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DansDeals Forum => Destination Guides And Trip Planning => Topic started by: Dan on January 25, 2010, 07:50:54 PM

Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 25, 2010, 07:50:54 PM
Trip report coming soon...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: auntiemus on April 23, 2010, 01:08:08 AM
???
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: momo on April 10, 2011, 08:36:41 PM
Bump!  Dan any chance of a report?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on April 10, 2011, 10:47:19 PM
Bump!  Dan any chance of a report?
Time+Energy-lack of interest among most DD readers=Doubtful.

I may consider selling the concierge info packet I have on each island without buying the entire DD concierge package...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: momo on September 22, 2011, 11:15:14 AM
Dan any suggestions about where to stay on the big island?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: YudiG on September 22, 2011, 12:20:13 PM
Time+Energy-lack of interest among most DD readers=Doubtful.

I may consider selling the concierge info packet I have on each island without buying the entire DD concierge package...

what does concierge service cost? :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: miles horder on January 19, 2012, 11:51:36 PM
Has anyone been to the big island? whats there to do for one day? so far i'm
planing on doing blue Hawaiian helicopter tour, any other ideas?  thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ryan on January 20, 2012, 12:56:28 AM
whats there to do for one day?

Drive around Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ryan on January 20, 2012, 12:57:55 AM
http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm (http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: miles horder on January 20, 2012, 11:09:31 AM
Thanks,
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Saver2000 on January 20, 2012, 11:24:16 AM
Thanks,

For your second question,  go to the search box in the upper right corner and enter "piggybacking". That should help you out.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 09, 2012, 02:31:12 PM
Falafel In Paradise is now open:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Falafel-In-Paradise/313162968728806
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ballucanbe on March 22, 2012, 05:06:12 PM
HI Dan

Im going to be visiting the big island for three days.  Do you have any suggestions for what to do.  i plan on visiting the volcanoe national park.  Is there a specific tour which is better than the others.  Also, what would you recommend for the other 2 days.  Thank you and good to know about that falafel shop
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew on April 05, 2012, 11:17:44 AM
Last Sept/October I did a two week trip to Hawaii with my wife and three month old daughter. We spent six days on Maui, four days on the Big Island, and six days on Kauai. I like adventure and loved the Big Island, consequently, it was not my wife's favorite.

We did not have any set plans for the Big Island unlike the other islands. Also, with significant hotel budgets allotted to Kauai and Maui, we opted for a condo in Kona near the Kings/Queens market. We did do VNP but was a little limited by concerns of hiking with my daughter en tow. We drove through most of it and took some incredible photos, would love to return and do a night time hike to see glowing lava.

We destroyed a SUV while exploring, the trails on the Big Island are not made for trucks as big as Yukon XL's (or perhaps my driving skills were not up to par). However, being adventurous (for me) and searching for trails and lookout spots led us to some amazing places. Lots of pretty sites. And spending some time at the waterfalls was nice, many beautiful sights to explore.

My wife loved our time at the Mountain Thunder coffee farm. Short but interesting tour, amazing coffee, and a great opportunity to drop some serious money on coffee to ship home. However, we are still drinking it and have never had better coffee.

We do not keep strict kosher so I cannot speak to that aspect. We did not find too many great restaurants (in fact the Roy's there was very bad). Brunch at the Four Seasons was very good and wow is that a beautiful property. We spent a fair amount of time walking the property there and if I could find the right prices, I would love to stay there when we return - prices when I checked were around $700/night.

You drive a lot on this island as it is big. Getting from the Kona side to Hilo is a hike.

The Thurston lava tube was just okay.

I know this is not the most thorough of report, but I must say that the rural and undeveloped aspect of the Big Island was wonderful. When I plan my next trip to Hawaii, it will be the Big Island on the itinerary.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on April 05, 2012, 11:25:40 AM
Why did you stay in Kona over Hilo?

Make it down Waipio or to Green Sands?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew on April 05, 2012, 09:28:30 PM
No specific reason. But staying on the Kona side really added to the mood with so much open space.

I did less research before visiting the Big Island than the others but it was probably my favorite.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on April 05, 2012, 09:50:33 PM
If you're adventurous I'd stay on the Hilo side, if you want sun and sand stay on the Kona side.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew on April 22, 2012, 09:28:20 AM
If you're adventurous I'd stay on the Hilo side, if you want sun and sand stay on the Kona side.

Perhaps correct. However, as my wife and I are discussing vacation plans for the fall - I keep coming back to the Big Island. Really love that place. I am going with the idea that you cannot go wrong no matter where you stay.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: arid on June 20, 2012, 01:01:09 PM
does anyone know of a apt/condo/house/hotel near chabad that we can stay by for shabbos?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 20, 2012, 01:03:35 PM
Why don't you contact the shliach?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: arid on June 21, 2012, 01:10:30 AM
still waiting on an answer. googlemaps says all the hotels are about an hour walk away. looking for a metziah house/condo/apt that people have gone to
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 21, 2012, 01:11:27 AM
Try calling?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ShlockDoc on July 11, 2012, 10:42:00 PM
Dan,

The wife and I are planning our HI trip and will be spending two night in Kona.  We'd like to stay at the Courtyard by Marriot in Kona which is just a few steps away from Falafel in Paradise.  Everywhere else (Hilo, Maui) we'll be staying in homes from VRBO, Airbnb, etc.

The price that I got quote from the courtyard in Kona for two nights is 283.75 all in.  Can you think of a way to either bring that price down or to get upgrades even though we aren't Marriott Rewards members or frequent travelers....

Thanks for your advice!

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 11, 2012, 11:12:42 PM
Dates?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ShlockDoc on July 12, 2012, 08:59:55 AM
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel:  8/19-8/21
Title: Big Island Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on November 23, 2012, 01:23:05 PM
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?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 22, 2013, 08:12:40 PM
http://pacificislandparks.com/2013/01/21/latest-lava-flow-photos-from-hawaiian-volcano-observatory/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs on February 25, 2013, 03:48:07 AM
leaving tomorrow iy"h to the big island flying into hilo. - ill be landing at around 3pm and ill have 3.5 hours till sunset and then a full next day to tour and drive to kona for the return flight.

so far my plan is to go to the volcano national park and spend time there and then at night go to mauna kea . tuesday morning to drive along the north /west side of island to kona and go to captain cook and pololu valley lookout.

i really want to go to green sand beach and south point. but im wondering how to schedule it and see if its worth the long drive - cuz ill be driving a lot.
also im wondering how dangerous the drive up to mauna kea is at night?

if anyone can assist me with some advice that would be appreciated.

 

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 25, 2013, 08:33:07 AM
Bad plan IMHO.

Are you renting a 4x4?

If you have a 4x4 I'd go offroading and go for a dip into some isolated volcanically heated hot springs on the Hilo side followed by viewing the current flow at Kalapana (though recently some people have said you can't get too close unless you take a helicopter ride).

Tomorrow I'd go to Volcano Natl park.  You can play it quick there and also get in the green sand beach/south point/road to ocean or to Waipio Valley or you can take it easy and stay in the park on the spectacular devastation trail hike.  Top the day off with sunset at Mauna Kea (625pm and allow quite some time to make it to the top, ideally you should get out an adjust at the ranger station rather than drive straight up 15K feet).
Then haul @#$ to KOA to catch your flight.

Best of luck.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs on February 25, 2013, 12:57:59 PM
Bad plan IMHO.

Are you renting a 4x4?

If you have a 4x4 I'd go offroading and go for a dip into some isolated volcanically heated hot springs on the Hilo side followed by viewing the current flow at Kalapana (though recently some people have said you can't get too close unless you take a helicopter ride).

Tomorrow I'd go to Volcano Natl park.  You can play it quick there and also get in the green sand beach/south point/road to ocean or to Waipio Valley or you can take it easy and stay in the park on the spectacular devastation trail hike.  Top the day off with sunset at Mauna Kea (625pm and allow quite some time to make it to the top, ideally you should get out an adjust at the ranger station rather than drive straight up 15K feet).
Then haul @#$ to KOA to catch your flight.

Best of luck.
i reserved a premium, so i hope theyll give me something good - ill ask for a wrangler i guess.

your plan sounds good, but the one issue is that my flight leaves KOA at 10:20pm and to go for sunset at mauna kea would be kinda tight because it looks like 2.5 hour drive. - and i have luggage to check in
also where are these lava springs you speak about? will i find them randomly or its a certain place?

isnt waipio valley on the other end of island (accross south point)? if i were to choose wither of the 2 which would you recommend - i mean just the drive from south to mauna kea says 3.5 hours!!

maybe ill go to mauna kea tonight and then tommorow go to the park and keep going down (instead of north) and around to south and on to kona for flight
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 25, 2013, 01:08:20 PM
If you went to HI without the revealed books you have nobody but yourself to blame. I don't remember where each hot spring is.

I don't think it will be that tight, google drive times tend to be long.

Google pics for Waipio and green sand and decide what to do.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs on February 25, 2013, 01:10:48 PM
If you went to HI without the revealed books you have nobody but yourself to blame. I don't remember where each hot spring is.

I don't think it will be that tight, google drive times tend to be long.

Google pics for Waipio and green sand and decide what to do.
im not blaming anyone...im just asking
and ill google and see. will write up a TR later.

gtg see pali lookout before my flight... later!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew on February 26, 2013, 04:52:34 PM
im not blaming anyone...im just asking
and ill google and see. will write up a TR later.

gtg see pali lookout before my flight... later!

On my first trip to the Big Island we didn't make it to Green Sands, we got down there but with an infant in tow we did not want to walk it, take a local up for a ride, and definitely were not going to make it in our rental. This last trip I really wanted to make it out there but had a Suburban as a rental (nice Avis President's Club upgrade from a mid-size). On our last day I exchanged the big truck for a 4-door Wrangler and headed out for the day.

The year that passed since our first visit made me forget how far that end of the island was from Waikoloa where we were staying. It was late in the day when we finally made it to the Southern Most Point in the US. I have played around off-roading before, but cannot say I know what I am doing. The sun was just beginning to set as we were heading down and since there was a local truck heading out I thought we could try to follow them. They definitely got a head start and as we were driving we began to lose them in the combo of dust and lack of driving confidence. More than once my wife and I looked at each other with concern. The thing is once you get going there was not much space to turn around and I kept thinking we are this far, we have to go all the way.

Once getting there, it really is unique and I am glad we went. We took some beautiful photos (even with sunlight escaping us). So realizing the sun was setting over a very rough terrain we started back as did the local who was leaving. We were ahead of them trying to blaze our own trail and pushing the capability of the Jeep. While I drove carefully trying to care for my daughter and wife, I glance and see the local is well beyond us and we are on own own.

Long story short, B''H we made it back despite our Jeep sliding sideways down a decent sized sand dune.

It is definitely a sight and experience, but I highly recommend going in daylight with plenty of time to enjoy the beach and return before sunset.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 26, 2013, 04:56:33 PM
Pics?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew on February 28, 2013, 02:00:43 PM
Don't have many on my computer here, attached is one that I had re-touched to brighten up, but the originals were a bit dark.

(http://yitzak.com/images/2012-09-05 18.32.20-1-800px.jpg)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 19, 2013, 10:56:58 PM
http://blog.flickr.net/en/2013/03/15/man-braves-2000-degrees-lava-flows-the-adrenaline-is-insane/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JewJitSew 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 03, 2013, 05:51:55 PM
Awesome  report!  Have any pics?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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.....
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 25, 2013, 08:43:43 PM
Definitely spend the night (if not 2) on the Hilo side.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mguy 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM 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?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan 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.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 25, 2013, 11:35:31 PM
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 are your dates?

Sunset in Aug. is about 7, which means that you'd want to be on the mountain till at least 7:45 or so, then you still have a 2+ hour drive to KOA. Not really possible with a 9:35 departure. The latest sunset could be to work with such an itin is 5-5:30.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 25, 2013, 11:37:21 PM
True, probably a better idea to do it another night when you can stick around and see the star show after dark anyway.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 25, 2013, 11:41:10 PM
True, probably a better idea to do it another night when you can stick around and see the star show after dark anyway.

Exactly. I would do it counterclockwise: Mauna Kea > Hilo > Heated pools > current eruption > Volcano NP > South Point > Road To The Sea > KOA.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mguy on June 25, 2013, 11:46:54 PM
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?

Yes, it was a great experience and would recommend it. I think sunset is better since you get both the daytime and nightime experience.

As for the guide... I hesitated before paying for one. I think the going rate is roughly $100pp to join a group of strangers for a walk. That seemed exorbitant to me. They claim they have easements, etc and it's not legal to go without a guide. I doubt it matters much - our guide did have us park on private property with whom they had an arrangement, but from there on it was over the lava. And I somehow doubt they got permission from each of the private landowners whose land sits under all that lava.

Despite all that, it was our first time on the island and we didn't have time to waste, so I went for it just to avoid any surprises. I found someone that did it for $60pp or so (will try to dig up the number if you want it). And I don't regret it. But if I were doing it a second time, I would look again into the possibility of doing it on my own.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on June 25, 2013, 11:54:41 PM
Exactly. I would do it counterclockwise: Mauna Kea > Hilo > Heated pools > current eruption > Volcano NP > South Point > Road To The Sea > KOA.

But that would mean doing Mauna Kea by day?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 26, 2013, 12:01:14 AM
But that would mean doing Mauna Kea by day?

Why? You could watch the sunset and then the stars for a while, and overnight in Hilo.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on June 26, 2013, 09:00:36 AM
Why? You could watch the sunset and then the stars for a while, and overnight in Hilo.

Wouldn't it be better to leave Kohala in the morning and isn't Volcano NP past Mauna Kea? In other words how could I maximize Tuesday and Wednesday with an overnight in Hilo area?


Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 26, 2013, 09:59:22 AM
Wouldn't it be better to leave Kohala in the morning and isn't Volcano NP past Mauna Kea? In other words how could I maximize Tuesday and Wednesday with an overnight in Hilo area?

I don't think such a route makes sense. Going Kohala > Volcano NP > Mauna Kea > and back to Hilo for the night involves at least 4 hours of driving, and that only gets you to the main entrance of the park. Getting to the county viewing area to accessing the flow (from the other side of Chain of Craters Rd.) adds another hour at least. You'd be going up and down the Saddle Rd. and back and forth through Hilo.

http://goo.gl/maps/cdx5E

If I were you I'd spend the day up north. Check the Revealed books - he's got a million amazing things to do there. Even a side trip to Waipio Valley only takes you less than an hour out of the way in total (driving time). The advantage is that you're not going back and forth all the time, plus far less time stuck in the car. So then your route will be Kohala > something in the area or Waipio Valley > Mauna Kea > Hilo for the night > then a full day to enjoy Volcano NP properly.

http://goo.gl/maps/8TvVo
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on June 26, 2013, 02:13:39 PM
I don't think such a route makes sense. Going Kohala > Volcano NP > Mauna Kea > and back to Hilo for the night involves at least 4 hours of driving, and that only gets you to the main entrance of the park. Getting to the county viewing area to accessing the flow (from the other side of Chain of Craters Rd.) adds another hour at least. You'd be going up and down the Saddle Rd. and back and forth through Hilo.

http://goo.gl/maps/cdx5E

If I were you I'd spend the day up north. Check the Revealed books - he's got a million amazing things to do there. Even a side trip to Waipio Valley only takes you less than an hour out of the way in total (driving time). The advantage is that you're not going back and forth all the time, plus far less time stuck in the car. So then your route will be Kohala > something in the area or Waipio Valley > Mauna Kea > Hilo for the night > then a full day to enjoy Volcano NP properly.


http://goo.gl/maps/8TvVo

That is a very good point. There is an option to do a night hike with a guided tour. It leaves from Kalapana at 5pm, do you think I would better off at Sunset there or on Mauna Kea. I would probably sleep right near Volcano NP that night either way.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 26, 2013, 02:14:49 PM
Sunset on MK is lifechanging.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on June 26, 2013, 02:20:22 PM
Sunset on MK is lifechanging.


So maybe I can go to Mauna Kea on a separate evening. Is it so far from the Fairmont?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 26, 2013, 02:38:35 PM
GIYF.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on June 26, 2013, 11:46:32 PM
I found a private guide (same one I used in Kauai) we are gonna do an off trail hike in Waipio area on Monday and possibly end up on Mauna Kea for Sunset. I am still trying to work out Tues and Wed.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 09, 2013, 10:59:04 AM
Is there any way to get a cheap rate at the Four Seasons in Kona?  Alternatively, is there a way to book it with miles/points?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 14, 2013, 03:40:26 AM
http://petapixel.com/2013/07/13/photographer-gets-so-close-to-lava-that-his-shoes-and-tripod-catch-on-fire/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 14, 2013, 11:28:45 AM
I've hiked to the lava many times and poked sticks into it but wasn't so dumb to do this.  I have also hung out with a local photography buddy of mine and photographed lava - these guys know where it is safe to step and stand and where it isn't.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2013, 12:59:14 PM
I need some advice - is it worth 80k United miles for a 1 way ticket from Honolulu to Newark with a lay flat seat bed?

There is availability for 40k miles 1 way in business but this would be a connecting flight and only 1 leg would be business (mixed cabin far).

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2013, 01:04:20 PM
Sunset on MK is lifechanging.

I would say viewing a lava lake is life changing.  PM for more information if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 17, 2013, 01:32:59 PM
I would say viewing a lava lake is life changing.  PM for more information if anyone is interested.
Huh? Why not just post?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 17, 2013, 02:21:15 PM
Can I PM you with explanation?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 17, 2013, 02:24:24 PM
Sure
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 18, 2013, 11:03:01 AM
Does anyone besides United offer flat bed seats in first from Hawaii to NYC?

I called Hawaiian and AA and both said they do not have full flat seats.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 18, 2013, 12:25:29 PM
Does anyone besides United offer flat bed seats in first from Hawaii to NYC?

I called Hawaiian and AA and both said they do not have full flat seats.
No, but AAs 767s are supposed to be pretty good.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 18, 2013, 12:40:57 PM
No, but AAs 767s are supposed to be pretty good.

Thanks for the response.  I did a search on AA but do not see any 767s.  The are all listed as 757, 764, 762, 738, etc.  Also, for the 4 tickets I need, the difference in the redemption rate is not that great.  AA wants 75k pp and United is presently 80k pp 1 way in 1st. 

By the way, the United fold flat seats are on the 767.

I will probably hold off for a bit to see if I can get a saver 1st class on United for 40k pp. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 18, 2013, 01:02:59 PM
AA flies the 767s DFW-HNL and DFW-OGG AFAIK.  Maybe ORD-HNL seasonally.

Besides for the 767s UA also has lie-flats in F on 3 class 777s from places like IAD, IAH, and SFO.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on July 18, 2013, 02:32:39 PM
Thanks for the response.  I did a search on AA but do not see any 767s.  The are all listed as 757, 764, 762, 738, etc.  Also, for the 4 tickets I need, the difference in the redemption rate is not that great.  AA wants 75k pp and United is presently 80k pp 1 way in 1st. 

By the way, the United fold flat seats are on the 767.

I will probably hold off for a bit to see if I can get a saver 1st class on United for 40k pp.

764= 767-400  762= 767-200
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 18, 2013, 02:37:43 PM
764= 767-400  762= 767-200

Thanks.  Do you know how far back the seats recline in the 764 and 762?  On the seat map it clearly shows that its not a lay flat but I can't tell how far back the seats recline.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on July 21, 2013, 04:27:45 AM
I am landing at 11 am in KOA and want to do Sunset at Mauna Kea tomorrow night. I am staying at the Fairmont and was wondering:
1) what time I have to leave to make sunset?
2) if there is anything to do between around 12 until I have to leave?

I am going to VNP on Monday and doing Heli and Waterfall Hike on Tuesday.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on July 21, 2013, 11:39:34 PM
Posting from the summit of Mauna Kea! (But it's a little foggy) :-(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on July 21, 2013, 11:41:02 PM
The drive up was no biggy! Lets see what the way back is like
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 21, 2013, 11:48:23 PM
Not staying for the star show at the halfway point?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on July 21, 2013, 11:50:50 PM
Not staying for the star show at the halfway point?

Ill be on top for at least another hour and a half for sunset and then check out the stars and then make my way down.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 24, 2013, 11:18:47 AM
Any families with little kids planning on being in Kona for Shabbos on 2/1/2014?  If so, perhaps we can coordinate Shabbos and our kids can play together.  Please PM for details.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on July 24, 2013, 11:57:33 AM
I want to publicly thank PBaruch for all the amazing help he gave me on my trip to the Big Island. After being on Kauai, Maui and now the Big Island, I have to say I have seen some of the most amazing sights in the world. I appreciate everyone on these forums help.

However, the volcano completely blew me away on a whole new level and that is thanks to PBaruch!

I will post a trip report soon.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 25, 2013, 02:15:15 PM
I want to publicly thank PBaruch for all the amazing help he gave me on my trip to the Big Island. After being on Kauai, Maui and now the Big Island, I have to say I have seen some of the most amazing sights in the world. I appreciate everyone on these forums help.

However, the volcano completely blew me away on a whole new level and that is thanks to PBaruch!

I will post a trip report soon.

I'm really happy that I was able to enhance your trip to the Big Island.  :O)

Aloha,

PB
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 25, 2013, 07:44:04 PM
Does anyone know if you can get kosher food on the United flight from Honolulu to Newark in 1st class?  I called and ordered and the person I spoke to said she added the request to my tickets and that we would get kosher meals, but who knows if we will really get it.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 25, 2013, 07:53:58 PM
You can, but better to hope they forget it and give you $200 for that.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 25, 2013, 07:55:16 PM
Haha!  Thanks Dan.  I'll gladly take 200 x 4 rather than the kosher meals.  The tickets were booked for 80k United miles each so that means I would make nice $ on the deal.

