looks really cool. If you go when the sun is up you prob  won't see it.
We then planned to go see Sunrise but we decided it was too far away and we wouldn't make it and we stayed to see the whole Park. - it all took about 4 hours or so and we did it pretty quick.
Lava Tube-  At the head of the park . its a tunnel where there used to be Lava flowing there.
Crater Rd. - Continued down the 20 mile road which has Craters every so often on the left and right. So we stopped at just about all of them. Each one is unique on its own. There are also miles of Dried up Lava fields which are really cool to see.

On the way down there is turn in to go down a road which is about 9 miles long in middle of no mans land and dried up lava. its a smooth path big enough for about a car and a quarter (maybe) - we decided to drive all the way down and hoped it would be worth it, since you have to drive back to get out. It was very worth it! first of all the view is gorgeous and you see the Pacific ocean all the way down. Secondly there was another Couple there that we met and the guy was Jewish, so we took the opportunity to give him an opportunity to do a mitzvah and put on Teffilin :)  - He hadn't put on teffilin in 5 years
Continued down the road all the way to the end where the view is again breathtaking! There is a really nice Arch there where we took pics with the blue water. - there is also something called "the end of the road" where dry lave crosses the road but you have to walk a half a mile to it and we had no patience.

We left the Park and drove towards South Point. its a nice 2.5 hour drive there. We stopped on the way at the Black Sand Beach which is really cool and you can see Massive Sea Turtles. Continued to South point……..

South Point - The Southernmost point in America facing Antarctica. Very nice View, and cliffs. People there have set up these boards that you can stand and fish there or JUMP OFF :) At first i was like no way I'm jumping off, but then i saw someone do it twice so i said the Hel* with it. and i jumped! its about a 50 foot drop into clear 30 feet water. i didn't fall in like a pencil exactly like supposed to so my shoulder got a bit hurt and was sore for a nice 2-3 weeks. Though my Friend wasn't as lucky.. he jumped and fell on his bottom back so he had some muscle spasm and it was very painful, so i had to take him to the nearest Hospital which was 30 min away. So we missed the Green sand Beach which is about 15 min away from there.
Driving to the hospital on a road that everyone is taking it easy and going 35 MPH and I'm cutting everyone off going 70 or so!
B"H nothing major happened and just some medication eased the Pain and we were out within 2 hours.
Now that messed up or drive back around the island because we had a flight from Kona that night. So we called Hertz and arranged wed return the Jeep in Kona and now they were nice about it since it was Medical Related., They even Drove us straight to the Terminal :)

Flew out of Kona - really nice outdoor airport - Upgrade to Business on AA non stop to LAX.

any questions feel free to PM or comment.

Online Something Fishy

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 5151
  • Total likes: 402
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 37
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2013, 05:51:55 PM »
Awesome  report!  Have any pics?
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 48092
  • Total likes: 737
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15685
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 01:03:07 AM »
TRIP REPORT
The Drive from 9k to top (13.5k) takes a nice 20 minutes and going 15-20mph NOT MORE, or you'll C"V go right off the mountain. The road is very bumpy full of rocks and sandy and no traction and you must be in Low gear. They only let 4x4's go up. Already from 9k i was feeling a little dizzy and on way up i felt a little more nauseous. So we stopped on side with a nice view and drank some powerade (sugar boost) and i took over to drive and felt fine.
Meh, I did it in a convertible :D
Was scary as #$%^ though, very washboardy. My wife kept her eyes closed the entire time.
But that sunset...oh that sunset.  I'll never forget it.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2013, 12:03:50 AM »
I didnt see a specific thread for this Island yet. So....

I am going next July for 3 days. It will be a boys trip leaving from LA. I booked tickets on BA 25,000 Avios and will be staying at the Fairmont Orchid. I am confirmed in the Ocean Front suite for $272/nt using suite upgrades.

Has anyone stayed there? What are the must do's?

As I start planning this trip which will take place in July, I am concerned that the Fairmont will be too far from Volcano National Park. Should I be staying somewhere more central?
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2013, 08:40:23 PM »
I wanted to run an idea by you guys. I will have 3 days in Hawaii. My plan to see the Volcano/ Lava is as follows:

Leave the Fairmont Orchid at 8 AM and drive to South Point arriving 10 AM
Spend 1 hour there.
Leave at 11 AM and drive to Isaac Hale Park for a 1 PM Lava Boat tour (2.5 hour tour)
At 4 PM drive to hike which is 25 minutes South of Isaac Hale Beach Park at Uncles Awa Club in Kalapana
We do hiking tour with a guide (see lava at night) approx 4-5 hours.
We drive back to Fairmont get back at midnight....

Any recommendations on how to do this better?