By the way, if they do forget the kosher meals, how do I go about getting the 200?

Also, do you know what kind of kosher food they give you in 1st?

Thanks,

PB
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 21, 2013, 05:32:02 PM
Posting my experience - perhaps this will help someone - I booked 4 return 1st class lay flat seats at 80k each on United from hnl to ewr and saw availability online for 40k.  I called United and they only had 1 seat availability for 40k.  The rebooked one of the tickets and refunded me 40k miles!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: moto on October 29, 2013, 12:41:50 PM
Me and 4 friends are going to Hawaii in a few weeks and we plan on stay in the bug island for 5 days
We were thinking to rent a house next to the chabad house so we can go there for shabbos
What do you guys think of having a house down there meaning anywhere we want to go we will have to go back and forth will that work for us? Or do you think for a few days have a house near the chabad house and the other few on the other end of the island?

TIA
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 12:54:34 PM
I would do a few on both ends.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: moto on October 29, 2013, 01:08:59 PM
We're 5 guys with each suit case looking to rent from hertz on the big island which vehicle would be the most convenient and it's a 4x4?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 29, 2013, 01:57:42 PM
We're 5 guys with each suit case looking to rent from hertz on the big island which vehicle would be the most convenient and it's a 4x4?

If you want to drive to the top of mauna kea, 4wd is recommended - put it in 4wd low and 2nd gear on way up and down.  Although lots of people take everything up to the top including mustangs, best to take 4wd.  If you are not planning on driving to the top of mauna kea, get a minivan.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 02:07:00 PM
If you want to drive to the top of mauna kea, 4wd is recommended - put it in 4wd low and 2nd gear on way up and down.  Although lots of people take everything up to the top including mustangs, best to take 4wd.  If you are not planning on driving to the top of mauna kea, get a minivan.
I'd say exactly the opposite.

I drove up Mauna Kea in a mustang without any issues.
But if you want to drive the road to the ocean, drive into waipio valley, drive to hidden volcanically heater waler holes, drive to green sands beach, etc, etc you need 4WD.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 29, 2013, 02:08:09 PM
I'd say exactly the opposite.

I drove up Mauna Kea in a mustang without any issues.
But if you want to drive the road to the ocean, drive into waipio, drive to hidden volcanicly heater waler holes, drive to green sands beach, etc, etc you need 4WD.

Reasonable minds can disagree but I stand by my posting.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 02:12:12 PM
And I couldn't disagree more.  Unless you have no interest in any of those things I mentioned which all actually do require 4WD.

And if you're not interested in those things pretty much any car can make it up Mauna Kea.  Though the government would prefer you use 4WD up MK so that you don't ruin their road.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: moto on October 29, 2013, 02:13:05 PM
Dan I couldn't find your trip notes on the big island
Can you post a link here?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 02:14:10 PM
Dan I couldn't find your trip notes on the big island
Can you post a link here?
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=27424
;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: moto on October 29, 2013, 02:18:33 PM
Thanks :-)
Any cheap hotels in Hilo?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 02:22:32 PM
We booked something from VRBO
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 29, 2013, 02:23:28 PM
And I couldn't disagree more.  Unless you have no interest in any of those things I mentioned which all actually do require 4WD.

And if you're not interested in those things pretty much any car can make it up Mauna Kea.  Though the government would prefer you use 4WD up MK so that you don't ruin their road.

Other people disagree.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080627122715AA7DXms
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 02:34:37 PM
Other people disagree.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080627122715AA7DXms
I did it myself. 
And Hawaii Revealed has the same advice.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 29, 2013, 03:07:42 PM
As I understand it, until the visitors center a regular car is fine for sure, and past it a 4WD is recommend but not technically necessary.

Also remember that during the winter months it's quite common to have quite a bit of snow up there, so a 4WD would definitely be a good idea then.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2013, 03:10:48 PM
As I understand it, until the visitors center a regular car is fine for sure, and past it a 4WD is recommend but not technically necessary.

Also remember that during the winter months it's quite common to have quite a bit of snow up there, so a 4WD would definitely be a good idea then.
I was there in January 2009.  There was snow on the side of the road but not on the road.
The road was a bit washboardy though I'm not sure a 4WD would have solved that.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 30, 2013, 01:04:29 PM
I'd say exactly the opposite.

I drove up Mauna Kea in a mustang without any issues.
But if you want to drive the road to the ocean, drive into waipio valley, drive to hidden volcanically heater waler holes, drive to green sands beach, etc, etc you need 4WD.

Hawaii Revealed no longer tells you how to get to the hidden volcanic hot springs, because of trespassing issues. Other previously published items are redacted/omitted (in Big Island and Oahu books) for similar CYA reasons.

I guess I could try to get the older editions too and cross reference, but it seems like too much trouble.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs on October 30, 2013, 01:49:47 PM
I personally wouldnt feel comfortable driving up to moana kea without a 4WD but its doable with anything, just be careful and go slow on way up and if u wait till sunset which is BEAUTIFUL, then itll be dark on way down so take it easy.

Thanks :-)
Any cheap hotels in Hilo?
I got on priceline a motel .
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 30, 2013, 03:17:29 PM
Hawaii Revealed no longer tells you how to get to the hidden volcanic hot springs, because of trespassing issues. Other previously published items are redacted/omitted (in Big Island and Oahu books) for similar CYA reasons.

I guess I could try to get the older editions too and cross reference, but it seems like too much trouble.
Interesting.
Well worth it at any rate, was one of the highlights.
I can scan it if people want.

I personally wouldnt feel comfortable driving up to moana kea without a 4WD but its doable with anything, just be careful and go slow on way up and if u wait till sunset which is BEAUTIFUL, then itll be dark on way down so take it easy.
I got on priceline a motel .
We waited for sunset, which was the most beautiful I've seen in my life, and drove down right after while it was still light out.
Then watched the amazing constellation show at the visitors center halfway down. After that it's paved.
I don't think I even touched my gas pedal from the top of Mauna Kea until the end of saddle road in Hilo which is hours of driving.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 30, 2013, 04:32:37 PM
Interesting.
Well worth it at any rate, was one of the highlights.
I can scan it if people want.

Want! That would be awesome if you could get a chance. Thanks.

The guidebook I have just mentions one champagne pond but basically discourages you from going there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Cbs on October 30, 2013, 04:48:22 PM
Interesting.
Well worth it at any rate, was one of the highlights.
I can scan it if people want.
We waited for sunset, which was the most beautiful I've seen in my life, and drove down right after while it was still light out.
Then watched the amazing constellation show at the visitors center halfway down. After that it's paved.
I don't think I even touched my gas pedal from the top of Mauna Kea until the end of saddle road in Hilo which is hours of driving.
+1

bring a coat cuz its FREEZING up there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bostener on November 01, 2013, 02:08:46 AM
You can, but better to hope they forget it and give you $200 for that.

I got $50 off of next united flight for 10 week old food on business Europe to JFK.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: moto on November 03, 2013, 06:59:11 PM
Looking to stay one night in Hilo anyone know of a cheap hotel/motel/house I can rent for 5ppl thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on December 06, 2013, 01:56:20 PM
Just did the drive to the top of MK with a Jeep and I totally agree that there was absolutely no need for a Jeep to get up there. In fact, going up on the unpaved portion I experienced lots of fishtailing because of the low traction and would have probably been better off in 2WD mode.

Other than that, we came to see the volcano. Sadly, there was no lava entering the ocean occurring and also high SO2 conditions limiting access to much of the park. But it was a true highlight to stay in the Volcano House. If you can afford to spend the exorbitant rack rate of $330 per night to get a crater facing room, do it. Watching the glowing crater is mesmerizing (in the same way watching a fish tank is) and to be able to watch it lying in your hotel bed is uniquely fantastic.

Kona coffee is not that fantastic. I've bought better from French Press (in Lakewood) and from Gevalia's Limited Editions at lower prices.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on December 07, 2013, 09:02:32 PM
Just did the drive to the top of MK with a Jeep and I totally agree that there was absolutely no need for a Jeep to get up there. In fact, going up on the unpaved portion I experienced lots of fishtailing because of the low traction and would have probably been better off in 2WD mode.

Other than that, we came to see the volcano. Sadly, there was no lava entering the ocean occurring and also high SO2 conditions limiting access to much of the park. But it was a true highlight to stay in the Volcano House. If you can afford to spend the exorbitant rack rate of $330 per night to get a crater facing room, do it. Watching the glowing crater is mesmerizing (in the same way watching a fish tank is) and to be able to watch it lying in your hotel bed is uniquely fantastic.

Kona coffee is not that fantastic. I've bought better from French Press (in Lakewood) and from Gevalia's Limited Editions at lower prices.

Is stayed at Volcano House also, it felt cool to be in the same place that Mark Twain stayed.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on December 09, 2013, 01:05:46 PM
Is stayed at Volcano House also, it felt cool to be in the same place that Mark Twain stayed.

er.. didn't it burn down in between you and him and get relocated?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano_House#The_modern_hotel
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 09, 2013, 01:07:54 PM
Is stayed at Volcano House also, it felt cool to be in the same place that Mark Twain stayed.

I'm sure Volcano House is nice but personally I wouldn't splurge on it.  I stay at a lodge in Volcano Village (160ish per night for 2 bedrooms) and spend my $ going to the lava lake and other general lava viewing activities.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 09, 2013, 01:17:25 PM
Lots of amazing places to stay on VRBO
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on December 10, 2013, 04:10:04 PM
I'm sure Volcano House is nice but personally I wouldn't splurge on it.  I stay at a lodge in Volcano Village (160ish per night for 2 bedrooms) and spend my $ going to the lava lake and other general lava viewing activities.

You're probably right but I'm glad I didn't. There was no lava entering the ocean when I was there, and not much to see in terms of surface flow either (some town near Hilo is currently in danger of being destroyed by lava and they are letting a certain number of people come view from a distance each day, but that was it). The hike to Pu'u O'o was not feasible for me. If I hadn't done Volcano House I would have been left with nothing.

Obviously, I have to go back when the lava show returns.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 04:12:39 PM
You're probably right but I'm glad I didn't. There was no lava entering the ocean when I was there, and not much to see in terms of surface flow either (some town near Hilo is currently in danger of being destroyed by lava and they are letting a certain number of people come view from a distance each day, but that was it). The hike to Pu'u O'o was not feasible for me. If I hadn't done Volcano House I would have been left with nothing.

Obviously, I have to go back when the lava show returns.

My friend - you have so much to learn.  PM me for more info.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on December 10, 2013, 04:26:49 PM
My friend - you have so much to learn.  PM me for more info.

You already shared a lot of info with me previously, and I hope I thanked you. But if nothing was happening, then nothing was happening, right? I can't make the lava perform, can I?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 04:29:20 PM
You already shared a lot of info with me previously, and I hope I thanked you. But if nothing was happening, then nothing was happening, right? I can't make the lava perform, can I?

You mean I didn't teach you the secret lava dance?  :O)  But yah - sorry - forgot I already shared info with you.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on December 10, 2013, 04:34:55 PM
You mean I didn't teach you the secret lava dance?  :O)  But yah - sorry - forgot I already shared info with you.

You told me everything I needed to know except that :) And thanks, a lot of that info really enhanced my trip. Just too bad about the lava flows.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 04:41:17 PM
You told me everything I needed to know except that :) And thanks, a lot of that info really enhanced my trip. Just too bad about the lava flows.

Glad to be of help.  I'm going soon and can't wait.  5th time going and I still love it.  This time I'm doing a dolphin quest for the kids and we are planning a doors off helicopter trip over the volcano.  And, of course, I'm doing all my usual stuff as well.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yehuda S on December 10, 2013, 04:48:59 PM

This is what Mark Twain had to say about Hawai:

"The good that die experience no change, for they but fall asleep in one heaven and wake up in another".
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 04:50:05 PM
This is what Mark Twain had to say about Hawai:

"The good that die experience no change, for they but fall asleep in one heaven and wake up in another".

How about a DO on the Big Island sometime?  We can do some really kewl stuff together.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 10, 2013, 05:00:34 PM
This is what Mark Twain had to say about Hawai:

"The good that die experience no change, for they but fall asleep in one heaven and wake up in another".
So when do you move?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yehuda S on December 10, 2013, 05:34:37 PM
First I need to see if he was telling the truth. Never been there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 05:37:42 PM
Rabbi Chazanow is one lucky guy.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 10, 2013, 05:44:09 PM
1000% truth
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 10, 2013, 05:48:06 PM
Rabbi Chazanow is one lucky guy.   :)

Is that the shliach there?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 05:57:07 PM
Is that the shliach there?

Yes.  He has a Chabad house in Kona.  He had a kosher falafel joint for a while but that closed down.  Hopefully he will be able to reopen some type of kosher restaurant again.  I was disappointed in that he opened the falafal joint after we had left following one vacation and it had already closed down before the next time we were back (less than a year).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yehuda S on December 10, 2013, 06:15:10 PM

1000% truth
Can't wait for school to finally end. I want to go there already.
Ugh.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Feivish on December 10, 2013, 06:18:41 PM
Yes.  He has a Chabad house in Kona.  He had a kosher falafel joint for a while but that closed down.  Hopefully he will be able to reopen some type of kosher restaurant again.  I was disappointed in that he opened the falafal joint after we had left following one vacation and it had already closed down before the next time we were back (less than a year).
He writes on his website that he has a weekday menu.
http://jewishbigisland.org/?torrist=cras-luc-urnas-porta-6
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 10, 2013, 06:22:22 PM
He writes on his website that he has a weekday menu.
http://jewishbigisland.org/?torrist=cras-luc-urnas-porta-6

It's nice to have this option but its not the same as popping in to a restaurant and ordering whatever you feel like whenever you feel like. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: skey on December 17, 2013, 12:20:08 PM
There is a way to stay in Volcano National Park at the military "hotel". I was wondering if anyone ever did this, and if you think it is worth it= for the experience of being there. Is it hard to breathe around the volcano's?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 17, 2013, 12:37:43 PM
There is a way to stay in Volcano National Park at the military "hotel". I was wondering if anyone ever did this, and if you think it is worth it= for the experience of being there. Is it hard to breathe around the volcano's?

Don't know anything about the military hotel but I assume that it is only for service members.  As for breathing around the park, I have been there 4x and have never had any problems.  If the conditions are really bad, they will restrict access and/or close off portions of the park.  Is there a medical issue that you are concerned will hinder your ability to breathe such as asthma?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: skey on December 18, 2013, 11:39:38 AM
not asthma, just have a little trouble breathing when heat gets turned on , and it's too dry, or around people who are smoking. You can stay at the military hotel if you get "invited" by a serviceman or retired serviceman
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 22, 2013, 06:54:13 PM
I realize that this might be a bit off topic but has anyone loaded BB at the Hilo or Kona WM either at the ATM or at the cashier?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MLM on December 22, 2013, 07:06:19 PM
My friend - you have so much to learn.  PM me for more info.

This is precisely why I stayed in volcano house.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shidduch on December 29, 2013, 05:38:26 PM
i am going to be on the big island for 3 days (mon, tue, wed).  I am debating if I should fly in and out of Hilo or should I fly into hilo do VNP and then drive over the kona side and partake in the activities over there?

Last time we did that, we spent 2 days on the big island did the macadamian nut tour and the heli ride the first day and vnp and drove along the coast the second day.  This time we have 3 kids in tow so the helicopter ride would be too expensive so we want to do other stuff instead.  Maybe a whale tour or something. 

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 29, 2013, 05:44:54 PM
i am going to be on the big island for 3 days (mon, tue, wed).  I am debating if I should fly in and out of Hilo or should I fly into hilo do VNP and then drive over the kona side and partake in the activities over there?

Last time we did that, we spent 2 days on the big island did the macadamian nut tour and the heli ride the first day and vnp and drove along the coast the second day.  This time we have 3 kids in tow so the helicopter ride would be too expensive so we want to do other stuff instead.  Maybe a whale tour or something.

The drive from Hilo to Kona is not that bad and you can do some stuff along the way, such as Akaka Falls State Park. 

Depending on whether lava is flowing and the age of your kids, you might be able to do a lava boat tour and/or walking guided tour to the lava.  There is also south point/green sand beach and a nice black sand beach at Kalapana Village.

Don't forget Mauna Kea either - if your kids are under 16, you can still drive up to the visitor center and get a view of the stars/planets through the telescopes that they bring out for public viewing - and best of all its free.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shidduch on December 30, 2013, 01:40:37 PM
thanks, we ended up booking a flight into kona and out of hilo so well go do the whale watching stuff first by kon and then drive to hilo.  Should we do mauna kea at night?  I think last time we went we started driving to mauna kea but gave up bc it was very foggy.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on December 30, 2013, 02:40:27 PM
thanks, we ended up booking a flight into kona and out of hilo so well go do the whale watching stuff first by kon and then drive to hilo.  Should we do mauna kea at night?  I think last time we went we started driving to mauna kea but gave up bc it was very foggy.

You can drive up Mauna Kea during the day and enjoy the view by the visitor center.  However, the views won't be as nice as by the summit and it's not recommended to drive to the summit with children under the age of 16.  If you still want to do it, I'd talk to a physician, etc.  I have known people that took little kids up to the summit that did fine.  However, I wouldn't take my little kids up there.

The real show begins at night - that is when they bring out the telescopes at the visitor center.  As for the fog, it is almost always foggy around there.  Don't worry about it.  Most likely you will drive above the fog.  If you are concerned, call ahead to inquire.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: MendyP on December 30, 2013, 10:09:24 PM
Trip Report

I don't think I ever posted my trip report from Hawai'i from Jan 2012 and figured I'd do so. The first half is here, the second half was O'ahu, which I'll post in the O'ahu thread...

Sunday, Jan 15th:
•   AA Flight #3 (JFK-LAX) 12:00pm-3:15pm (Mileage tix)
•   AA Flight #247 (LAX-KOA) 5:25pm-9:05pm
•   Hotel: Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Kailua-Kona (Priceline: $99)

Monday, Jan 16th:
•   Explore Ali’i Drive, Kona (Beautiful to walk up/down, along the ocean)
•   Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation Tour (Free hourly tours)
•   Makalawena Beach (Off the beaten path, secluded, beautiful)
•   Hapuna Beach (More popular, easy to get to)
•   Hotel: Waipio Rim B&B, Honokaa (A 1-Room B&B, run by a very nice couple, with INCREDIBLE VIEWS of the Waipio Valley. Picture included.)

Tuesday, Jan 17th
•   Waipio Valley Ride The Rim ATV’ing (Fun activity, great views. Didn't drive down into the valley itself, which I was hoping for)
•   Akaka Falls State Park (Beautiful waterfalls - good stop along the way)
•   Old Mamalahoa Highway (Side road, parallel to the main road, with better views.)
•   Explore Hilo – Banyan Drive (This lasted 5 mins, as we were annoyed to be in a city, after being in beautiful non-city Hawaii)
•   Ahalanui Park – Volcanic Heated Hot Springs (Really Beautiful!! Gorgeous spot to sit on lava rocks, watch the waves, nice warm hot springs)
•   Lava Viewing Point at Kalapana (Would have been better if the lava was flowing...oh well)
•   Hotel: Old Hawaiian B&B, Hilo (Decent B&B)

Wednesday, Jan 18th
•   Hilo Farmers Market (Fun to walk around. Amazing to watch the coconuts being peeled so quickly with a huge machete and the man still keeping all his fingers)
•   Volcanoes National Park: Kilauea Visitors Center; Kiluea Iki Trail; Thurston Lava Tube; Steam Vents, Jaggar Museum (Really amazing... quite an experience walking the trail along the volcano canyon floor, and AMAZING watching the magma glowing from the crater as the sun set. Picture included.)
•   Hotel: Bamboo Orchid Cottage, Volcano (Great B&B)

Thursday, Jan 19th
•   Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park (Beautiful! Green sea turtles! Picture included.)
•   Papakolea Green Sand Beach (Incredible! One of the most beautiful spots in the world! Instead of hiking 2 hours from the parking lot, there are locals with 4WD vehicles that will drive you for $15rt. The driver pointed out mufflers from tourists who attempted driving it on their own. Picture included.)
•   Kealakekua Bay – Dolphin sightings (Apparently this is only in the mornings, so we did not see any).
•   Explore Ali’i Drive, Kona (Beautiful to explore)
•   Hotel: Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Kailua-Kona (Priceline: $99 again)

Friday, Jan 20th
•   Go! Mokulele Flight #1011 from Kona – Honolulu, 7:55am–8:35am
•   ...continued in O'ahu thread...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on December 30, 2013, 10:14:24 PM
Trip Report

Wow! You really saw it all. Don't know how you packed it all in.

That picture from the Waipio rim is freaking me out. I wouldn't have survived a minute, I'm terrified of hights ;D.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: avi h on December 31, 2013, 11:59:50 PM
Ok it seems to me that the way to go in the big island is vacation rentals such as VRBO. Which neighborhood do i search and can anyone give recommendations for any specific ones they experienced. Its just me and my wife
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 01, 2014, 12:48:02 AM
Ok it seems to me that the way to go in the big island is vacation rentals such as VRBO. Which neighborhood do i search and can anyone give recommendations for any specific ones they experienced. Its just me and my wife

We had a glorious time in this (http://www.vrbo.com/325889) place. Note though that Ocean View is somewhat out of the way for many things.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: avi h on January 01, 2014, 12:55:28 AM
Not available for my dates  :'(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: aryeh1 on January 01, 2014, 01:58:28 AM
I tried booking a rental car in Honolulu it's like $200 a day?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 01, 2014, 07:22:08 AM
I tried booking a rental car in Honolulu it's like $200 a day?

Try booking through www.hawaiicarrentals.net

or

try booking through the UR portal

Should be way cheaper
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 09, 2014, 10:30:46 AM
Woohoo - thanks for the Hawaii trivia prize last night Dan!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 09, 2014, 10:35:12 AM
Woohoo - thanks for the Hawaii trivia prize last night Dan!

What was the question?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 09, 2014, 10:36:40 AM
What was the question?

Sorry dude - I think Dan recycles them and I doubt he would appreciate me posting it.   :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 09, 2014, 10:42:33 AM
Sorry dude - I think Dan recycles them and I doubt he would appreciate me posting it.   :P

That's why I'm asking - I got the Hawaii question at the BP one ;). I wonder if it was the same.

Did the answer have anything to do with a certain peninsula in the Pacific? :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: alpicone on January 09, 2014, 11:54:04 AM
That's why I'm asking - I got the Hawaii question at the BP one ;). I wonder if it was the same.

Did the answer have anything to do with a certain peninsula in the Pacific? :P

Yup. I had to Google that one to make sure I got your reference  :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: E-MAN on January 09, 2014, 01:43:31 PM
Woohoo - thanks for the Hawaii trivia prize last night Dan!
What was the prize??
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 09, 2014, 02:46:38 PM
What was the prize??

There was a choice of a bottle of perfume, cuff links or a pin.  I had no idea which one to take but then some people screamed out "take the perfume" so I chose that.  I don't wear cuff link shirts anyways and what would I do with a pin? 

In either event, thanks Dan!  It was inspirational. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Lou Bob on January 09, 2014, 03:14:06 PM
There was a choice of a bottle of perfume, cuff links or a pin.  I had no idea which one to take but then some people screamed out "take the perfume" so I chose that.  I don't wear cuff link shirts anyways and what would I do with a pin? 

In either event, thanks Dan!  It was inspirational. 
ah.  So that's who you are.  Now there's a face to ur handle
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 09, 2014, 03:19:15 PM
ah.  So that's who you are.  Now there's a face to ur handle

And who exactly are you?

And don't get so excited.  I was wearing a disguise.   :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on January 20, 2014, 11:17:31 AM
hello all
question: is sunset and star gazing at Mauna Kea worth it that i should chip off another day from Ohau to experience it?
also is it safe to attempt to drive up the mountain and back down in the dark?

thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 20, 2014, 11:20:44 AM
hello all
question: is sunset and star gazing at Mauna Kea worth it that i should chip off another day from Ohau to experience it?
also is it safe to attempt to drive up the mountain and back down in the dark?

thanks

Can't answer the question as to if its worth it to you.  Dan posted that it was worth it to him and other people I know also really enjoyed it. 

As to driving up and down in the dark - that should not be a concern.  I have driven up and down in the dark several times without any problems.  It gets really foggy there very often so you might have to go slow or follow one of those crazy tourist vans that somehow manage to speed through the fog with almost 0 visibility. 

And watch out for the "invisible cows."  ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on January 20, 2014, 11:30:11 AM
thanks
ok sounds like a yes for ME
you suggest i get a SUV or im ok with standard car
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 20, 2014, 11:35:20 AM
thanks
ok sounds like a yes for ME
you suggest i get a SUV or im ok with standard car

I got chewed out before for my 2 cents on this issue.  As a result, I won't be commenting about that again.  I suggest you use your own judgment as to whether you need a 4wd or not.

Btw, if you are interested in staying at the summit after dark to photograph, I can arrange that through a photographer buddy of mine.  My photographer buddy can also arrange tours of the Subaru telescope.  You cannot stay at the summit after dark on your own (they kick you out right after sunset) and you can't tour any of the telescopes on your own either.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 18, 2014, 01:24:09 PM
If I plan on going to the BI from Tuesday May 20 to Monday morning May 26, do people think I should fly into Hilo, spend a few days there and then drive to Kona and fly back to HNL from there? Or should I just do round trip HNL-KOA?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Lou Bob on February 18, 2014, 01:27:21 PM
If I plan on going to the BI from Tuesday May 20 to Monday morning May 26, do people think I should fly into Hilo, spend a few days there and then drive to Kona and fly back to HNL from there? Or should I just do round trip HNL-KOA?
Stay on both sides. It's easier than driving to other side, only to have to drive back at night.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 18, 2014, 01:35:16 PM
I was planning on staying on both sides, my question is more about if there is any downside to flying into or out of hilo?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 18, 2014, 04:09:35 PM
Hi,
Just spent couple of days including shabat on the BI. had a great time Shabbat @ chabad was an amazing experience with Rabbi Avremel and Family!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 18, 2014, 04:19:17 PM
I was planning on staying on both sides, my question is more about if there is any downside to flying into or out of hilo?

Both the Hilo and Kona side offer wonderful experiences.  On the Hilo side, you have Kalapana and Volcanoes National Park, etc.  On the Kona side you have some wonderful beaches and some of the best snorkeling around.  If you mind the round trip drive, its fine to fly into one and out of the other.  Just keep in mind that you may be charged a one way rental fee, which is approximately $75.00.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 18, 2014, 04:41:05 PM
Hi,
Just spent couple of days including shabat on the BI. had a great time Shabbat @ chabad was an amazing experience with Rabbi Avremel and Family!
Minyan?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 19, 2014, 03:13:24 PM
Dan,
if i have you let me say "thank you'!!!
we had minyan Friday night and full house at the suda,
we had a 10:00 morning minyan with kriyat hatora followed by full house meal,
no mincha, and havdalah the rabbi did for us!

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 20, 2014, 04:15:29 PM
I'm getting a little concerned while looking into the BI that we may not enjoy it as much as something like Kauai. It seems like it's not as nice. Is that a concern or am I getting the wrong impression? Something about the lack of hotels etc bothers me. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:19:13 PM
I'm getting a little concerned while looking into the BI that we may not enjoy it as much as something like Kauai. It seems like it's not as nice. Is that a concern or am I getting the wrong impression? Something about the lack of hotels etc bothers me. Any thoughts?

You are DEAD wrong.  The Big Island rocks.  Not sure where you are getting your misinformation. 

 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 20, 2014, 04:29:25 PM
The BI has more to do than any other island.
However it is not as green/lush and parts of it suffer from Vog.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 20, 2014, 04:37:19 PM
I haven't been to any other islands besides Oahu, However the BI has it ALL i think, i could've spend another 2 weeks there (i wish!!)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 20, 2014, 04:39:08 PM
I haven't been to any other islands besides Oahu, However the BI has it ALL i think, i could've spend another 2 weeks there (i wish!!)
-1,000.
Each of the islands are very unique.
To say one has it all is beyond foolish.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 20, 2014, 04:43:31 PM
ill take the ALL back... as i do agree with you!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:47:46 PM
The BI offers more than any other island.  It has flowing lava, an active volcano, mountains with snow on them (sometimes), Mauna Kea observatory, a rain forest (Volcano area), and awesome beaches including green and black sand.  It may not have it "all,"  but it has just about it all. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 20, 2014, 04:48:23 PM
The BI offers more than any other island.  It has flowing lava, an active volcano, mountains with snow on them (sometimes), Mauna Kea observatory, a rain forest (Volcano area), and awesome beaches including green and black sand.  It may not have it "all,"  but it has just about it all. 
More to do, yes.
Just about all, heck no.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:48:54 PM
More to do, yes.
Just about all, heck no.

What Hawaiian island has more? 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 20, 2014, 04:50:58 PM
I think the easiest way to sum it up is that Kauai is prettier , but the Big Island is more interesting.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sky121 on February 20, 2014, 04:51:24 PM
What Hawaiian island has more?

How many things do you need to do? It's not quantity, is it?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:51:49 PM
I think the easiest way to sum it up is that Kauai is prettier, but the Big Island is more interesting.

Yah, the only interesting thing that happened to me on Kauai is that my jeep blew up. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:53:16 PM
How many things do you need to do? It's not quantity, is it?

Its not quantity - its variety and some of the things that the BI offers can't be found elsewhere with such easy accessibility. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 20, 2014, 04:53:25 PM
to sum it up, where would you suggest a first timer to go? which island? i would say BI is a must
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sky121 on February 20, 2014, 04:54:05 PM
to sum it up, where would you suggest a first timer to go? which island? i would say BI is a must

It would depend on the person and what they are looking for and what they appreciate.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 20, 2014, 04:54:42 PM
to sum it up, where would you suggest a first timer to go? which island? i would say BI is a must

Why not both Kauai and the BI?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 04:55:22 PM
Why not both Kauai and the BI?

Wouldn't that depend on time constraints?  I wouldn't recommend less than a week in either place. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ell Eee on February 20, 2014, 04:57:16 PM
in my situation i flew in to HNL, so i had all islands on my option list (was only able to choose one) if i meet anyone in the same position i think BI is the choice
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 20, 2014, 05:36:58 PM
in my situation i flew in to HNL, so i had all islands on my option list (was only able to choose one) if i meet anyone in the same position i think BI is the choice
I'd rank them
Kauai
Maui
BI
Oahu

But that's me.
BI technically does have more to do (it's BIG!), but I appreciate the green lushness and fresh Vog-free air of LIH and OGG more than that.  And there's more than enough on LIH/OGG to occupy a week.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 20, 2014, 07:27:45 PM
I think the easiest way to sum it up is that Kauai is prettier , but the Big Island is more interesting.

That's why I'm a little concerned. I feel like the fact that it's not as pretty and lacks the nice hotels and resorts the others have, that might put a damper on my vacation. Should I not be concerned about that? I also don't love the fact that I wot be able to use points for hotels (wanna stay on Hilo side tues to fri and fri to mon morning near Chabad).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 20, 2014, 07:29:57 PM
The whole reason I want to go to the BI is that it seems like there's a ton to do and, with such a broad spectrum, I feel like you can't go wrong. But I'm scared that the likely rainy Hilo weather, coupled with subpar/expensive lodging may take away from the trip.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 20, 2014, 07:32:51 PM
Why not both Kauai and the BI?

I'm there Tuesday afternoon to Monday morning. Dan suggested spend all our time in the BI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 20, 2014, 08:56:34 PM
The whole reason I want to go to the BI is that it seems like there's a ton to do and, with such a broad spectrum, I feel like you can't go wrong. But I'm scared that the likely rainy Hilo weather, coupled with subpar/expensive lodging may take away from the trip.

Enough has been said.  Make your own decisions and/or mistakes.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 21, 2014, 10:06:29 AM
Howdy to all.  Here is a trip report from my recent stay on the Big Island, my favorite place on the planet.

We arrived on a Sunday evening and our first stop was at the local Kona WM.  While Mrs. PBaruch did some shopping, I took the opportunity to do my thing (you all know what that is) - everything went off perfectly.  Our second stop was at Chabad - Rabbi Chazanow, where we picked up dinner and some food for the week.  A big thank you to Rabbi and Rebbetzin Chazanow for the delicious food and all of your help.  You greatly enhance our vacations.  Then off to Volcano where we stayed for 4 nights. 

The following day, a freak storm blew in and drenched the island in rain.  We weren't about to sit around all day and my good buddy Bruce Omori, a photographer with a gallery in Hilo (www.extremeexposure.com) drove us into Waipio Canyon.  We made it to the the black sand beach where my kids had a blast playing in the sand in pouring rain.  We then drove around Waipio for a while crossing rivers swelled by all the rains. Bruce's raised Toyota pickup truck worked phenomenally well.  Mahalo to Brudda Bruce for an awesome experience.  To all those naysayers, I have this to say - you can still have lots of fun in the rain.  Besides, how many people get to go to Waipio in pouring rain?

I uploaded a YouTube clip of the Waipio adventure for your viewing pleasure. 



On Tuesday and Wednesday, we drove through the Chain of Craters Road in Volcanoes National Park and did some hiking in various parts of the park.  Also, we drove to the black sand beach at Kalapana.  This year there was actually sand on the black sand beach and we were able to get down to it and play in the surf.  Unfortunately, there was no lava surface flow near Kalapana in an accessible area so I could not hike to the lava, as I did in prior years. 

Here is a YouTube clip of the entire Chain of Craters Drive:



Please note that this clip plays well in higher resolution mode but in lower resolutions there is quite a bit of pixelation. 

We were supposed to meet up with our friend Alex on Wednesday night.  He arrived earlier and decided to hike Mauna Loa, which he started on Sunday morning. If any of you are not aware, Mauna Loa is universally considered the hardest hike in Hawaii - 18 miles one way to the summit.  Alex didn't show up Wednesday night and we all became very concerned.  Seems that all that rain we were getting turned into a huge snowstorm at the mountain tops.  Both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa were blanketed in snow (the road to the top of Mauna Kea was closed and there was no viewing at the visitor center due to cloud cover).  Alex was caught up in the snowstorm and couldn't get down the mountain.  He ended up sleeping outside in the snow for two nights. Ultimately, the story has a happy ending.  Alex was rescued by helicopter on Thursday morning.  They found him wandering down the mountain near the summit.  He was dehydrated, suffering from altitude sickness and symptoms of frostbite, but alive.  We remain hopeful that he will have a complete recovery.  And now, we can both say that we had near death experiences in Hawaii.

A link to articles about his ordeal can be found here for those who are interested:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/parknews/sverdlov.htm

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-York-Hiker-Trapped-Hawaii-Mauna-Loa-Volcano-Snowstorm-242904701.html

At least one good thing came out of this ordeal - we got a free behind the scenes tour of the Jagger Observatory thanks to our new friend Park Ranger John Broward.  Mahalo John!

On Thursday, the sky opened up to a beautiful sunny day over Hilo, which was perfect for our doors off helicopter flight with Paradise Helicopters. Calvin, the owner of the company, personally came out to fly us around the volcano.  Many thanks to Cal for an awesome experience.  A clip of our flight can be seen here:



Towards the end of the clip, you can see a rainbow over a small patch of road in the area previously known as the Royal Gardens subdivision. This patch of road was, for some unexplained reason, spared by the lava flow.  I thought of Parshas Noach when seeing the rainbow and road surrounded by the lava field. 

You can also see the remains of Jack Thompson's house - all that is left is a satellite dish, a water tank, and some roofing material and debris.  Jack was the last holdout in this area until his home was finally claimed by the lava in 2012.  While the house was standing, I wanted to hike out to it and spend the night there and bring Jack some beers.  Unfortunately, Jack was away and when we came back the next time, the house was already gone. 

Later in the day, we drove to South Point and to the green sand beach.  Levi and his very capable Toyota 4Runner drove us to the beach as our rented minivan would never have made it.  A clip of the drive can be seen here.  It is a bit choppy at times because the truck was traveling at a good rate of speed over very bumpy terrain.



After our green sand beach excursion, we drove to the Sheraton in Kona, where we were upgraded to an ocean view room due to my Starwood Gold status.  The view was absolutely gorgeous and we were on the ground floor, which made it convenient to walk around on Shabbos.

On Friday, we did the Dolphin Quest at the Hilton and then went snorkeling and swimming at Kikaua Beach, which is perfect for little kids due to its protective cove.

On Friday night, after the Shabbos meal, we wandered over to Rays on The Bay Restaurant (at the Sheraton) where we were able to watch Manta Rays swimming right behind the restaurant while getting a bit sloshed.  Next time I hope to snorkel with the Manta Rays as I didn't have time this trip.

On Sunday, we went to Greenwell Coffee farm, where we stop by every year for awesome Kona coffee and to take our annual family picture (it has become a tradition). Then it was time to pack out for the return home on a United First Class flight with lay flat bed seats. 

While we were not able to do everything we wanted to do because of time constraints and the weather not fully cooperating, I have this to say to those who don't think the Big Island totally rocks.  Go to Maui, Kauai, or wherever you want.  I'm more than happy to keep the Big Island to myself.  :O)

Can't wait till next time. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this trip report. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 23, 2014, 01:26:44 AM
Howdy to all.  Here is a trip report from my recent stay on the Big Island, my favorite place on the planet.

Wow, great report.

It's interesting, from everything I've read the road down to Waipio Valley is horrible, but the road to the green sand beach is not so bad. From your videos it seems just the opposite - that road to the beach looks positively nasty.

Do you have any pictures to share (especially from the helicopter)? I'd love to see some.

As an aside, 2 points: The videos aren't playable on mobile devices (including iPads), so you might want to change that (I believe it's a Youtube setting somewhere). Also, try putting some RainX outside the GoPro housing, that way it won't let raindrops accumulate.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 23, 2014, 09:47:22 AM
Wow, great report.

It's interesting, from everything I've read the road down to Waipio Valley is horrible, but the road to the green sand beach is not so bad. From your videos it seems just the opposite - that road to the beach looks positively nasty.

Do you have any pictures to share (especially from the helicopter)? I'd love to see some.

As an aside, 2 points: The videos aren't playable on mobile devices (including iPads), so you might want to change that (I believe it's a Youtube setting somewhere). Also, try putting some RainX outside the GoPro housing, that way it won't let raindrops accumulate.

1. The road to both Waipio and green sand is quite bad in various areas and you definitely need a 4WD to get to both wonderful places.  There are smooth parts of the road to the green sand beach but other areas are really bad.  Do not attempt driving to the green sand beach in anything but a 4WD vehicle.  For those who do not have a 4WD vehicle and do not want to hike to the beach (as we couldn't since I had my wife and little kids there), there are locals who offer rides from the parking area for $15 per person.  Of course, if you can manage it, the hike is really nice and over relatively mild terrain.

2. I have lots of great pictures from the helicopter including close ups of the lava taken on my D800 and 80-400 VR lens (the new one).  I used 1/1000 shutter speed (on shutter priority) and raised the ISO to 2000.  Anything less (for close up photographs) would have resulted in blurry and underexposed photographs.  I will resize and post some pictures later today.

3. The reason the videos are not playable on mobile devices is because of the music I used.  If you use any third party content, the clips will only be playable on a computer.  Please use a regular computer to view the clips.  I apologize and should have mentioned something about this earlier. 

4. As for the RainX, I realized when I was already on the Big Island that I needed it when someone there told me about using it.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find it in the few stores that I went to.  This is my first time using a GoPro so I was somewhat unprepared.  I will definitely be more prepared next time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2014, 11:15:13 AM
Wow, great report.

It's interesting, from everything I've read the road down to Waipio Valley is horrible, but the road to the green sand beach is not so bad. From your videos it seems just the opposite - that road to the beach looks positively nasty.

Do you have any pictures to share (especially from the helicopter)? I'd love to see some.

As an aside, 2 points: The videos aren't playable on mobile devices (including iPads), so you might want to change that (I believe it's a Youtube setting somewhere). Also, try putting some RainX outside the GoPro housing, that way it won't let raindrops accumulate.
The road to Waipio is much better. The problem is the insane grade makes it impossible for anything but vehicles with low-4.

I chickened out halfway to the green sand beach, even with my 4WD. Very easy to get stuck or take a wrong turn there onto an impossible road.
Was far easier to get a green sand beach via the road to the sea. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2014, 11:17:04 AM
Why didn't Alex have a sat phone for hike like that?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 23, 2014, 03:38:07 PM
Why didn't Alex have a sat phone for hike like that?

I asked him the very same question - why not a sat phone or an SMS based emergency system.  Thing is, he didn't think much of this hike or that he would get into any trouble.  Alex is a very experienced hiker.  He hiked Mauna Loa last year without any issues.  That being said, he learned his lesson.  If I went, I would definitely carry a sat phone.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 23, 2014, 07:32:53 PM
What activities will I be closer to when staying on the Hilo/Puna side of the island?

Volcanoes, rainforest, thermal ponds, black sand beach, anything else? Which side is closer to driving up mauna kea? Im getting the revealed book but trying to plan some details in the meantime.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2014, 07:34:21 PM
What activities will I be closer to when staying on the Hilo/Puna side of the island?

Volcanoes, rainforest, thermal ponds, black sand beach, anything else? Which side is closer to driving up mauna kea? Im getting the revealed book but trying to plan some details in the meantime.
Beaches are on the sunny kona side, all of the unique BI activities are nearer to the rainy Hilo side.
Did you read the DM report on the BI?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 23, 2014, 08:27:46 PM
Beaches are on the sunny kona side, all of the unique BI activities are nearer to the rainy Hilo side.
Did you read the DM report on the BI?

Yea I read it. The thing is that, based on what I see on the maps, it looks like Mauna Kea, Waipio Valley and South Island are at least equidistant and possibly even closer to Kona than Hilo. That's the source of my confusion. it seems only the volcanoes, heated springs and black sand beach are closer to the eastern side, especially if Im going to stay in the southeast to be closer to the volcano national park.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2014, 08:33:56 PM
Depends if you're actually staying in Kona or Kohala.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 23, 2014, 09:52:28 PM
Howdy Something Fishy:

Here are some of the photographs I took from the helicopter.  It was way too much of a pain to resize them to post in a response.

You can view selected photographs here:

https://plus.google.com/111832938761827954525/photos

Please note that these photographs are copyrighted and any use whatsoever without my permission is strictly prohibited.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 23, 2014, 09:59:31 PM
Howdy Something Fishy:

Here are some of the photographs I took from the helicopter.  It was way too much of a pain to resize them to post in a response.

You can view selected photographs here:

https://plus.google.com/111832938761827954525/photos

Please note that these photographs are copyrighted and any use whatsoever without my permission is strictly prohibited.