I also plan to do a helicopter tour of the volcano.....
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 48092
  • Total likes: 737
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15685
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2013, 08:43:43 PM »
Definitely spend the night (if not 2) on the Hilo side.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2013, 10:27:25 PM »
Definitely spend the night (if not 2) on the Hilo side.

Any particular places in mind? Should I do it at the end or beginning? I am landing Sun morning and leaving Wed night?

Its just that we are getting an ocean front suite at the Fairmont so I really want to enjoy that.
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 48092
  • Total likes: 737
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15685
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #53 on: June 25, 2013, 10:29:13 PM »
Any particular places in mind? Should I do it at the end or beginning? I am landing Sun morning and leaving Wed night?
www.vrbo.com

Hilo has a fantastic market on Wednesdays.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2013, 10:32:14 PM »
www.vrbo.com

Hilo has a fantastic market on Wednesdays.

So maybe I should do Tues and Wed. Is it worth flying back from Hilo to LAX instead. (Currently I have BA tickets for 12.5k, to fly from ITO it would be 20k UA assuming Saver opens up)
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 48092
  • Total likes: 737
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15685
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2013, 10:35:53 PM »
So maybe I should do Tues and Wed. Is it worth flying back from Hilo to LAX instead. (Currently I have BA tickets for 12.5k, to fly from ITO it would be 20k UA assuming Saver opens up)
No, you can catch sunset on top of Mauna Kea and then haul off to KOA for your flight.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #56 on: June 25, 2013, 10:54:09 PM »
No, you can catch sunset on top of Mauna Kea and then haul off to KOA for your flight.

Sounds like a great idea...

Maybe I will leave the Fairmont on Tuesday morning..drive via South Point to Hilo and do the lava sunset boat tour. On Wed morning we can do the Hike of Volcano at 8 AM and be back at 1 pm. We can then shower at our VRBO rental and eat (maybe checkout Hilo market) and then start driving back towards KOA stopping Mauna Kea for Sunset. (Flight is 9:35 PM).

What else should I do on the way to Hilo area on Tuesday? Should I go straight into Volcano National Park or stop at Green Sands Beach instead? Am I missing anything else here?
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline mguy

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 250
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #57 on: June 25, 2013, 10:59:35 PM »
I wanted to run an idea by you guys. I will have 3 days in Hawaii. My plan to see the Volcano/ Lava is as follows:

Leave the Fairmont Orchid at 8 AM and drive to South Point arriving 10 AM
Spend 1 hour there.
Leave at 11 AM and drive to Isaac Hale Park for a 1 PM Lava Boat tour (2.5 hour tour)
At 4 PM drive to hike which is 25 minutes South of Isaac Hale Beach Park at Uncles Awa Club in Kalapana
We do hiking tour with a guide (see lava at night) approx 4-5 hours.
We drive back to Fairmont get back at midnight....

Any recommendations on how to do this better?

I also plan to do a helicopter tour of the volcano.....
Just my 2 cents...

I've not done it myself, but have heard some negative reviews about the boat trip. They say it's quite nauseating and isn't otherwise that great.

I did the lava hike with a guide - walked to the ocean entry during daylight, hung out there for a while, checked out the surface flows when dark, and walked back. It of course can be very different when you go, but when I was there we had great views of the lava pouring into the ocean. We saw the boat bobbing around in the water and couldn't imagine they had that much of a better view.

I would instead try to get in a visit to Volcanoes National Park - maybe see the Jaggar Museum and do the crater hike.

Offline MLM

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2010
  • Posts: 1203
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
  • Programs: AA LT PLAT, UA LT PP, FPC LT PLAT, HH DIAMOND,
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2013, 11:09:50 PM »
Just my 2 cents...

I've not done it myself, but have heard some negative reviews about the boat trip. They say it's quite nauseating and isn't otherwise that great.

I did the lava hike with a guide - walked to the ocean entry during daylight, hung out there for a while, checked out the surface flows when dark, and walked back. It of course can be very different when you go, but when I was there we had great views of the lava pouring into the ocean. We saw the boat bobbing around in the water and couldn't imagine they had that much of a better view.

I would instead try to get in a visit to Volcanoes National Park - maybe see the Jaggar Museum and do the crater hike.

Which guide did you use? I did hear about the sea sickness issue...but when I did the Captain Andy's on Kauai I was fine but maybe this is different...

Would you recommend a guided tour during sunset?
JEWDA "RIP"

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 48092
  • Total likes: 737
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15685
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2013, 11:26:26 PM »
-Volcano Heli
-Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park>Devastation Loop Trail
-Current Eruption
-Hilo Wednesday Farmers and Souvenir Markets
-Mauna Kea Summit
-Mauna Kea 4WD roads
-Volcanically heated pools/4WD
-Road to the ocean/Green Sand Beach/South Points/4WD
-Waipio Valley/4WD

There's a reason I did 5 nights on the Hilo side though you can compress that.  We stayed in a treehouse in Volcano.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.