WOW.

I've never seen something like that vertical lava... thing. It looks like a demon factory or something :o :P. Total nightmare material.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 23, 2014, 10:02:24 PM
WOW.

I've never seen something like that vertical lava... thing. It looks like a demon factory or something :o :P. Total nightmare material.

Nah - it is totally awesome.  No nightmares.  It's like feeling the yad hash-m.

I am a complete lava junky - can't get enough.  And this isn't even the best of what I have seen.

You are welcome to join in my future planned adventures.   ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on February 23, 2014, 11:13:44 PM
Depends if you're actually staying in Kona or Kohala.

If I stay in Kohala, will I be closer to things like Mauna Kea? Where does the drive up Mauna kea start? And what else would I be close to in Kohala over Kona besides the things I listed earlier?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on March 02, 2014, 11:52:36 AM
#1 is there any way to get yo hilo besides the reg bus ? it runs sporadically.
#2 any on stay at kona seaside hotel?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 02, 2014, 12:13:53 PM
#1 is there any way to get yo hilo besides the reg bus ? it runs sporadically.
#2 any on stay at kona seaside hotel?

English please. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on March 07, 2014, 01:02:59 PM
English please.

please 2 typo's ?

Are there any modes of transportation from the kona coast to hilo besides the municipal bus which does not traverse the island on par with my itinerary, absent the renting of a motor vehicle which is not to my ability.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 07, 2014, 01:07:44 PM
please 2 typo's ?

Are there any modes of transportation from the kona coast to hilo besides the municipal bus which does not traverse the island on par with my itinerary, absent the renting of a motor vehicle which is not to my ability.

Now that is better!  Way to go. 

Why do you want to take a bus?  Rent a car.  You won't be able to get around without a car. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 11, 2014, 06:26:49 PM
Another article about Alex, for those who are interested:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2014/03/snowstorm_in_hawaii_alex_sverdlov.php

Although I take offense at the comment that I do "touristy stuff."  Feh. 

PS:  I politely declined an interview.  For those who know, I have had my fill of being in the papers.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on March 19, 2014, 03:04:35 PM
When looking For an apartment on the right side of the island, would people say that close to volcanoes national Park is the best location in terms of proximity to things to do on the right side?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 19, 2014, 03:05:25 PM
When looking For an apartment on the right side of the island, would people say that close to volcanoes national Park is the best location in terms of proximity to things to do on the right side?

Isn't the right side of the island relative to where you are standing?   :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on April 01, 2014, 02:28:42 PM
Aloha from kona.  2nd to last day here and bh been amazing. Rabbi Chazanow or Rabbi Chaz is epic amazing... Linked up with an Israeli kid Levi who is actually from Gush Etzion, an Israeli here with a store epic dude named Tal good friend of Rabbi Chaz lent us his car.

We were going to buy not rent a kayak, but then I dunno, but looking back we should have and stored it by chabad and let people rent it and give chabad say 50$ a day?

We kayaked out to captain cook, where we snorkeled. We went to place of refuge interesting but kind of lame in reconstructing any thing.

Yesterday we went to southeastern point of united states. Cliff jumping!! Green sands beach btw if you have no 4 x 4 there is a friend of Rabbi Chaz that will take you in his off road ranger for a fee.

Today Waipio valley!!

Guys, I was here shabbat, it was INCREDIBLE, ive been all over the world and im telling you, shabbat here is something.. such an elective crowd and amazing tefillot.

I am going to use this as a plug to request you hit the jar and help Avremel and Rivky Chazanow with their great work.. and trust me, its really great work!

http://jewishbigisland.org/ dont be shy.. I hit the can myself
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sky121 on April 01, 2014, 03:14:31 PM
Aloha from kona.  2nd to last day here and bh been amazing. Rabbi Chazanow or Rabbi Chaz is epic amazing... Linked up with an Israeli kid Levi who is actually from Gush Etzion, an Israeli here with a store epic dude named Tal good friend of Rabbi Chaz lent us his car.

We were going to buy not rent a kayak, but then I dunno, but looking back we should have and stored it by chabad and let people rent it and give chabad say 50$ a day?

We kayaked out to captain cook, where we snorkeled. We went to place of refuge interesting but kind of lame in reconstructing any thing.

Yesterday we went to southeastern point of united states. Cliff jumping!! Green sands beach btw if you have no 4 x 4 there is a friend of Rabbi Chaz that will take you in his off road ranger for a fee.

Today Waipio valley!!

Guys, I was here shabbat, it was INCREDIBLE, ive been all over the world and im telling you, shabbat here is something.. such an elective crowd and amazing tefillot.

I am going to use this as a plug to request you hit the jar and help Avremel and Rivky Chazanow with their great work.. and trust me, its really great work!

http://jewishbigisland.org/ dont be shy.. I hit the can myself

Sounds beautiful.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on April 01, 2014, 03:54:02 PM
Sounds beautiful.

Yeah, sunsets though are tricky, some areas / days are foggy from the volcanoes.

BTW the shluchim are amazing cook's :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on April 01, 2014, 06:03:42 PM
Dan,
Seeing youre kona master post, jumping the south point cliff is nothing.. try it!! You just need to get pushed off if you dont want to jump. Not suggesting you dive, we have tons of video of it.

Green sands beach, ask Rabbi Chazanow to hook you up with his buddy with the off road ranger that lives in the area, we paid 50$ both ways.  Note that the hike down to green sides is tricky, you might want to wear good sandals etc. The green sands beach is very rough waves but the water towards the parking lot is calm.



Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 01, 2014, 06:05:35 PM
Dan,
Seeing youre kona master post, jumping the south point cliff is nothing.. try it!! You just need to get pushed off if you dont want to jump. Not suggesting you dive, we have tons of video of it.

Green sands beach, ask Rabbi Chazanow to hook you up with his buddy with the off road ranger that lives in the area, we paid 50$ both ways.  Note that the hike down to green sides is tricky, you might want to wear good sandals etc. The green sands beach is very rough waves but the water towards the parking lot is calm.

Locals charge 15.00 pp round trip.  No need to pay 50.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on April 01, 2014, 06:12:31 PM
Locals charge 15.00 pp round trip.  No need to pay 50.

We were 5 people to clarify. And then he took us to south point, we wanted to go back and he helped us find places to snorkel and other cliff jumps
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on May 04, 2014, 11:00:54 AM
can someone who has older versions of the revealed book possibly email me pages on private thermal pools beaches etc.? Ive heard theres a lot more info in older versions. thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: itsallgood on May 04, 2014, 06:22:51 PM
Hey all! A bit of help over here would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking to hop on an interisland one-way flight with my wife from Kauai to Honolulu and the only flights I can find with Hawaiian Airlines and Island air are going to be almost $250 each ticket.

I have about 14000 UR points and about 20000 Aeroplan points. Do any of you have any suggestions on how you think I can use points or find a cheaper flight to get from LIH to HNL?

Edit: This is for 5/26/2014 preferably early or late afternoon flight
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chucksterace on May 04, 2014, 06:23:51 PM

Hey all! A bit of help over here would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking to hop on an interisland one-way flight with my wife from Kauai to Honolulu and the only flights I can find with Hawaiian Airlines and Island air are going to be almost $250 each ticket.

I have about 14000 UR points and about 20000 Aeroplan points. Do any of you have any suggestions on how you think I can use points or find a cheaper flight to get from LIH to HNL?

Posting a date might help.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: itsallgood on May 04, 2014, 06:28:33 PM
Re: my post above. 5/26/2014
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 04, 2014, 06:50:29 PM
Hey all! A bit of help over here would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking to hop on an interisland one-way flight with my wife from Kauai to Honolulu and the only flights I can find with Hawaiian Airlines and Island air are going to be almost $250 each ticket.

I have about 14000 UR points and about 20000 Aeroplan points. Do any of you have any suggestions on how you think I can use points or find a cheaper flight to get from LIH to HNL?

Edit: This is for 5/26/2014 preferably early or late afternoon flight

United wants 6k miles pp for a 1 way flight from LIH to HNL.  Transfer 12k UR points to your United account and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on May 04, 2014, 06:53:26 PM
Your best bet is to transfer 12K UR to United, enough for two tickets
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: itsallgood on May 04, 2014, 07:25:09 PM
United wants 6k miles pp for a 1 way flight from LIH to HNL.  Transfer 12k UR points to your United account and you'll be fine.
Your best bet is to transfer 12K UR to United, enough for two tickets

Thanks guys, this does seem like the best idea. Will do. Can't Wait!

I wish Aeroplan --> United was transferable or if I could only book this flight via Aeroplan website.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on May 04, 2014, 07:33:42 PM

Thanks guys, this does seem like the best idea. Will do. Can't Wait!

I wish Aeroplan --> United was transferable or if I could only book this flight via Aeroplan website.
bear in mind that the only direct flights are early morning
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: itsallgood on May 04, 2014, 07:38:35 PM
bear in mind that the only direct flights are early morning
Yeah I see that, not gonna leave that early. Considering stopping off in Maui for 4.5 hr stopover before heading to Honolulu (same miles price).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 13, 2014, 12:39:34 PM
Just called Korean about partner availability to Hawaii.  CS representative I spoke with said they are not a partner with United - only Delta, Alaska and Hawaiian.   In either event, they also had no availability for F on Hawaiian.  So much for using Korean miles to fly to Hawaii, unless I am missing something.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Bosco on May 18, 2014, 09:31:05 AM
Does anyone know if the costco in Kona has kosher bread/wraps? What about kosher dairy products (including chalav stam)? And do they carry their atlantic salmon there?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 18, 2014, 09:39:20 AM
Does anyone know if the costco in Kona has kosher bread/wraps? What about kosher dairy products (including chalav stam)? And do they carry their atlantic salmon there?

You will be very hard pressed to find any bread with a hechser in Hawaii.  I was only able to find Thomas Brand English Muffins and that sort of stuff.  I did once find another brand (don't recall name) at a supermarket, but it was already beyond the expiration date.  Rabbi Chazanow was trying to convince a local Hawaiian brand to put a hechser on, but last I checked he was not successful.  Lets hope he succeeds in convincing them.  Perhaps if a bunch of folks write to the company, they will do it.

Island Naturals does have Rudy's Organic Breads, but they were frozen and I didn't feel like buying them.

I suggest buying a bunch of bread and bringing it along, if that is possible.  You can also buy rolls from Rabbi Chazanow, along with wraps and other food that he sells.

As far as dairy products go, you can find cholov stam cream cheese, yogurts and the like.

Not sure about salmon.  I do know that Costco carries (last I checked) kosher cornish hens.

This is as locals say, the "price of paradise."  They, however, refer to this because of the cost of food.

If anyone else has some additional information, I'd like to know as well.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: momo on May 18, 2014, 10:08:02 AM
You will be very hard pressed to find any bread with a hechser in Hawaii.  I was only able to find Thomas Brand English Muffins and that sort of stuff.  I did once find another brand (don't recall name) at a supermarket, but it was already beyond the expiration date.  Rabbi Chazanow was trying to convince a local Hawaiian brand to put a hechser on, but last I checked he was not successful.  Lets hope he succeeds in convincing them.  Perhaps if a bunch of folks write to the company, they will do it.

Island Naturals does have Rudy's Organic Breads, but they were frozen and I didn't feel like buying them.

I suggest buying a bunch of bread and bringing it along, if that is possible.  You can also buy rolls from Rabbi Chazanow, along with wraps and other food that he sells.

As far as dairy products go, you can find cholov stam cream cheese, yogurts and the like.

Not sure about salmon.  I do know that Costco carries (last I checked) kosher cornish hens.

This is as locals say, the "price of paradise."  They, however, refer to this because of the cost of food.

If anyone else has some additional information, I'd like to know as well.
When i was in kauaii, in 2012, costco had the kosher salmon.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on May 18, 2014, 10:21:50 AM
When i was in kauaii, in 2012, costco had the kosher salmon.
They still do.
I think they have kosher bread also, never looked into it too closely though.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: momo on May 18, 2014, 10:23:20 AM
They still do.
I think they have kosher bread also, never looked into it too closely though.
I know that they have the frozen half baked la brea bread, that you can ask for.I do not recall seeing any other kosher bread.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on May 18, 2014, 10:48:41 AM
I do not recall seeing any other kosher bread.
http://jewishmaui.com/home/kosher-food-on-maui/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: momo on May 18, 2014, 11:07:59 AM
http://jewishmaui.com/home/kosher-food-on-maui/
Guess i will have to look a bit more in depth, in a couple of months.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 27, 2014, 12:32:49 PM
Thanks to the Dan and the recent DDS, I just got 5 United F tickets from HNL to EWR for $3339.55.  Tickets purchased used PRG (3x ppd) plus we will all earn 6,445 UA miles each.  Baby flying in F in his own seat.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sam28 on June 27, 2014, 12:39:06 PM
Thanks to the Dan and the recent DDS, I just got 5 United F tickets from HNL to EWR for $3339.55.  Tickets purchased used PRG (3x ppd) plus we will all earn 6,445 UA miles each.  Baby flying in F in his own seat.   :)

nice can u please tell me how u did that ?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 27, 2014, 12:40:04 PM
nice can u please tell me how u did that ?

What happens at DDS stays at DDS.  Please do not ask me to post this information in a public forum.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on June 27, 2014, 01:06:53 PM
Just returned from our Big Island getaway courtesy of your local Delta Glitch ticket, and wanted to post a report, as I've done in the past with Kauai and Maui. I apologize in advance for the rant.

Flights: $119 RT in Business to HNL; we bought 3 tix, assuming our 18month old would come. She didn't come in the end because our last 10 hour journey to Israel, just 2 months earlier, was a disaster, even with the extra seat we had for her. The cancellation fee would've negated any credit so just wasted the ticket. Originally, booked JFK-LAX-HNL-LAX-JFK then decided to go to KOA. Obviously Delta wasn't going to change to KOA, even when they'd made multiple schedule changes(each under 90 mins individually), the best they'd do was switch routing which I did on the outbound JFK-ATL-HNL. HNL-KOA-HNL was $310 one way and 6K united on the other(no miles option on our arrival date). The flights themselves were great. JFK-ATL 738- standard domestic first-no tv. ATL-HNL was the new reverse herringbone business, which was really comfy and private. Narrow seats but still more room than business on their 767's. The FA's were all really great and the 9 hour flight went by really quickly. On arrival to HNL, transferring to inter-island terminal was seamless(less than 10 min walk or shuttle bus- no security checkpoint), with a pit-stop through HNL's Japanese gardens with Koi ponds on the way for some serenity(and some amazing plane spotting through some of the fences). While Hawaiian airlines interisland flights bug me because of their obnoxious pricing- they are the only ones in the market essentially- they have great customer service and on-time performance. They really operate like clockwork, there are tons of flights each day, and they have interline agreements with most Airlines, to transfer bags easily, without having to claim and re-check. The return HNL-LAX on 753 was horrendous, even with the best seats on the plane(1A, B have cutouts with extra legroom), as there are old leather recliner seats, and pretty much everything was broken. LAX-JFK was a 763 with lie-flat coffin seats; no complaints as it was a much needed improvement from the previous segment. Food; on all flights were consistently bad; either frozen, tasteless, or non-identical, I believe it was Borenstein all the way through(although I'm still trying to forget, ugh). Food in Hawaii was ordered through R'Chazanow, who's an awesome guy, and I encourage anyone going to any island, to offer to bring food to the shluchim, as they provide an amazing convenience for kosher tourists in Hawaii.

Car: Midsize SUV through Alamo certs from the AMEX daily getaways deals- saved over a $100(total was around $120 for 5.5 days)- Didn't really need the SUV as we didn't end up doing South point(was rainy in that area), Mauna Kea or Waipio valley drive(the last one was against the rental agreement, and everyone said it was very slippery).

Hotels: Mauna Lani hotels and bungalows- I had very mixed feelings- overall positive but here's the list; Pros- Great service- even more prompt and friendly than the GH Kauai, perhaps because it's a much smaller hotel. Nice gounds and amenities- Great beach and spa complex- the $25 resort fee covers internet, vallet parking, bikes, snorkel gear, and cabanas. The fitness center and tennis courts rental are also included, but require a 4 min bike ride to get to as it's sep from the hotel. I didn't mind the ride, and we really enjoyed the tennis(they also provide rackets and balls so you don't have to shlep your own). Price- $190 through Hotwire hot rates! We upgraded to ocean view for an extra $50 which I found to be semi-worthwhile, as we ate most of our meals on the Lanai. Cons- Small pool area- no explanation needed. Rooms/layout of the hotel- While the rooms were very spacious and re-modelled, there were a few things that bothered me;a)No blackout shades, which basically meant getting up as soon as the sun came up(save the violin playing, we just went back to sleep!).b)The A/C didn't function all that great(was a little old school, as  it only kicked in when the temp dropped, as opposed to others which continuously blows air)c)The way the hotel is laid out with basically one giant courtyard in the center surrounded by rooms, make any noises, whether birds, loud children, or luggage wheels, largely amplified. Still, overall, the hotel is great value, with a very picturesque setting. Also, it was shabbos friendly, in that all the stairwells are within the indoor courtyard, so none of that automatic light shtick that you find in almost every other hotel in Hawaii.

Activities
We really just wanted to relax at the hotel, which is what we ended up doing most of the time, with some snorkeling in between. I only allocated 2 days of actual touring. The first day we drove to the Volcano, which is really an amazing sight to see. Did some hikes, walked through the lava tubes, and got a great viewpoint from the Jaggar museum. The only way to see lava is by long hike or helicopter, both which we weren't too interested in doing, but appreciate @Pbaruch's suggestions and guidance. That night we stayed north of Hilo in a great rental http://www.vrbo.com/149612. The following day we did the 4 mile scenic drive, a must to get close up to the bay. We also did Akaka falls,Kolekole Beach Park, and one of the revealed books adventure hikes which got us our very own huge waterfall. Many advised that Mauna Kea wouldn't be easy, so we decided against it.

 True, we may have missed opportunities of a lifetime, but our goal was to take it easy and enjoy some nice sights along the way, which I feel we accomplished. We saw most of the island from the roads and my main takeaways were that it's an incredible island and that the Hilo side doesn't get enough publicity, because in many ways I enjoyed it even more than the road to Hana. In fact, after visiting Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, I'd rank both Kauai and the big island ahead of Maui just because Maui is extremely touristy compared to the other 2. This is just one man's opinion. I'm here to share my thoughts and offer assistance or advice in gratitude to the DDF contributors that made my trips to Hawaii so enjoyable. Thanks for reading!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 27, 2014, 04:13:06 PM
I'll be needing a minivan for 8 days in KOA.  If anyone has some good tips about getting one on the cheap I would much appreciate it.  So far with some cursory looking I found a rate of $452.40 inclusive of all taxes and fees.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 27, 2014, 04:19:27 PM
I'll be needing a minivan for 8 days in KOA.  If anyone has some good tips about getting one on the cheap I would much appreciate it.  So far with some cursory looking I found a rate of $452.40 inclusive of all taxes and fees.

Thanks in advance.

Try asking here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=5420.3210).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 27, 2014, 04:24:06 PM
Try asking here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=5420.3210).

Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on July 04, 2014, 12:54:23 AM
hey, chabad big island has a match donors campaign up to 18 gets matched by 18k, help them out. I gave and am very greatful for what they do and their hospitality to me

https://madmimi.com/p/46bef4?fb_action_ids=10154286577775291&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=m
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: rabbichaz on July 04, 2014, 01:00:29 AM
hey, chabad big island has a match donors campaign up to 18 gets matched by 18k, help them out. I gave and am very greatful for what they do and their hospitality to me

https://madmimi.com/p/46bef4?fb_action_ids=10154286577775291&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=m


Thank you Elchonon! We have 1 Day left! Please participate, to help us reach our goal! And come visit again!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: njmacman on July 04, 2014, 01:39:16 PM
We will be coming soon to the Big Island. Hope to see you!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 22, 2014, 04:02:00 PM
Has anyone stayed at the Fairmont Orchid? Am wondering how it compares to other hotels in the Kona area and if its worth a premium over the Sheraton.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: njmacman on July 22, 2014, 06:15:10 PM
We are here now. Plenty of kosher items at Costco.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on July 23, 2014, 02:08:03 PM
Has anyone stayed at the Fairmont Orchid? Am wondering how it compares to other hotels in the Kona area and if its worth a premium over the Sheraton.

Walked over there on shabbos(5 min walk from Mauna Lani). I'd say it depends on the price and what you're looking to get out of it. The Hotel and grounds are amazing and well worth it. There are frequently many conferences and business groups there so don't expect service to be overly personal. I'd say overall it's similar to the Grand Wailea which I personally didn't think was worth the money. Having said that, if rates are below $350 a night, I think there's good value to be had. Also, beware that the stairwells are sensor-lit, unlike the Mauna Lani and perhaps others.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on September 05, 2014, 12:48:21 PM
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29084490
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 28, 2014, 10:33:17 PM
They're rebuilding the Chain of Craters Road (which has been buried under lava for years) now that the latest flow is threatening to cut off the entire Puna region.

http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/chain-craters-road-construction-begin-tuesday
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on September 29, 2014, 09:27:55 AM
Guys, can I get my 'green' fix here, or is it mainly lava views?
And could I keep a few little kids busy?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 29, 2014, 10:31:25 AM
Guys, can I get my 'green' fix here, or is it mainly lava views?
And could I keep a few little kids busy?

The Hilo side is nice and green, with waterfalls and the beautiful Waipio Valley. However it doesn't really compare to Kauai or the Road to Hana IMO.

Regarding children's activities I'd say it about the same. Hikes both easy and hard, amazing beaches, parks, etc.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on September 29, 2014, 10:38:21 AM
The Hilo side is good and green, with waterfalls and the beautiful Waipio Valley. However it doesn't really compare to Kauai or the Road to Hana IMO.

Regarding children's activities I'd say it about the same. Hikes both easy and hard, amazing beaches, parks, etc.

+1.
Note that the Hilo side can be very rainy and cool.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on September 29, 2014, 10:38:33 AM
Guys, can I get my 'green' fix here, or is it mainly lava views?
And could I keep a few little kids busy?

It would benefit you to peruse previously posted trip reports.  That being said, I do not see your kids being bored on the BI if you plan your trip correctly.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on October 01, 2014, 04:11:56 PM
A/o here familiar with AA award availability on the direct AA-KOA flight? Can I hope seats will open up close in? (7/27 so summertime)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: njmacman on October 01, 2014, 04:15:21 PM
WE got it one way when booking 4 months before.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on October 02, 2014, 10:26:34 AM
WE got it one way when booking 4 months before.
How many?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on October 21, 2014, 06:07:14 AM
Anyone here use the Kona revealed book?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 21, 2014, 07:41:38 AM
Anyone here use the Kona revealed book?

As opposed to Big Island Revealed?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on October 21, 2014, 07:55:27 AM
As opposed to Big Island Revealed?
Whatever it's called.
You have an e-copy?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 21, 2014, 09:41:02 AM
Whatever it's called.
You have an e-copy?

You can get the app for your phone if you do not want the hardcopy book.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 21, 2014, 11:38:43 AM
Whatever it's called.
You have an e-copy?

I have the book, not ebook. PM me if you'd like to borrow it. As PBaruch mentioned, you can get the app. Personally, I find the app almost worthless for planning in advance though great to have on the spot, and the opposite for the book.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on October 23, 2014, 05:21:37 AM
FYI, AS starting 3x weekly service ex-SAN. They now serve all 4 islands from there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Joe4007 on October 28, 2014, 08:47:36 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/US/river-lava-approaches-hawaii-homes/story?id=26502788
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 28, 2014, 09:57:02 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/US/river-lava-approaches-hawaii-homes/story?id=26502788

Its unfortunate because I happen to know people who live in that area. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on October 28, 2014, 09:44:41 PM
wow things are really getting serious up there bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29805102 (http://bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-29805102)   
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on November 04, 2014, 12:28:08 PM
Its unfortunate because I happen to know people who live in that area.

No insurance or government payments for victims? Obviously, money doesn't 100% make up for losing one's home, but it helps. And I wonder who owns the new land (do Hawaiian deeds include airspace rights?)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on November 24, 2014, 01:07:53 PM
Trip report coming soon...

I know this quote was from 2010 but we are still waiting Dan ....
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on January 18, 2015, 05:51:39 AM
Going for 3 nights with my girlfriend in late July, and would like to do a AirBnB property, or s/t similar.

Any recommondations for an off the beaten track location, preferably with a view and close to national parks, etc.
Not too interested to stay in the city.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 18, 2015, 06:01:17 AM
Going for 3 nights with my girlfriend in late July, and would like to do a AirBnB property, or s/t similar.

Any recommondations for an off the beaten track location, preferably with a view and close to national parks, etc.
Not too interested to stay in the city.

We had a glorious time in this (http://www.vrbo.com/325889) place. Note though that Ocean View is somewhat out of the way for many things.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on January 18, 2015, 06:05:01 AM

Looks really nice, but at almost $600, it's on the pricey side.

As a side note, can I find kosher wine on the island, or would I need to bring some in?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on January 18, 2015, 09:54:06 AM
Looks really nice, but at almost $600, it's on the pricey side.

As a side note, can I find kosher wine on the island, or would I need to bring some in?
You ain't gonna do much better than that for a three night stay
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on January 18, 2015, 09:57:29 AM
You ain't gonna do much better than that for a three night stay
If I don't need my own place, they've got rooms/floors w/ separate entrances at around 50-70 per night w/ great reviews on AirBnB.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 18, 2015, 09:57:55 AM
I know this quote was from 2010 but we are still waiting Dan ....
Alol.
Enjoy the DansMeals article on it.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on January 18, 2015, 10:05:17 AM

Gosh. I should have gone to KOA
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 18, 2015, 10:12:32 AM
Gosh. I should have gone to KOA
There's a reason the BI is cheaper.
Vog, lack of greenery, etc.  Not to say it doesn't have many of its own unique aspects, but it's not what you picture as a typical Hawaii vacation.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on January 18, 2015, 10:19:42 AM
There's cheaper and then there's a quarter of the price
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 18, 2015, 10:24:39 AM
There's cheaper and then there's a quarter of the price
No secrets here, I wrote in here that VRBO is great on TBI: http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39148

But it's a very different type of trip and not one ideal with kids.
We stayed 4 nights in Volcano and it was very cool and rainy the whole time.
Title: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
Post by: AJK on January 18, 2015, 02:31:48 PM
Wow.


Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on January 19, 2015, 07:55:21 AM
There's a reason the BI is cheaper.
Vog, lack of greenery, etc.  Not to say it doesn't have many of its own unique aspects, but it's not what you picture as a typical Hawaii vacation.
Yea, seeing SF's TRs makes me want to visit other islands, but this was the only flight available when I booked, so unless s/t opens up, and I want to spend the $300 in change fees, KOA it'll be. Unless I pay for a separate ticket to a different island.

But, I figure that with 3 days max, I'll be able to do plenty of 'green' activities, and chk out a volcano.
Title: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on January 19, 2015, 11:24:13 PM
Wow.



you ain't gonna see this nowadays
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 20, 2015, 01:15:31 PM
Any good lava to see nowadays?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 20, 2015, 05:06:32 PM
Any good lava to see nowadays?

For the most part only from a helicopter unless you are willing to take it to the extreme.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 20, 2015, 05:39:07 PM
 :P don't want to do either
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: LAXtraveler on January 20, 2015, 08:24:14 PM
There's a reason the BI is cheaper.
Vog, lack of greenery, etc.  Not to say it doesn't have many of its own unique aspects, but it's not what you picture as a typical Hawaii vacation.

Unless you can afford to stay at the 4S, then you could be in for a real treat!

For the most part only from a helicopter unless you are willing to take it to the extreme.

Either of these options still aren't that viable.  There is not that much lava these days that pours into the water apparently (as the video would have you believe).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 20, 2015, 08:26:48 PM
There is not that much lava these days that pours into the water apparently (as the video would have you believe).

Nothing is pouring into the ocean now. And it won't be for a long time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: LAXtraveler on January 20, 2015, 08:28:47 PM
Nothing is pouring into the ocean now. And it won't be for a long time.

So even less worthwhile to try and see  ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 20, 2015, 08:46:58 PM
Unless you can afford to stay at the 4S, then you could be in for a real treat!

Either of these options still aren't that viable.
  There is not that much lava these days that pours into the water apparently (as the video would have you believe).

Says you.  Those in the know, know better.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 12:38:26 AM
I'll be in the big island for just under two days, All I plan on doing is driving up Mauna Kea and doing the volcano / chain of craters rd.
What kind of car should I be getting? A convertible?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 21, 2015, 01:06:15 AM
I'll be in the big island for just under two days, All I plan on doing is driving up Mauna Kea and doing the volcano / chain of craters rd.
What kind of car should I be getting? A convertible?
Convertible is fine assuming you have no interest in Waipio, green sands beach, or any hot springs.
A little washboardy going up MK, but nothing you can't handle.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 01:34:56 AM
Convertible is fine assuming you have no interest in Waipio, green sands beach, or any hot springs.
A little washboardy going up MK, but nothing you can't handle.
Even if I wanted to do any of that stuff I'm pretty sure I won't have time.
Waipio and Green Sands are quite a bit out of the way from where I'll be.
Where are these hot springs? near chain of craters road?

What's ideal in your opinion? 4x4? I think that's what I'm gonna look for.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 21, 2015, 01:39:09 AM
There are several hot springs, but not around CoC IIRC.

If you're not going to those places then a 4x4 is likely overkill.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 01:48:18 AM
If you're not going to those places then a 4x4 is likely overkill.
And a convertible? also overkill?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 21, 2015, 01:49:55 AM
And a convertible? also overkill?
I like convertibles :)
However the Hilo side can be rainy.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 01:59:20 AM
I like convertibles :)
However the Hilo side can be rainy.
ok, gotcha :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 21, 2015, 11:48:41 AM
We will hopefully be staying on Kona coast. Is one day enough volcanoes national park? How far is Hilo from there, is it worthwhile to go for an hour or two? What exactly can we do in Hilo?

Also, it seems that people consider Waipo Valley to be on the Hilo side, but from the map it looks like Waimea is closer to Kona and more north. We are trying to plan our itinerary
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 21, 2015, 11:56:28 AM
We will hopefully be staying on Kona coast. Is one day enough volcanoes national park? How far is Hilo from there, is it worthwhile to go for an hour or two? What exactly can we do in Hilo?

Also, it seems that people consider Waipo Valley to be on the Hilo side, but from the map it looks like Waimea is closer to Kona and more north. We are trying to plan our itinerary

You can see quite a bit of VNP in 1 day.  Of course, depending on your fitness level and interest, you can spend days there.  As for Hilo, there isn't much to do there.  There is a farmers market on Wednesday which some people enjoy but I personally found it to be lame.  That being said my wife liked it and wants to go back there.

VNP is 30 to 45 minutes away from Hilo.

Waipio is probably a day trip in and of itself if done properly.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 21, 2015, 12:11:23 PM
Also, it seems that people consider Waipo Valley to be on the Hilo side, but from the map it looks like Waimea is closer to Kona and more north. We are trying to plan our itinerary

"Hilo side" basically means east side.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 21, 2015, 12:23:05 PM
So one day for Waipo and another for VNP is sufficient? We plan to get there on Thursday morning, keep two days of shabbos chilling out, we have Sunday and Monday for Waipo and VNP, then maybe a quick stop at the beach on Tuesday morning before we go home. Anything else that we shouldn't miss?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 21, 2015, 12:23:47 PM
Sunset and stargazing on Mauna Kea.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 21, 2015, 12:24:53 PM
Can that be done after Waipo valley on the way back?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 21, 2015, 12:39:40 PM
Can that be done after Waipo valley on the way back?

On the way back to Kona, yes.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 21, 2015, 12:41:27 PM
Excellent, thanks so much.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 04:10:33 PM
On the way back to Kona, yes.
Hmmm, that's an idea, maybe I should hit up Waipio valley on my way from KOA to Mauna Kea?

I'm landing 12:35pm, sunset IINM is just before 7, does that give enough time for a quick hop over to Waipio? Is it even worth it if I'm only going to the lookout and not driving down into the valley??
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 21, 2015, 04:24:27 PM
Hmmm, that's an idea, maybe I should hit up Waipio valley on my way from KOA to Mauna Kea?

I'm landing 12:35pm, sunset IINM is just before 7, does that give enough time for a quick hop over to Waipio? Is it even worth it if I'm only going to the lookout and not driving down into the valley??

I haven't been to Waipio so I can't comment on the merits of the lookout vs. the valley, other than to say that driving for hours to see an overlook seems like an awful waste of time.

As far as sunset goes, you'd want to be by the summit around an hour before the official time. Add to that the drive time and at least half an hour of acclimating at the visitors center and there's not much time left over...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on January 21, 2015, 04:34:05 PM
Waipio lookout is nothing.
Need time to drive down and hike around
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 21, 2015, 04:37:06 PM
If you go to Waipio do it properly.  Drive to the black sand beach, drive around to see the taro fields, and hike to the waterfall.  If you don't have enough time for that, save it for another trip.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 21, 2015, 04:37:32 PM
driving for hours to see an overlook seems like an awful waste of time.
C'mon, I thought you know me better than that :D

Add to that the drive time and at least half an hour of acclimating at the visitors center
Realistically, how long should that take?

Fishy, Did you go up to the visitor center, or not up at all?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 21, 2015, 04:48:06 PM
C'mon, I thought you know me better than that :D

...which is how I know that you'd be able to find a better use of your time :D

Fishy, Did you go up to the visitor center, or not up at all?

Not at all. I was with a baby.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 21, 2015, 06:07:11 PM
If you go to Waipio do it properly.  Drive to the black sand beach, drive around to see the taro fields, and hike to the waterfall.  If you don't have enough time for that, save it for another trip.


How much time is needed for that (including driving time from Kona)?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 22, 2015, 03:02:26 PM

How much time is needed for that (including driving time from Kona)?

To do all that probably an entire day.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 22, 2015, 05:21:12 PM
To do all that probably an entire day.

will that leave time to get to mauna kea before sunset? or do you mean literally the whole day 7:00 am to 7:00 pm?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 22, 2015, 05:30:15 PM
will that leave time to get to mauna kea before sunset? or do you mean literally the whole day 7:00 am to 7:00 pm?

No idea.  If you just want to drive around and go to the black sand beach I'm sure you can swing that in half a day.  You are asking a question that is very difficult for me to answer with specificity. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 26, 2015, 11:39:56 PM
What's the deal with driving up Mauna Kea? can I take a rental car up there?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 27, 2015, 01:13:40 AM
What's the deal with driving up Mauna Kea? can I take a rental car up there?

The rental contracts all say no but everyone does anyways.  The only company that permits you to take rentals up to the summit is Harpers.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on January 27, 2015, 01:22:14 AM
The rental contracts all say no but everyone does anyways.
Thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on February 26, 2015, 03:11:14 PM
Wiki anyone? :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 26, 2015, 03:17:05 PM
Wiki anyone? :)

Been on my to do list for a while...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 26, 2015, 03:22:39 PM
Does Hawaii really need wikis? Step 1: read the respective Revealed book and mark off anything that looks interesting. Step 2: follow up in the thread on which activities you should pick from your list based on your length of stay.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on February 26, 2015, 03:24:32 PM
Been on my to do list for a while...
In the next week would be great ;)

Does Hawaii really need wikis? Step 1: read the respective Revealed book and mark off anything that looks interesting. Step 2: follow up in the thread on which activities you should pick from your list based on your length of stay.
That's the point of a wiki, I don't have to read a whole book for basic info.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 26, 2015, 03:26:10 PM
Does Hawaii really need wikis? Step 1: read the respective Revealed book and mark off anything that looks interesting. Step 2: follow up in the thread on which activities you should pick from your list based on your length of stay.

There are plenty of activities that will never make it into any guidebook for a variety of reasons.  While some of those activities wouldn't make it into a wiki either, there are other activities that can be included in a wiki which may be of use.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 26, 2015, 03:36:00 PM
In the next week would be great ;)
 That's the point of a wiki, I don't have to read a whole book for basic info.
But the books are so good! And besides, the book will list 10 "great" hikes and 2 might make it into the wiki, but those 2 might be challenging ones so you won't want to do them. Had you read the book, you might have found 2 hikes that sound like they're more to your speed and then you could ask questions here specifically about those hikes. You wouldn't have even known those existed (since they didn't make it into the wiki) unless you read the book. Just an example.

There are plenty of activities that will never make it into any guidebook for a variety of reasons.  While some of those activities wouldn't make it into a wiki either, there are other activities that can be included in a wiki which may be of use.
Let's not see another raging war over your "secret" activities. ;D Good think AJK is busy and hopefully won't join this debate again. :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 26, 2015, 03:39:06 PM
Oh pulease.  The sole intent of my post was to inform you that the guidebook isn't complete.  After 6 trips to the BI I found lots of useful info off the beaten path on my own - stuff that was not in the Revealed books.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 26, 2015, 03:48:02 PM
Oh pulease.  The sole intent of my post was to inform you that the guidebook isn't complete.  After 6 trips to the BI I found lots of useful info off the beaten path on my own - stuff that was not in the Revealed books.
The wiki is editable by anyone. Feel free :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 26, 2015, 03:49:01 PM
The wiki is editable by anyone. Feel free :)

Seems like SF volunteered.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on February 26, 2015, 03:51:44 PM
But the books are so good! And besides, the book will list 10 "great" hikes and 2 might make it into the wiki, but those 2 might be challenging ones so you won't want to do them. Had you read the book, you might have found 2 hikes that sound like they're more to your speed and then you could ask questions here specifically about those hikes. You wouldn't have even known those existed (since they didn't make it into the wiki) unless you read the book. Just an example.
I own the books. Wiki's serve a different purpose than the books.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on February 27, 2015, 08:19:33 AM
I own the books. Wiki's serve a different purpose than the books.

Agreed. Aside from the fact that a wiki gives me all the info I need in less than 5 minutes, there is often info about chabad, shabbos, etc. that is obviously not in the book. Anyway, I like reading what different people's opinions are. I love the revealed books but that's all Doughty's point of view.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on February 27, 2015, 09:02:48 AM
Agreed. Aside from the fact that a wiki gives me all the info I need in less than 5 minutes, there is often info about chabad, shabbos, etc. that is obviously not in the book. Anyway, I like reading what different people's opinions are. I love the revealed books but that's all Doughty's point of view.
A wiki doesn't really show people's opinions, unless you read people's TRs that are perhaps listed in a wiki. I like wikis for their super concise way to find out what the top 10 activities are and then I can Google them to see what interests me before asking Q's in the thread about those specific activities/logistics.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on February 27, 2015, 09:40:12 AM
A wiki doesn't really show people's opinions, unless you read people's TRs that are perhaps listed in a wiki. I like wikis for their super concise way to find out what the top 10 activities are and then I can Google them to see what interests me before asking Q's in the thread about those specific activities/logistics.


I guess I didnt really mean opinions I meant experiences. Like info about particular hotels, which ones are better etc.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 02, 2015, 12:05:47 AM
Howdy to all.  Here is a trip report from our 6th trip to the Big Island, my favorite place on the planet.

We arrived in Kona on Sunday night and once again our first stop was at WM.  We then stopped by Chabad to pick up some food and off we went to Volcano, where we stayed for the first four nights.  We always break up the trip into two parts - Volcano and Kona.  This way we get to experience the best of both worlds. 

Chabad provides a variety of prepared food for sale.  In addition, I was told that they would soon be reopening a falafel place in Kona.  Also, for those who are interested, Costco sells kosher cornish hens and other items of kosher food.  Ask Rabbi Chazanow about which bread you can buy. 

On Monday, we visited friends in Hilo and then went off to Kalapana, where there is a nice black sand beach.  This year, there was quite a bit of sand on the beach.  There have been times in prior years when most of the sand was washed away.  We all had quite a bit of fun playing in the sand and surf.  Since we were all a bit jetlagged and tired, we took it easy and relaxed.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8641/16688655751_d3ca2c1a77_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/JQan2A)Kalapana  2015 (https://flic.kr/p/rqHHVZ) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8570/16688642851_0842069c7f_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/v5J8tN)Kalapana 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/rqHE6z) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Here is a really cool VW van that one of the locals restored all by himself.  He even painted it all by himself.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8649/16503861349_33e7de1ca3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9oAZB)DSC_0608VW Van (https://flic.kr/p/r9oAZB) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

The locals at Kalapana lead guided lava hikes but this year the lava wasn't flowing in an accessible area. As a result, there were no guided hikes this year (not that I need one).

Information for those who are interested can be found here:  http://www.kalapanaculturaltours.com/

Tip:  If you go when the lava is flowing in an accessible area near Kalapana, request a private tour.

When there is ocean entry, another option to view lava is to take a lava boat tour.  We did that in the past and it was really nice.  Information for those who are interested can be found here:  http://www.lavaocean.com/

Even without the lava flowing in an accessible area this year, I still did my share of chasing lava and was not disappointed.  That is, of course, the primary reason I keep coming back to the Big Island.

On Tuesday we took a chartered helicopter flight with Paradise Helicopters. Once again, Cal, the owner of the company, personally came out to fly us around the volcano.  Many thanks to Cal for another awesome VIP experience.  A clip of our flight can be seen here:



Of course, the little guy came along for the flight.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8614/16502715600_9357a9a29e_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/dZafw7)Heli Charter (https://flic.kr/p/r9hJpj) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Last years flight with Cal can be seen here.



On Tuesday evening we drove up Mauna Kea to the visitor center.  We couldn't drive all the way up to the summit since my kids are still too young.  Nevertheless, we had a nice time stargazing and looking through the telescopes.  I took a picture of the moon from the visitor center.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8623/16502618020_265d031bc7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9heoU)Moon from Mauna Kea 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/r9heoU) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

On Wednesday, my buddy drove us down to the black sand beach at Waipio in his pickup truck, where we had tons of fun.  I sat with the kids in the truck bed on the way down.  The kids insisted on sitting in the truck bed by themselves on the way up. (For those of you wondering, no - the baby didn't ride in the truck bed).

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8586/16664062256_7f8dca7565_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/roxF9d)DSC_1353  Waipio (https://flic.kr/p/roxF9d) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8623/16502420188_2b9becf892_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9gdA1)Waipio 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/r9gdA1) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8599/16070049163_e556ff4718_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/qu4cKa)DSC_1293 Waipio (https://flic.kr/p/qu4cKa) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8569/16664061906_ec1b96094e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/roxF3b)Waipio 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/roxF3b) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8642/16688940082_89d16a9c62_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/4e3t69)Waipio 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/rqKbsf) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

On Thursday, we went to South Point/Green Sand Beach.  This year, we went earlier in the day and it was really crowded.  Of course, the little guy came along.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8648/16070053503_17215b7a97_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/pA51s6)Green Sand Beach 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/qu4e2Z) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

A YouTube video from the drive last year can be seen here:



Afterwards, we drove over to Kona, where we stayed for the remainder of our trip.

On Friday, we did a snorkeling trip to Captain Cook Monument.  Along the way, we saw tons of dolphins and humpback whales.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8595/16067680614_e6561df7f2_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/1161k7)Kona Whale 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/qtR4E7) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8663/16502614920_60ecbd9ba6_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/Xk634g)Kona Whale 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/r9hdts) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8652/16502418318_d9100abd71_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9gd2L)Kona Dolphins 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/r9gd2L) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

A video of the snorkeling adventure can be seen here.   As you can see, the water is crystal clear.



On Shabbos, we all relaxed.  I was able  to see humpback whales from our ocean view porch and I took a very relaxing nap.

On Sunday, we were off to Greenwell Farms, where we go every year for awesome Kona coffee and our annual family photographs. This year we ordered a ton of coffee for our family and friends and for a nominal fee had them ship it to us, rather than shlepping it back.  Once you have Kona Coffee, its hard to go back to the other stuff.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8606/16503623948_2245f17f91_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9noqu)IMG-20150201-WA0018[1] (https://flic.kr/p/r9noqu) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Say hi to the gecko.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8584/16689883231_d6ccbf0d6c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rqQ1Pr)IMG-20150201-WA0008[1] (https://flic.kr/p/rqQ1Pr) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

On Sunday evening we snorkeled with manta rays.  A video of our manta ray adventure can be seen here.  And yes, they really get that close - inches away.



On Monday, we went swimming at our secret spot in Kona and then we were off to meet up with my buddy and his wife for a beach bbq at another secret spot in Kona.  I purchased some chopped meat and hot dogs from Chabad for the grill.  While grilling, we saw humpback whales very close to the shore.  I never saw them that close before and of course they were gone in an instant.

Here is a long exposure I took at the bbq.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8591/16070051083_8284870669_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/767327)Kona Beach BBQ 2015 (https://flic.kr/p/qu4djg) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Monday evening, we flew back home.

Stopped by the AA lounge - no kosher food.  I asked for fruit but it was all cut up.  I did get some whiskey.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8602/16503633888_689c185326_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r9nrnS)IMG-20150202-WA0011[1] (https://flic.kr/p/r9nrnS) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8576/16071275263_3297721e2c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/quaudP)IMG-20150202-WA0013[1] (https://flic.kr/p/quaudP) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

Flight home.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8610/16502618450_3c9b652fc1_b.jpg) (https://www.flickr.com/gp/131667304@N06/Rh7134)DSC08240 (https://flic.kr/p/r9hewj) by peterbryan718 (https://www.flickr.com/people/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

After each Big Island trip, I think to myself that it can't get any better.  However, each year it does get better.  It still remains my favorite place on the planet.  If DW agreed, I'd move there in an instant and would never look back.  As I said in last years trip report, to those who don't think the Big Island totally rocks, go to Maui, Kauai, or wherever you want.  I'm more than happy to keep the Big Island to myself.  :O)

Can't wait till next time.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this trip report.

A final note:  whoever said you can't take kids to Hawaii or have fun with kids in Hawaii hasn't done Hawaii PBaruch style.  My little guy was all over the Big Island and went almost everywhere we went.  He was by Kalapana, Waipio, Green Sand Beach, up in a helicopter, and he went with us snorkeling (of course he couldn't snorkel but I still took him in the water).  The only activity the little guy couldn't go on is the manta ray trip.  My older kids did it all and loved every minute of it.

If anyone would like further information, feel free to send me a PM.





Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Super Speed on March 02, 2015, 12:42:10 AM
Howdy to all.
Awesome read, great videos!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 02, 2015, 01:18:37 AM

Awesome read, great videos!
do you realize what you just did
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: TimT on March 02, 2015, 01:36:42 AM
Nice TR, thanks.
do you realize what you just did
:)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Super Speed on March 02, 2015, 02:03:26 AM
do you realize what you just did

Nice TR, thanks. :)
Fixed
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on March 02, 2015, 02:25:50 AM
Very nice, much appreciated.

Any advice for a 3 day trip? 2 adults, and we'd prefer to be in the green areas most of the time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 02, 2015, 07:56:00 AM
Nice! I gotta do the manta rays one day...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 02, 2015, 09:46:37 AM
Very nice, much appreciated.

Any advice for a 3 day trip? 2 adults, and we'd prefer to be in the green areas most of the time.

Depends on what activities you enjoy.  Your question is a bit too vague.  Also, 3 days isn't enough to spend on both sides of the island.

That being said, I'm sure you would enjoy Waipio (assuming you like the beach as well) - it is very lush and green.  Also, its is almost never crowded and you may find that you have the beach to yourself.  In addition, Waimea is very green and beautiful.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 02, 2015, 09:51:10 AM
Awesome TR, let me know when you convince the DW to move.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 02, 2015, 09:52:22 AM
Very nice, much appreciated.

Any advice for a 3 day trip? 2 adults, and we'd prefer to be in the green areas most of the time.
TBI is great, but if you want green and don't care about volcano stuff then you should go to OGG or LIH instead IMHO.
Disclaimer: PB will disagree
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 02, 2015, 09:52:32 AM
Nice! I gotta do the manta rays one day...
+1,000
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 02, 2015, 09:54:39 AM
TBI is great, but if you want green and don't care about volcano stuff then you should go to OGG or LIH instead IMHO.
Disclaimer: PB will disagree

I thought this TR would put the BI loshon hara to bed once and for all.   >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 02, 2015, 09:56:16 AM

Nice! I gotta do the manta rays one day...
according to the book scuba diving with the Rays is much better than snorkeling
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on March 02, 2015, 09:57:38 AM
Lol, I'm not saying there's no greenery on TBI.
But you can simply can't compare the lushness to LIH or OGG to TBI.  The differences are stark.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 02, 2015, 10:02:36 AM
according to the book scuba diving with the Rays is much better than snorkeling

As are many things... But choosing one over the other is silly. They're completely different types of activities, not to mention cost- and logisitc-wise.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 02, 2015, 10:04:38 AM
As are many things... But choosing one over the other is silly. They're completely different types of activities, not to mention cost- and logisitc-wise.

IMHO, being on top of (snorkeling) or underneath (scuba) the rays really makes no difference.  You'll get the same show.  Also, young kids can't do the scuba trip so I would not have been able to take them with me. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 02, 2015, 10:20:15 AM

young kids can't do the scuba trip so I would not have been able to take them with me.
true that.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on March 02, 2015, 10:23:50 AM
Amazing TR, will definitely use the info for our trip! Thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 10, 2015, 10:09:22 AM
I have a convertible for a few days and will switch to a Jeep later in the week hopefully.

What activities should I do today/tomorrow with a convertible?

And ftr last night I saw the most amazing sunset of my life here. Polihale didn't even come close.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: TimT on March 10, 2015, 10:15:08 AM
And ftr last night I saw the most amazing sunset of my life here. Polihale didn't even come close.
Pics ?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 10, 2015, 10:16:47 AM
Pics ?
I'm not really a picture guy. I may have one of the end. The reds in the sky were insane.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 10, 2015, 10:23:45 AM
I'm not really a picture guy.

Tut, tut.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 10, 2015, 10:43:29 AM
Tut, tut.
Some people like to live the moment :P

Anyway I really didn't take any pictures when it was over I took this.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7619/16775461305_80d52040b0_s.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/ryoCct)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 10, 2015, 12:20:53 PM

I have a convertible for a few days and will switch to a Jeep later in the week hopefully.

What activities should I do today/tomorrow with a convertible?

volcano
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on March 10, 2015, 12:38:05 PM
I thought 4WD is better for volcano area?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 10, 2015, 12:41:07 PM
I was thinking mauna kea might be, but it's freezing up there so top would be up, and today there are 80mph wind warnings.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on March 10, 2015, 01:36:33 PM
I'm not really a picture guy.
Well, get on it then (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=28108.0)   ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 10, 2015, 04:32:01 PM
No one knows the best activity with a convertible? Southern most point?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: dealfinder85 on March 10, 2015, 04:34:26 PM
No one knows the best activity with a convertible? Southern most point?
texting your brother isnt easier than posting on this forum?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 10, 2015, 04:40:24 PM
No one knows the best activity with a convertible? Southern most point?

South Point is kind of windy - not sure if that would interfere with your ability to enjoy a convertible.  Then again, you can always put the top up.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 10, 2015, 08:22:15 PM

No one knows the best activity with a convertible? Southern most point?
south point parking lot/green sand beach impossible to do with a convertible,

Imo it's well worth parking your car & using the $15 heimishe shuttle to the green sand beach
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 11, 2015, 02:09:11 PM
If anyone wants a room in the Fairmont today for as long as the room is empty, the room next to me is unlocked ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on March 12, 2015, 12:02:03 AM
Some people like to live the moment :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: TimT on March 12, 2015, 12:08:04 AM

;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on March 12, 2015, 01:12:11 AM

Totally me. In other news it's the worst week weather wise here in years I'm told. Hasn't stopped raining and mauna kea is closed due to a 2 foot blizzard.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on March 19, 2015, 07:15:55 PM
Un. Freakin. Believable.

https://vimeo.com/122038715
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on March 19, 2015, 08:06:24 PM
Un. Freakin. Believable.

https://vimeo.com/122038715

Like you haven't seen better.   ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on April 09, 2015, 09:27:39 PM
And ftr last night I saw the most amazing sunset of my life here. Polihale didn't even come close.
Where was this?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on April 11, 2015, 02:28:46 PM
Where was this?
Just side of the road by the airport.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on April 12, 2015, 07:38:35 PM
Which stores on the big island sell kosher food?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 12, 2015, 07:56:08 PM
Which stores on the big island sell kosher food?

Costco sells kosher cornish hens and kosher salmon along with other items.  Island Naturals sells some kosher food.  Also Safeway has some kosher food as well.  Ask Rabbi Chazanow about which bread you can buy.

Rabbi Chazanow also sells wraps, spaghetti, chicken nuggets, franks, etc.  When I last spoke to him he said he was in the process of reopening Falafel in Paradise but I am not sure if its open yet.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 15, 2015, 11:02:08 PM
Just found out that Falafel in Paradise is open every day for lunch only.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on April 15, 2015, 11:03:11 PM
Just found out that Falafel in Paradise is open every day for lunch only.
I thought they closed years ago?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 15, 2015, 11:10:42 PM
I thought they closed years ago?

It was closed but it is now back.  Rabbi Chazanow told me a while ago he was planning on reopening it but not on Alii Drive as the rent is very high there.   He was planning on reopening it off on a side street.  Got a message from him a short time ago that its now open again.  Not sure where it is located though.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on April 30, 2015, 09:20:14 PM
Pretty good time to be on the BI now. 

http://news.yahoo.com/video/lava-lake-hawaiis-volcano-overflows-231401095.html
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on April 30, 2015, 11:47:30 PM
Pretty good time to be on the BI now. 

http://news.yahoo.com/video/lava-lake-hawaiis-volcano-overflows-231401095.html (http://news.yahoo.com/video/lava-lake-hawaiis-volcano-overflows-231401095.html)

That's kinda depressing.

It couldn't happen two weeks earlier? :'(

Makes me want to hop on a plane and head over there...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on April 30, 2015, 11:48:18 PM
That's kinda depressing.

It couldn't happen two weeks earlier? :'(

Makes me want to hop on a plane and head over there...

Don't feel too bad... The only ocean entry in five years or so started the DAY after I left ::).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 07, 2015, 11:08:39 AM


debating a trip back to BI in the very near future......

Lava DO anyone?  UA F saver availability next week.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 07, 2015, 11:20:09 AM
Chances of lava being this good in August?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 07, 2015, 11:21:19 AM
Chances of lava being this good in August?

If you could accurately predict that then I'd ask you for lotto ticket numbers.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 07, 2015, 11:22:56 AM
If you could accurately predict that then I'd ask you for lotto ticket numbers.


How long do these things usually last?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 07, 2015, 11:31:25 AM

How long do these things usually last?

Do you always ask questions that are impossible to answer?   :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 07, 2015, 11:34:28 AM
Yup. Drives my husband crazy.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on May 07, 2015, 11:58:44 AM
debating a trip back to BI in the very near future......

Lava DO anyone?  UA F saver availability next week.   :)
so tempting...
Makes me want to hop on a plane and head over there...

What days/dates are you thinking?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 07, 2015, 11:59:26 AM
so tempting...
What days/dates are you thinking?

Maybe for a long weekend - next shabbos anyone?

Can you knock some sense into SF?   :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on May 07, 2015, 12:48:16 PM


debating a trip back to BI in the very near future......

Lava DO anyone?  UA F saver availability next week.   :)
Can you wait till the end of July?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 17, 2015, 08:17:47 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/05/16/earthquakes-on-active-hawaii-volcano-could-signal-new-eruption/?intcmp=ob_homepage_US&intcmp=obnetwork

The party is over...or...perhaps it is yet to begin....
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 31, 2015, 12:24:17 AM
Looking to rent a house on BI Kona coast but most of them don't have AC. What has been your experience with just ceiling fans? Is AC really necessary?
Trip is for end of August
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on May 31, 2015, 12:45:45 AM
Looking to rent a house on BI Kona coast but most of them don't have AC. What has been your experience with just ceiling fans? Is AC really necessary?
Trip is for end of August

I've personally been fine with no AC.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on June 18, 2015, 10:08:02 AM
In the revealed book as well as old posts I have seen, it seems like renting a car from KOA and returning to ITO should incur about $100 fee. When I search rental sites, it's adding a few hundred dollars.
Should I rent as if I am returning to KOA and then call to ask to return to ITO?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on June 18, 2015, 02:00:33 PM
Any recommondations for lodging in Waipio valley that won't break the bank?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 18, 2015, 02:05:23 PM
Any recommondations for lodging in Waipio valley that won't break the bank?
There's lodging in Waipio??
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on June 18, 2015, 02:08:50 PM
There's lodging in Waipio??
I saw some Tzimmer type places that seem to be on the edge, or a bit inside.
Haven't done too much research though.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 18, 2015, 02:12:40 PM
There's lodging in Waipio??

Some of the locals rent out space in their houses.  On one occasion I bumped into some hikers who asked for a lift out (they didn't feel like walking) because the home owner got sick and backed out of the rental.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on June 18, 2015, 02:17:25 PM
Any recommondations for lodging in Waipio valley that won't break the bank?
Don't think there is any need to stay there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on June 18, 2015, 02:21:20 PM
Don't think there is any need to stay there.
Even if I want to spend part of 2 days there?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on June 18, 2015, 02:33:25 PM
Even if I want to spend part of 2 days there?
What are you doing in the valley for 2 days?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 18, 2015, 02:34:33 PM
You can hike over to the waterfalls and there is horseback riding inside the canyon. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on June 18, 2015, 02:35:53 PM
You can hike over to the waterfalls and there is horseback riding inside the canyon. 
Can't imagine it'd take more than 8 hours to do everything in the valley.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on June 18, 2015, 02:59:14 PM
Can't imagine it'd take more than 8 hours to do everything in the valley.
I love the greenery though, and staying the night could be fun.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on June 18, 2015, 03:00:34 PM
I love the greenery though, and staying the night could be fun.

BBQ and hanging out on the beach at night would probably be awesome.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 18, 2015, 03:01:34 PM
If you love greenery you're on the wrong island.
Either way, I wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping down there with the family.  Lot of crazies there and at least when I was there, no cell service.

Also beware of flash flooding. Buddy of mine had to get rescued by helicopter.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on June 18, 2015, 03:06:06 PM
I would kill to see sunrise from there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on June 19, 2015, 01:27:28 AM
If you love greenery you're on the wrong island.
When searching for award availabilty for 5 from TLV, you take whatever island you can find...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 07, 2015, 07:05:29 AM
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/09/waimanu-valley-via-the-muliwai-trail/

Nice summary and pics
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 16, 2015, 08:16:04 AM
Any recommondations for lodging in Waipio valley that won't break the bank?
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2023504?checkin=07%2F21%2F2015&checkout=07%2F22%2F2015&guests=2&s=KDaK

I'm tempted to hike in, sleep there, and then hike (or hitch) out the following morning.
Does anyone know if the shuttle service will let me book a one way trip?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 09:10:40 AM
is there still the falafel place on the big island?
how far away is it from kona airport?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on July 16, 2015, 11:32:45 AM
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2023504?checkin=07%2F21%2F2015&checkout=07%2F22%2F2015&guests=2&s=KDaK

I'm tempted to hike in, sleep there, and then hike (or hitch) out the following morning.
Does anyone know if the shuttle service will let me book a one way trip?

http://www.vrbo.com/149612
 This is the place I stayed. Think it was like 45 mins away- Awesome house
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 16, 2015, 11:37:38 AM
is there still the falafel place on the big island?
how far away is it from kona airport?
I believe so, but ask the shliach.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 11:39:24 AM
also how much time do you need at each airport in Hawaii?
ill be in hnl for 8 days.
but I wanted to do 2 extra islands just to see them (I know you really need 4 days in each island.
if I go to the kona for 7 hrs and maui for 5 hrs.
is there stuff that to do that will make it worth it?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 16, 2015, 11:45:49 AM
if I go to the kona for 7 hrs and maui for 5 hrs.
You know generally when people here say they went to OGG or LIH they don't actually mean they only went to the airport, they're using the airport code to refer to the whole island :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 16, 2015, 11:46:34 AM
http://www.vrbo.com/149612
 This is the place I stayed. Think it was like 45 mins away- Awesome house
Looks stunning, but the 'cleaning fee' is 100, almost the cost of the base rental.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 16, 2015, 11:48:48 AM
also how much time do you need at each airport in Hawaii?
ill be in hnl for 8 days.
but I wanted to do 2 extra islands just to see them (I know you really need 4 days in each island.
if I go to the kona for 7 hrs and maui for 5 hrs.
is there stuff that to do that will make it worth it?
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT??!!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 16, 2015, 11:59:59 AM
is there still the falafel place on the big island?
how far away is it from kona airport?

Last I heard it was open for lunch only.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 12:01:38 PM
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT??!!

what does that mean?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 16, 2015, 12:52:15 PM
He means, why are you staying in HNL for 7 days. And what do you possibly think you can gain by going to Maui for 5 hours?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 01:00:59 PM
its just easier to be there for Shabbos both weeks.
plus it worked out with hotels
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 16, 2015, 01:02:39 PM
its just easier to be there for Shabbos both weeks.
plus it worked out with hotels
That's all fine and dandy, but why not just go to Miami?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 01:04:19 PM
That's all fine and dandy, but why not just go to Miami?

Miami doesn't have the beauty of Hawaii.
there is more then just wakiki beach
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 16, 2015, 01:13:35 PM
Miami doesn't have the beauty of Hawaii.
there is more then just wakiki beach

Flying 11 hours just to see HNL?   :o :o :o
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 01:22:21 PM
yes.
have any of you ever seen the beauty of Oahu? everyone thinks Oahu is just wakiki beach
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 16, 2015, 01:27:09 PM
Oahu is beautiful if you leave HNL. Most people just never leave HNL.

Still, not as beautiful as the other islands. But flying to another island for 5-7 hours is just dumb.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Chief Rabbi of New York on July 16, 2015, 01:40:46 PM
what about is if I stay in maui until the next day?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 17, 2015, 05:17:41 PM
Has anyone scanned the old revealed book info about where the hot springs are?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 19, 2015, 06:27:24 AM
Can I buy either kosher wine, or any type of wine blessed by a Rabbi, in Kona?
Thx
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 19, 2015, 10:20:58 AM
Can I buy either kosher wine, or any type of wine blessed by a Rabbi, in Kona?
Thx

http://www.kosherinhawaii.com/store/#!/Shabbat/c/8415195/offset=0&sort=normal
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: uchiknow on July 21, 2015, 09:48:19 PM
Hey all! Staying on TBI from 8/9 to 8/12. Going to be in the Fairmont Orchid and Marriott in Kona.


Renting a Toyota RAV4 or similar. Can anyone advise if this is sufficient to drive on any of the unpaved roads/sand on the island?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 22, 2015, 12:35:21 AM
When I checked yesterday, LAX-KOA had tons of AA award space in both Y and J.
This hadn't been the case when I have checked over the last several months.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 23, 2015, 03:18:12 PM
Just saw this :(
Anyone have any more info?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 23, 2015, 03:30:12 PM
Just saw this :(
Anyone have any more info?

2nd Edit: This is because of the recent protests on Mauna Kea against the new telescope being built.

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29412735/boulders-pushed-into-road-to-mauna-kea-summit-removed-visitors-center-closed-indefinitely

I spoke to my buddy on the BI.  He says the protesters are still there so the visitor center is closed.  He also said that the protesters have made access to Mauna Kea difficult for the past few months.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 23, 2015, 05:11:33 PM
Oh man. Any other good stargazing options?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 26, 2015, 10:43:41 AM
The results from the first semi official Big Island chocolate babka competition are in and Greens unanimously won over Gombo's.  Dan knows what I'm talking about.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 26, 2015, 01:42:29 PM
The results from the first semi official Big Island chocolate babka competition are in and Greens unanimously won over Gombo's.  Dan knows what I'm talking about.   :)
Gombo's babka or kokosh?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 26, 2015, 03:20:03 PM
Gombo's babka or kokosh?

babka
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 26, 2015, 03:29:12 PM
babka
The kokush is what they excel at.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 26, 2015, 03:32:32 PM
Could we PLEASE save the cake discussion till the fast is over?

Thank you >:(.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 26, 2015, 03:32:41 PM
The kokush is what they excel at.

That's not what you told me at the DDS....specifically mentioned babka.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 26, 2015, 03:33:40 PM
That's not what you told me at the DDS....specifically mentioned babka.
I don't think I've ever even had their babka. But usually after a DDS my brain is so fried that I wouldn't be remotely surprised if I misspoke.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 28, 2015, 08:42:52 AM
This isn't specific to the BI, but just wondering if anyone can comment on using walking sticks for hiking? Does it really make it easier?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on July 28, 2015, 09:16:34 AM
Hey all! Staying on TBI from 8/9 to 8/12. Going to be in the Fairmont Orchid and Marriott in Kona.


Renting a Toyota RAV4 or similar. Can anyone advise if this is sufficient to drive on any of the unpaved roads/sand on the island?

Thanks!
Had a similar dilema. The issue is that most of the "similar" cars aren't 4X4. We rented through Alamo and when we got there none of the options were 4x4 so ultimately we decided against unpaved roads in south point and waipo. Def don't go on the sand unless(and still would be weary) it's a 4x4, that's the widespread opinion. The upsells to the 4x4 were way too expensive.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on July 28, 2015, 09:19:02 AM
Had a similar dilema. The issue is that most of the "similar" cars aren't 4X4. We rented through Alamo and when we got there none of the options were 4x4 so ultimately we decided against unpaved roads in south point and waipo. Def don't go on the sand unless(and still would be weary) it's a 4x4, that's the widespread opinion. The upsells to the 4x4 were way too expensive.
Be sure not to trust the rental agent about 4x4. They told me upgrade is $50 a day but none are available. I went to the lot found a Jeep Patriot that had a dedicated 4x4 button, and asked for that car. The guy tells me but you know that doesn't have 4x4, I smiled and said that's ok.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 28, 2015, 09:47:29 AM
This isn't specific to the BI, but just wondering if anyone can comment on using walking sticks for hiking? Does it really make it easier?

Absolutely.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 28, 2015, 11:18:52 AM

Absolutely.

Forgive the n00b question, but do you buy one or just find one on the trail?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 28, 2015, 11:44:28 AM
Forgive the n00b question, but do you buy one or just find one on the trail?

I've found on the trail, but they can't really be counted on (especially in places with few trees, like a lava field).

I bought one recently and it was absolutely worth it. And it works much better than an old branch as well...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 28, 2015, 02:57:25 PM
Thanks. Around how much do they cost? I need for Kauai and BI but I would imagine it's not worthwhile to shlep.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 28, 2015, 03:13:04 PM
Thanks. Around how much do they cost? I need for Kauai and BI but I would imagine it's not worthwhile to shlep.

They vary in price and you can get some pretty cheap.  Also, they collapse to a small size.

http://www.campmor.com/SearchDisplay?storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1&beginIndex=0&searchSource=Q&sType=SimpleSearch&resultCatEntryType=2&searchTerm=trekking+poles
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 29, 2015, 12:53:19 PM
Is a jeep sufficient or is a Chevy Tahoe better for BI driving?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on July 29, 2015, 12:56:28 PM
Is a jeep sufficient or is a Chevy Tahoe better for BI driving?
Don't need more than a 4x4 doesn't really matter which one.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 29, 2015, 01:04:26 PM
4WD vs AWD doesn't make a difference?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 29, 2015, 01:05:02 PM
4WD vs AWD doesn't make a difference?

For highly technical driving, yes. For tough roads in Hawaii, no.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 29, 2015, 01:14:45 PM
4WD vs AWD doesn't make a difference?
AWD isn't officially allowed into Waipio.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 29, 2015, 01:16:47 PM
AWD isn't officially allowed into Waipio.

I was actually thinking if I should add that point to my initial comment, but I wasn't certain if that was the case or not.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 29, 2015, 01:21:14 PM
I was acrually thinking if I should add that point to my initial comment, but I wasn't certain if that was the case or not.
http://www.dangerousroads.org/images/stories/Newroads108/waipiovalley5.jpg
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 29, 2015, 01:36:43 PM
Thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yoohoo on July 29, 2015, 08:00:39 PM
I have a United flight into HNL, connecting Island Air flight to Maui. Will my luggage go straight to Maui or will I have to grab and recheck it?
Tia

All booked thru United.com
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: westman812 on July 31, 2015, 12:20:55 PM
I have a United flight into HNL, connecting Island Air flight to Maui. Will my luggage go straight to Maui or will I have to grab and recheck it?
Tia

All booked thru United.com
If all on United.com, it's almost certain to be able to be checked through. Just make sure you confirm with agent at check in.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on July 31, 2015, 12:39:45 PM
For highly technical driving, yes. For tough roads in Hawaii, no.
I'm not sure that's true, on Kuai I'd say it's for sure not true, but for Hawaii it may be ok, guess I don't have enough experience with AWD.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on July 31, 2015, 08:06:27 PM
I just came back from Waipeo, and it appears that there is s/o who checks the cars, so you would need to have 4-wheel drive.
I advise spending at least half a day there (we spent the night down there). The beach is great and quite empty, and if you have the stamina, the Z trail is very nice, and you can go into the next valley over which is emptier.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 01, 2015, 10:01:23 PM
we spent the night down there
Where?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Drago on August 02, 2015, 02:59:35 AM
Where?
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2023504

Former US Peace Corps barracks.
Not s/t for the faint of heart :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Moishebatchy on August 03, 2015, 09:39:32 PM
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT??!!

LMAO!!!!

Touche, Dan. Very well tzugeshtelt. I'm impressed you even found that from 3 years ago... ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 09, 2015, 08:10:38 AM
Looks like Mauna Kea visitors center is open again, let's hope it lasts
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 09, 2015, 08:19:23 PM
Seems I made a mistake of booking all 3 nights on the BI at the Fairmont, but what's done is done. If I will make one loooong day trip to volcano national park and it's surroundings, what should my day look like? Interested in seeing black/green sand beaches. Keep in mind safety concerns (are there any?) with inexperienced drivers driving back at night to the other side. Considering a day tour but not sure we want to be on anyone else's schedule.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 09, 2015, 08:28:25 PM
Seems I made a mistake of booking all 3 nights on the BI at the Fairmont, but what's done is done. If I will make one loooong day trip to volcano national park and it's surroundings, what should my day look like? Interested in seeing black/green sand beaches. Keep in mind safety concerns (are there any?) with inexperienced drivers driving back at night to the other side. Considering a day tour but not sure we want to be on anyone else's schedule.

Not sure you will have time for all of that in one day.  As for driving, I do not see any issues with driving at night from Volcano to Kona.  We have done this drive many times at night.  There are horror stories everywhere and the BI is not immune.  On one trip we heard of some foreign tourists who drove on the wrong side of the road and ended up killing a bunch of people. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 09, 2015, 08:31:30 PM
Not sure you will have time for all of that in one day.  As for driving, I do not see any issues with driving at night from Volcano to Kona.  We have done this drive many times at night.  There are horror stories everywhere and the BI is not immune.  On one trip we heard of some foreign tourists who drove on the wrong side of the road and ended up killing a bunch of people.
Ok, that's reassuring...what should be priorities then? Wish this wasn't so expensive https://www.tombarefoot.com/hawaii-activities/paradise-helicopters/kona-volcano-by-air-and-land/5147
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 09, 2015, 08:32:37 PM
Ok, that's reassuring...what should be priorities then? Wish this wasn't so expensive https://www.tombarefoot.com/hawaii-activities/paradise-helicopters/kona-volcano-by-air-and-land/5147

The owner of Paradise Helicopters is a friend.  PM me if you want info.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 09, 2015, 08:35:07 PM
Seems I made a mistake of booking all 3 nights on the BI at the Fairmont, but what's done is done.
Non-refundable?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 09, 2015, 08:37:56 PM
Non-refundable?
Yup. Did it though amex travel for $100 amex offer credit as my free nights that I got with the intention of using there are worth more sold than the retail price the hotel is asking.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 10, 2015, 05:18:14 AM
Ok, that's reassuring...what should be priorities then? Wish this wasn't so expensive https://www.tombarefoot.com/hawaii-activities/paradise-helicopters/kona-volcano-by-air-and-land/5147

If you want to "do it all," leave the hotel about 2.5 hours before daybreak, so you could see Halemaumau Crater's glow and see it change to its daytime look (outside Jaggar Museum).  Then head to Thurston Lava Tube, do it before the crowds.  Chain of Craters Road down to the Holei Sea Arch, stop to see some of the craters.  Devastation Trail right just as you get back off CoC.  Sulphur Banks hike and Visitors Center on your way out of HVNP.  Head to Kalapana for black sand beach.  On your way back to your hotel, stop by the green sand beach, maybe an hour or so before sunset.  There should still be some natives willing to drive you out, but the beach won't be crowded anymore.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on August 10, 2015, 09:40:15 AM
Seems I made a mistake of booking all 3 nights on the BI at the Fairmont, but what's done is done. If I will make one loooong day trip to volcano national park and it's surroundings, what should my day look like? Interested in seeing black/green sand beaches. Keep in mind safety concerns (are there any?) with inexperienced drivers driving back at night to the other side. Considering a day tour but not sure we want to be on anyone else's schedule.
3 days is not close to enough time to do eve the main attractions on TBI no matter where you stay, so focus on what you want to see and plan for just that.

I stayed at the Fairmont for a week and it was amazing, mind you I got upgraded to an ocean suit and there were tons of whales/turtles every morning but that's no here or there ;).

If you drive to green sand beach you need to be experienced and have a 4 wheal drive car. I think you can go to volcano park and do snorkeling or manatee on the way down or back, and stop at a colored sand beach, probably best to choose one.

As I said though you will not get done the main attractions, so choose what you want to see most and map your route accordingly, you will drive past the same attractions there and the way back so if seeing a volcano glow is the most important go there first and on the way back try and do green/black sand beaches, southern most point, snorkeling/manatee stuff by captain cook.

And then the next day try for Mana Kai, and the final day try Waipio, and waterfalls near Hilo.

Just some thoughts. But in short in 3 days I would say

1 day Volcano (Personally I skipped the park and did other activities I cared about more.) and everyhting in the way down to it, like a stop in Kona, colored sand beaches, southern most point, captain cook water activity, etc.
Day 2 Mana Kai (was closed when I was there)
Day 3 Waipio Valley and waterfalls on the way to Hilo.

The hotel charges to store kosher food FYI and were very not nice about it. We ended up storing our food in our cooler and refilling it from the ice machine.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 10, 2015, 10:33:18 AM


Day 2 Mana Kai (was closed when I was there)


? Is that Mauna Kea?

PS JJ I'm still waiting for a response re: inter island flights :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on August 10, 2015, 10:52:26 AM
? Is that Mauna Kea?

PS JJ I'm still waiting for a response re: inter island flights :)
Yes, sorry for typos didn't sleep last night. I'll do it now.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 10, 2015, 11:01:23 AM
What's there to do by Mauna Kea for a whole day? We were planning to go for sunset/stars.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 10, 2015, 01:06:59 PM
3 days is not close to enough time to do eve the main attractions on TBI no matter where you stay, so focus on what you want to see and plan for just that.

I stayed at the Fairmont for a week and it was amazing, mind you I got upgraded to an ocean suit and there were tons of whales/turtles every morning but that's no here or there ;).

If you drive to green sand beach you need to be experienced and have a 4 wheal drive car. I think you can go to volcano park and do snorkeling or manatee on the way down or back, and stop at a colored sand beach, probably best to choose one.

As I said though you will not get done the main attractions, so choose what you want to see most and map your route accordingly, you will drive past the same attractions there and the way back so if seeing a volcano glow is the most important go there first and on the way back try and do green/black sand beaches, southern most point, snorkeling/manatee stuff by captain cook.

And then the next day try for Mana Kai, and the final day try Waipio, and waterfalls near Hilo.

Just some thoughts. But in short in 3 days I would say

1 day Volcano (Personally I skipped the park and did other activities I cared about more.) and everyhting in the way down to it, like a stop in Kona, colored sand beaches, southern most point, captain cook water activity, etc.
Day 2 Mana Kai (was closed when I was there)
Day 3 Waipio Valley and waterfalls on the way to Hilo.

The hotel charges to store kosher food FYI and were very not nice about it. We ended up storing our food in our cooler and refilling it from the ice machine.
thanks! which colored sand beaches are easily accessible and on the way to VNP without going too much out of the way?  Whats manatee?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on August 10, 2015, 02:00:47 PM
thanks! which colored sand beaches are easily accessible and on the way to VNP without going too much out of the way?  Whats manatee?
All the things I listed are on the way to VNP. Just need to choose the order you wan to do things.

Read the book to decide which beach you want to do.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 10, 2015, 02:03:38 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punalu%27u_Beach

This is a nice beach and you may see turtles.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 11, 2015, 12:17:07 AM
thanks! which colored sand beaches are easily accessible and on the way to VNP without going too much out of the way?  Whats manatee?

I amend my recommendation for a day doing volcano-related stuff:  scratch Kalapana.  PBaruch is right, Punalu'u makes more sense for a black sand beach (although after spending a cumulative month and a half on the BI over the past few years, I've never actually been there) as it's on the way to the Papakolea green sand beach.  IIRC, you have to go through Hilo to get to Kalapana; not worth the time.  I don't know about Punalu'u's accessibility.  Papakolea is definitely not a small detour, but certainly worth it if you can avoid the crowds and the bugs.

Also, if you intend to actually spend time on the east side of the island, there's no way you'll be able to do a Captain Cook water activity (on the west side) on the same day, but definitely do it on another day.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 11, 2015, 12:31:38 AM
I amend my recommendation for a day doing volcano-related stuff:  scratch Kalapana.  PBaruch is right, Punalu'u makes more sense for a black sand beach (although after spending a cumulative month and a half on the BI over the past few years, I've never actually been there) as it's on the way to the Papakolea green sand beach.  IIRC, you have to go through Hilo to get to Kalapana; not worth the time.  I don't know about Punalu'u's accessibility.  Papakolea is definitely not a small detour, but certainly worth it if you can avoid the crowds and the bugs.

Also, if you intend to actually spend time on the east side of the island, there's no way you'll be able to do a Captain Cook water activity (on the west side) on the same day, but definitely do it on another day.
Thanks! I'm ready to give up, this planning is too stressful. The only thing I have planned that I want to do for sure is wild hawaii snorkeling and marine life experience. I was convinced by tripadvisor reviews and pictures. I'm also just going book a tour to volcano national park that stops at black and possibly green sand beach as well. As far as the other 2 things I wanted to do, can't figure out how to time them properly and it's driving me crazy. Either I run straight to waipo from the airport when I land, or I have to leave hotel at crack of dawn one day to get in a 7:45am ATV outfitters tour of waterfalls and then head to waipo (really don't see myself doing that) Or I run to waipo after the snorkeling trip which is slightly risky with time and I would really want to shower/change first. Isn't this supposed to be a vacation??
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2015, 07:28:37 AM
I feel the same way! There is so much I want to do and so little time!

When are you going?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 11, 2015, 03:17:16 PM
I feel the same way! There is so much I want to do and so little time!

When are you going?
2 weeks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2015, 04:20:54 PM
I'll be there August 27-sept 1
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on August 11, 2015, 07:27:44 PM
gonna be there in a little over a week if anyone wants my toaster when i leave, pm me!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 11, 2015, 09:06:37 PM
I'll be there August 27-sept 1
those are my Kauai dates :) will be there the 27th til night
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2015, 09:39:29 PM

those are my Kauai dates :) will be there the 27th til night


Seems we are doing the same trip a week before you. We will be in Kauai from August 23-27 then off to TBI until sept 1

It's way too short but I really wanted to get in both islands and we can't be away for any more time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 11, 2015, 09:41:59 PM

Seems we are doing the same trip a week before you. We will be in Kauai from August 23-27 then off to TBI until sept 1

It's way too short but I really wanted to get in both islands and we can't be away for any more time.
Thinking I should have stuck to Kauai this time and done BI another time, but I'm sure I'll love it when I'm there. Not the Hawaiian vacation on the beach I was thinking of though.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2015, 09:43:43 PM

Thinking I should have stuck to Kauai this time and done BI another time, but I'm sure I'll love it when I'm there. Not the Hawaiian vacation on the beach I was thinking of though.

I've had the exact same thoughts. DH wants to do more relaxing but there are so many things I want to see and do on both islands. I guess we will have to come back again soon ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 11, 2015, 09:46:14 PM
I've had the exact same thoughts. DH wants to do more relaxing but there are so many things I want to see and do on both islands. I guess we will have to come back again soon ;)
DF (friend) of mine wants to be on the go, busy 24 hours. I'm all for adventure but wanna sleep and chill also lol.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2015, 09:51:51 PM
Maybe I'll go with your friend and you can go with my husband :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 19, 2015, 04:54:13 PM
I have both the revealed books in print and Apps loaded onto my phone.
Have read the threads on DD.

Planning a trip from Oct 19 - 29.
Planning Oct 19 - Oct 25 on Kauai
October 25- October 29 on BI Flight leaves 12:30 PM

Staying GH Kauai  I have 4 free nights (on 2 different Hyatt cards) and would book the other 2 nights on C&P if available or flat out UR points.

Question:  How do I book the reservation?  Do I call the manager and ask to combine the 4 free nights onto one reservation or have to book as two different reservations?  I don't have diamond status, is best to hope for just an upgraded room perhaps?  And that is perfectly fine with me.

I will figure out Kauai itinerary..that one is easier.

I have question on the BI part.
I have to check the flights from LIH-HNL-KOA to decide what time I can arrive there...or I can fly into HILO...all depends on what I do.  Once I do I can have JJ book for me or use points. These days, what is the optimum points to use?

A little bit about myself and Hubby.  We are grandparents (50s) in ok shape.  Don't want to do extreme hikes, or falling on lava.
Would do helicopter rides and moderate hikes.    Also I only can have gluten free..so plan on bringing most food..would be curious to know what is available on the islands...will contact the shaliach.

We are certified divers and want to do a 2 tank scuba dive.  Already researched that Big Island Divers is the way to go....BUT, that means no ascending to heights for 24 hours.  So have to plan my itinerary accordingly.

Things of interest to me:
1) Scuba Diving
2) VNP either by Helicopter or driving through with stops within the park
3) Mauna Kea Sunset if open
4) Green sand beach, black sand beach, south point
5) was going to do Waipio on horseback but read it was overrated...did not go to the black sand beach or waterfalls.
Can we do this in a 4x4?
6) Some nice beaches on Kona side

Guess Hilo side is for another time.

Any recommendations?  Appreciate any PMs or postings with advice and suggestions.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on August 19, 2015, 05:23:53 PM
If you break down your questions into shorter posts, make them more specific and number them you are much more likely to get a response
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 19, 2015, 05:38:10 PM
I have both the revealed books in print and Apps loaded onto my phone.
Have read the threads on DD.

Planning a trip from Oct 19 - 29.
Planning Oct 19 - Oct 25 on Kauai
October 25- October 29 on BI Flight leaves 12:30 PM

Staying GH Kauai  I have 4 free nights (on 2 different Hyatt cards) and would book the other 2 nights on C&P if available or flat out UR points.

Question:  How do I book the reservation?  Do I call the manager and ask to combine the 4 free nights onto one reservation or have to book as two different reservations?  I don't have diamond status, is best to hope for just an upgraded room perhaps?  And that is perfectly fine with me.

I will figure out Kauai itinerary..that one is easier.

I have question on the BI part.
I have to check the flights from LIH-HNL-KOA to decide what time I can arrive there...or I can fly into HILO...all depends on what I do.  Once I do I can have JJ book for me or use points. These days, what is the optimum points to use?

A little bit about myself and Hubby.  We are grandparents (50s) in ok shape.  Don't want to do extreme hikes, or falling on lava.
Would do helicopter rides and moderate hikes.    Also I only can have gluten free..so plan on bringing most food..would be curious to know what is available on the islands...will contact the shaliach.

We are certified divers and want to do a 2 tank scuba dive.  Already researched that Big Island Divers is the way to go....BUT, that means no ascending to heights for 24 hours.  So have to plan my itinerary accordingly.

Things of interest to me:
1) Scuba Diving
2) VNP either by Helicopter or driving through with stops within the park
3) Mauna Kea Sunset if open
4) Green sand beach, black sand beach, south point
5) was going to do Waipio on horseback but read it was overrated...did not go to the black sand beach or waterfalls.
Can we do this in a 4x4?
6) Some nice beaches on Kona side

Guess Hilo side is for another time.

Any recommendations?  Appreciate any PMs or postings with advice and suggestions.
Thanks.

1. No idea about scuba diving but you may want to do a dive or snorkel with the Manta Rays out of Kona.

2. VNP drive down the Chain of Craters road is very nice but this is on the Hilo side of the island.  There are some nice hikes along the route, including Kilauea Iki.  Info can be found here:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hike_day_kilaueaiki.htm

You can also do a doors off helicopter tour with Paradise Helicopters (2 videos posted in my TR's of helicopter flights).  You can take the flight from either Kona or Hilo but it will likely be more expensive from Kona and/or you may not get to spend as much time over the volcano if you take it out of Kona.  You might want to combine some beaches and VNP in a day trip if you will be coming from Kona.

3. Last I heard someone posted that Mauna Kea was open.  Dunno what is going on with the protesters at the moment.

4. Not sure what your question is about the beaches.

3.  Waipio is a very worthwhile trip to the beach and to see the taro fields.  I don't believe you can drive to the waterfall but you might be able to hike to it.  You need either a 4x4 to drive to the beach or you can hire someone to take you or take the shuttle.

4. There are some very nice beaches in the Kona area.  The Four Seasons has a great beach that you can go to during the day.  You do not need to be a hotel guest.  There are other nice beaches as well.

I might be able to make some arrangements for private tours depending on your interest and budget.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 20, 2015, 12:27:11 AM
Thank you PBaruch.
I have watched your incredible videos and your baby is delicious.
I am not a fan of night diving so I will pass on the Manta Ray dive even though I heard it is epic.

1) Do you recommend morning helicopter ride or afternoon? 
Right on the money for hikes with Kilauea Iki and Chain of Craters road.

Great idea to combine the beaches with VNP out of Kona.  That way I can see the crater at Jaggers at dark and then drive back to Kona afterwards.

Thanks again.  formulating my itinerary in my head now :)

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 20, 2015, 08:33:19 AM
Thank you PBaruch.
I have watched your incredible videos and your baby is delicious.
I am not a fan of night diving so I will pass on the Manta Ray dive even though I heard it is epic.

1) Do you recommend morning helicopter ride or afternoon? 
Right on the money for hikes with Kilauea Iki and Chain of Craters road.

Great idea to combine the beaches with VNP out of Kona.  That way I can see the crater at Jaggers at dark and then drive back to Kona afterwards.

Thanks again.  formulating my itinerary in my head now :)

If switching hotels doesn't bother you (or you don't mind double-booking a night), I'd do something like this:
day 1: SCUBA (morning I think is best) and beaches
day 2: drive along the north route to East side, stopping to see waterfalls (Akaka, Umauma), then HVNP:  Thurston Lava Tube followed by Jaggar/Halemaumau late afternoon to night, spend night in Hilo area
day 3: helicopter tour (yes you want to do it first thing in the morning), back to HVNP for CoC Rd, check out one or two craters, Holei sea cliff, on the way back, Devastation Trail, then Sulphur Banks.  This is about 2 -3 hours worth of stuff in HVNP, I think.  Then, you take the south route back, stopping at a black sand beach (Punalu'u?), South Point, and then Papakolea (green sand beach) an hour or so before sunset.  I like this time for the green sand beach because there's almost no one at the beach, bugs are gone, but there'll most likely still be someone in the parking lot to drive you out (and back).  Then you continue on back to Kona, and get there at a decent hour.
day 4:  Waipio (if you must, I wasn't super impressed), Mauna Kea, etc.

Or, if you won't be on the BI early enough on day 1 to SCUBA in the morning, do Mauna Kea on day 1, and day 4 you can do SCUBA and Waipio.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 20, 2015, 08:50:46 AM
Thank you PBaruch.
I have watched your incredible videos and your baby is delicious.
I am not a fan of night diving so I will pass on the Manta Ray dive even though I heard it is epic.



Thanks again.  formulating my itinerary in my head now :)


I believe you can dive with manta rays during the day as well
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 20, 2015, 09:39:09 AM

I believe you can dive with manta rays during the day as well

I believe they're night dives, because that's where the manta rays come to feed--at night.  The two main feeding sites are by the Kona Sheraton and the old Kona airport.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 20, 2015, 03:08:16 PM
@mechayamom

I forgot to respond to your question about kosher food.  On the BI, Falafel in Paradise in Kona appears to be open.  It is run by the Chabad Rabbi.  I'm not sure what gluten free options there are.  Information can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/falafelinparadise/info?tab=page_info

You can buy some kosher food at Costco (they have kosher cornish hens and other food) and in several other stores such as Safeway and Island Naturals.  You can also get food from the Chabad Rabbi here:

http://www.kosherinhawaii.com/

I suggest you contact Rabbi Chazanow for more information. 

You certainly won't starve on the BI.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 20, 2015, 11:47:36 PM
Thanks pbaruch. I like your ideas.
Traveling from LIH to KOA on Sunday so won't be there in time for morning dive.
Was planning on driving up the north coast to Mauna Kea for sunset.
Question. I don't mind staying on both parts of the island but what do you do with your luggage all day with it being in the car as you hit up sites.
That's the only thing concerning me.

I would snorkel but once you've dived it is just a tease to me
Gotta start booking some rooms
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 20, 2015, 11:51:22 PM
Thanks pbaruch. I like your ideas.
Traveling from LIH to KOA on Sunday so won't be there in time for morning dive.
Was planning on driving up the north coast to Mauna Kea for sunset.
Question. I don't mind staying on both parts of the island but what do you do with your luggage all day with it being in the car as you hit up sites.
That's the only thing concerning me.

I would snorkel but once you've dived it is just a tease to me
Gotta start booking some rooms

We generally take the important stuff with us.  The rest, since we usually get a minivan, is well hidden in the sto and go compartment and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: uchiknow on August 21, 2015, 12:02:17 AM
Trip Review from TBI: 8/9-8/12

....Continued from Kauai Master Thread

Landed in KOA Sunday morning and did early check-in to the Fairmont. Two nights free thanks to the Visa Signature Fairmont card! Gorgeous hotel....really high class. Grounds spotless, staff at your beck and call. Rental car was from Alamo again through Costco Travel. Jeep Wrangler for 4 days ran $300. Couldn't find a better rate. The Wrangler is a MUST for all the potential off-roading....
Didn't do too much on Sunday after settling in - went to Napoopoo Park for some snorkeling. Tough to find parking - the snorkeling was OK, not great. Drove up the highway to mile marker 89 where we attempted to do the unpaved road to Makalawena beach. Is is NOT for the faint of heart! The road is full of boulders, hazards, potholes,etc.....we made it about halfway and then turned around. We could have continued, but decided it's best to turn around and not miss sunset by A-Beach. We ended up going back to Makalawena on Wednesday using the hiking trail. We drove back to Anaheomalu Beach for sunset which is supposed to be one of the nicest and picturesque spots on the island. It did not disappoint. Very windy though, but the sunset with all the curved palms trees was a great setting for a beach BBQ.
Monday the plan was to check out the Hilo side of the island. It's a long drive from Kohala Coast so if you plan on going to Hilo, make it a full day event. First checked out Anahalui State Park. It's a nice place to eat lunch, with picnic tables, and a natural pool area with underwater lava pipes to make certain warm spots. The tide was high when we went so no hot spots since the cool ocean water kept coming into the pool area. Drove out of the park, made a right at the first intersection and drove along a neat unpaved path past a lighthouse where these huge waves crash against the cliffside. We then checked out Rainbow Falls for a few minutes. Like Spouting Horn in Kauai, it's a nice spot to stop by if you're in the area, but don't go out of your way to see it. Then went to the Botanical Gardens. Nice  flowers, etc....you can do the whole thing in about an hour. Ended the day at KoleKole State Park. Good quiet spot with tables to eat supper. They have stone BBQs set up there you can use (if you bring your own grates and coals). There's a little river with waterfall that people swim in and boogie boarders past the rock wall that ride the waves in.
Tuesday morning we got an early start to the day for kayaking in Kealakeauka Bay. Supposedly the dolphins are most active in the morning. This is TRUE! We got there at about 8 AM and got the kayak out to the bay by 9AM. The dolphins were all over the place, swimming under our kayak, jumping out of the water, etc....was pretty cool. Got the jump out of the kayak into the water to snorkel a bit with the dolphins. Then paddled a little further out to Captain Cook monument where the best snorkeling is supposed to be. There were a TON of fish there and the water was crystal clear. The best snorkeling I had was at that spot. We then checked out the Mountain Thunder Coffee Factory. Sampled some coffee and ended up buying a package of K-Cups and Macadamia Nut Coffee brittle (reallly good!) Several of their products are OU certified! Then went to the Kona marketplace to get some lunch at Falafel in Paradise.....we were very excited to finally have some fresh kosher food! After a half hour of looking for the place, we finally get there.....and it's closed! Apparently there were refrigerator issues and they were not going to open that day or the following day. So we missed out on that. Off to Mauna Kea for sunset! Looong drive on windy roads, up through the clouds into the fog, but it finally breaks open and we are at the visitors center. Sunset was cloudy and nothing to see but we were all hoping it would clear up for stargazing. About an hour later, the skies were clear and was littered with thousands (millions?) of stars. The big dipper seemed to take up half the sky. There was no moon which was good. Was an amazing sight. Checked into the Marriott for our final night. Would not recommend it. Not a great hotel - or maybe we were spoiled spending the prior two nights at the Fairmont.
Our last day, Wednesday, we went to do the Pololu hike near Waipio Valley. Not such a tough hike at and provides really amazing scenery. You hike down to the beach, and then back up. Each way is about 20 minutes or so. The hike back up is not easy, but not too strenuous. Use the restroom at the top before the hike - no facilities down there. Went back to check out of the Marriott. Had several hours to burn before our flight back so we went to explore Kiholo Bay for sunset, hoping to see turtles over there. Was really nice walk along the beach. Passed by the famous Bali house and the yellow house owned by the guy who invented the artificial pacemaker. He was sitting on his porch with his wife. Gave him a wave, he and his wife smiled and waved back. We didn't see any turtles b/c apparently we didn't walk far enough into the bay. Oh well. We had to get back anyway since the park officially closes at 7pm and we did not want to get locked in with our flight at 9:45.
To summarize: Great trip! Thanks to all those on the Dans Deals forum giving prior advice!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 24, 2015, 04:42:28 PM
For those of you stuck on the BI with nothing to do, call Kazamura Caves and perhaps that is an indoor activity you can do.

http://kazumuracave.com/

There is also this to do:

http://www.bigislandhikes.com/kaumana-caves-state-park/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on August 26, 2015, 01:56:45 AM
Have a brand new toaster at Sheraton if anyone wants it. We r leaving the BI tmrw so pm me if u want it so I can tell the front desk to hold it
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 12:49:14 PM
Still trying to build my itinerary for a Sun- Thursday morning trip.  Will be coming in from Kauai.
The important things to me are:
Volcano and scuba diving and some colored sand beaches.  Heli to volcano would be cool. Anything else is a plus.

Key to me is understanding the elevations on the island.
Once I dive in Kona/Kohala, I can't ascend heights for 24 hours.
What sites could I go to within those 24 hours that do not involve heights (like airplane flying heights).
Does the drive down South (Green sand, Road to Sea, and black sand..involve heights?)

Once I understand that I can plan where to stay and how to fit the other activities around the dive.
Thanks so much people.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 27, 2015, 02:14:02 PM
IINM your only problem with heights is Mauna Kea
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 27, 2015, 02:32:58 PM
IINM your only problem with heights is Mauna Kea

How high is the Saddle road? I had issues in Maui with going to 3000 feet upcounty.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 27, 2015, 02:44:16 PM
How high is the Saddle road? I had issues in Maui with going to 3000 feet upcounty.
I'm not sure, but I seem to remember that the saddle road itself is ok.

How high can you go after diving?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 27, 2015, 02:49:52 PM
I'm not sure, but I seem to remember that the saddle road itself is ok.

How high can you go after diving?

Below 3k IIUC.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 27, 2015, 02:52:06 PM
Below 3k IIUC.
Saddle Rd is more than twice that.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 27, 2015, 02:59:31 PM
Below 3k IIUC.
Saddle Rd is more than twice that.
Well it sounds like I was mistaken. I probably lumped saddle Rd with Mauna Kea in my mind back when I was looking into it...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 27, 2015, 04:05:17 PM
Still trying to build my itinerary for a Sun- Thursday morning trip.  Will be coming in from Kauai.
The important things to me are:
Volcano and scuba diving and some colored sand beaches.  Heli to volcano would be cool. Anything else is a plus.

Key to me is understanding the elevations on the island.
Once I dive in Kona/Kohala, I can't ascend heights for 24 hours.
What sites could I go to within those 24 hours that do not involve heights (like airplane flying heights).
Does the drive down South (Green sand, Road to Sea, and black sand..involve heights?)

Once I understand that I can plan where to stay and how to fit the other activities around the dive.
Thanks so much people.
If you have to stay below 3k ft, HVNP is a no-no.  How about Mauna Kea the first day, HVNP and surrounding area the 2nd and 3rd, and SCUBA on Wednesday?  (See my original response...)  Do you have to refrain from going above 3k ft for 24 hrs before your dive as well?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 04:42:28 PM
The only reason I wouldnt dive on Wednesday..(flight is at 12:30PM on Thursday) is I dont want to leave it for the last day, in case weather would cause me to miss it.
That is what happened to me in Puerto Rico. The one day I had they cancelled the dives to the wind conditions.

SSLPhd, there is no requirement to refrain from going to heights prior to the dive only after as you could get the bends from the buildup of nitrogen in your body.

Still trying to figure out if I should fly directly into Hilo and spend 1 night there, so do Sunday and Monday..then drive to Kona Monday night and maybe dive Tuesday AM.  Leave Wednesday to do some other stuff.  Trying to avoid shlepping suitcases with all my stuff from one side to the other.  Maybe do Mauna Kea first night for sunset, drive back to Hilo.  AM heli ride.  Then head over to VNP and do some hikes, drives.  If any time hit up the sand beaches on the way back to Kona.

Is there a midway point to stay at?

Think this is taking shape.  That gives me Tuesday or Wednesday options to dive.
What do you think?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 27, 2015, 04:49:15 PM
Maybe do Mauna Kea first night for sunset, drive back to Hilo.  AM heli ride.  Then head over to VNP and do some hikes, drives.
I did that (minus the heli) and I wished I had stayed in Volcano instead of Hilo.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 27, 2015, 04:52:40 PM
We stayed in Volcano.
Was nice, but it was pretty cold (January time).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 27, 2015, 04:56:32 PM
We stayed in Ocean View, which is about 1:45 from both KOA and ITO, and around an hour from the park.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 27, 2015, 05:00:17 PM
We stayed in Volcano.
Was nice, but it was pretty cold (January time).
I was there in April. It rained almost the entire time.

For me it was really just a place to sleep for the nights. I got in late from Mauna Kea and went out in the am to VNP then had an early flight the next day. Volcano would've been better geographically for me. If mechayamom has a heli flight from ITO then it doesn't really have the advantage it would've been for me...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 27, 2015, 05:21:38 PM
The only reason I wouldnt dive on Wednesday..(flight is at 12:30PM on Thursday) is I dont want to leave it for the last day, in case weather would cause me to miss it.
That is what happened to me in Puerto Rico. The one day I had they cancelled the dives to the wind conditions.

SSLPhd, there is no requirement to refrain from going to heights prior to the dive only after as you could get the bends from the buildup of nitrogen in your body.

Still trying to figure out if I should fly directly into Hilo and spend 1 night there, so do Sunday and Monday..then drive to Kona Monday night and maybe dive Tuesday AM.  Leave Wednesday to do some other stuff.  Trying to avoid shlepping suitcases with all my stuff from one side to the other.  Maybe do Mauna Kea first night for sunset, drive back to Hilo.  AM heli ride.  Then head over to VNP and do some hikes, drives.  If any time hit up the sand beaches on the way back to Kona.

Is there a midway point to stay at?

Think this is taking shape.  That gives me Tuesday or Wednesday options to dive.
What do you think?
I'd never choose Mauna Kea over Halemaumau's changing hues.  Mauna Kea is interesting, possibly beautiful sunsets, but Halemaumau is magical.  Just my personal opinion.
If you could, find out what time it starts to get light out, and aim to be at Jaggar 30-45 minutes prior.  You'll probably be able to get to the Hilo airport for an 8 am(?) helicopter flight.  Do doors off!!  Easiest to stay in Volcano for this plan.  Just be aware that it could get cool there at night, and it rains many nights.

Also, if you SCUBA Tuesday, you'll need to spend the next 24 hrs in the Kona/Kohala area.  Stray too far, and you'll be too high.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 27, 2015, 05:32:55 PM
Also, Ocean View and Na'alehu are midway along the south route, but it's only an hour or hour and a half more to get back to Kona, IIRC.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 05:42:21 PM
Thanks all for your suggestions...DH would not go for doors off.  :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 27, 2015, 05:44:01 PM
Thanks all for your suggestions...DH would not go for doors off.  :)


If my then 8 month old could do it, so could your DH.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 05:44:12 PM
How far is Mauna Kea from the crater?  Maybe after nightfall go to Jagger to see the crater at night...stay in Volcano.  Get up early for the heli...hey...starting not to sound like a vacation anymore.  I tend to try to pack in more than can be done.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 05:44:41 PM
Maybe he is afraid I'll push him out ..LOL  Your baby is yummy
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 05:46:19 PM
Im going to call the dive shops and ask their advice on what sites can be done within the 24 hours..
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 27, 2015, 05:47:04 PM
Im going to call the dive shops and ask their advice on what sites can be done within the 24 hours..

Not sure if I mentioned this, but Jack's is supposed to be the best dive outfit on the BI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 27, 2015, 07:39:46 PM
hey...starting not to sound like a vacation anymore.  I tend to try to pack in more than can be done.
I'm a firm believer in vacations being for making memories, not relaxing.  That's what Shabbos is for.  :-)  And I've always found the Kona side relaxing---so relaxing, it's almost boring.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 27, 2015, 07:50:03 PM
Thanks all for your suggestions...DH would not go for doors off.  :)
The first time I did the doors off, the pilot banked so hard to the right that there was nothing between me and the ground below but my 4-point harness.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 27, 2015, 10:15:18 PM
DH has skydived but not really in the mood of hanging on by his seatbelt.
I'll stick to doors on.

I agree with you vacations are not for relaxation.  Let's see how much I can pack into a day.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: jj1000 on August 28, 2015, 01:04:29 AM
Just depends on the vacation.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 28, 2015, 05:49:30 AM
Just left the BI a few hours ago, was a great few days...just a tip for anyone interested, we got advice from the guys at ATV outfitters (which was a lot of fun btw) to check out Pololu valley lookout/hike to the best black sand beach on the island. There was a short-ish but steep downhill hike to get down to the beach (which means uphill coming back up) but it is absolutely amazing and well worth it. I complained the whole way back up, but saw many senior citizens who were doing it just fine...so I guess I'm a wimp.
Another tip for the adventurous ones...there's a company called Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures, small company which takes you out in an awesome authentic navy seal boat for snorkeling. This is NOT your run of the mill snorkeling trip. They go to areas much farther out and different than the others. We swam with sharks in 3 different locations, and then of course snorkeled by captain cook, it was the most incredible experience. They are fun guys who know their stuff, and I felt safe with them, even though at one point I was swimming amongst 7 silky sharks, close enough to touch! I can't recommend this enough, I'm thinking I need to go back to the BI just to be able to go out with them again. (this was my first time snorkeling btw)
If someone can PM me and explain how I can add pictures easily without being told they're too big I would post some pics of sharks and the Pololu Valley black sand beach.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 28, 2015, 09:03:24 AM
Just left the BI a few hours ago, was a great few days...just a tip for anyone interested, we got advice from the guys at ATV outfitters (which was a lot of fun btw) to check out Pololu valley lookout/hike to the best black sand beach on the island. There was a short-ish but steep downhill hike to get down to the beach (which means uphill coming back up) but it is absolutely amazing and well worth it. I complained the whole way back up, but saw many senior citizens who were doing it just fine...so I guess I'm a wimp.
Another tip for the adventurous ones...there's a company called Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures, small company which takes you out in an awesome authentic navy seal boat for snorkeling. This is NOT your run of the mill snorkeling trip. They go to areas much farther out and different than the others. We swam with sharks in 3 different locations, and then of course snorkeled by captain cook, it was the most incredible experience. They are fun guys who know their stuff, and I felt safe with them, even though at one point I was swimming amongst 7 silky sharks, close enough to touch! I can't recommend this enough, I'm thinking I need to go back to the BI just to be able to go out with them again. (this was my first time snorkeling btw)
If someone can PM me and explain how I can add pictures easily without being told they're too big I would post some pics of sharks and the Pololu Valley black sand beach.

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0

How much was the snorkeling trip?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 28, 2015, 01:23:04 PM
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0

How much was the snorkeling trip?
$160+ tax it's technically a 4 hour trip but usually ends up being closer to 5 hours.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 28, 2015, 02:39:38 PM
There was a huge breakout of lava at Puu Oo, but unfortunately its headed away from the ocean.   :-\

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/lava-flows-from-hawaiis-kilauea-volcano-514817091778

Might be a nice time for a heli flight over the volcano.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on August 30, 2015, 12:06:41 AM
Here goes tentative itinerary..looking for advice on if I should stay in Kona for 2 days and midway (volcano) 2 days.  Or rent a condo in Kona and spend 1 night in Volcano.

Sunday - Travel in from Kauai, spend the day, settling in, shopping then head over to Mauna Kea for sunset  If time, go to Polulu Lookout and hike to the beach before Mauna Kea.  Return to Kona
Monday - AM 2 tank dive, spend the afternoon exploring the different beaches, maybe coffee tour, and sunset on A-bay
Tuesday - Head to Volcano, stop at black sand beach, green sand beach, VNP stay until nightfall to see Jagger museum of the crater at night.  Sleep in Volcano/or somewhere around there.
Wednesday - morning heli ride out of Hilo, rest of day in either VNP if more to be done, or head back to Kona via Hilo side.
Flight out of Kona is Thursday at 12:30.

How far is the trip from Volcano to the airport?  Is it better to spend 2 nights in volcano and drive back in the AM to Kona for the flight..or head to Kona on Wednesday night to be closer to the airport?

Any comments, suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on August 30, 2015, 12:28:07 AM


How far is the trip from Volcano to the airport?  Is it better to spend 2 nights in volcano and drive back in the AM to Kona for the flight..or head to Kona on Wednesday night to be closer to the airport?


its abt a 2.5 hr drive from Hilo side to Kona I believe
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 30, 2015, 02:18:13 AM

There was a huge breakout of lava at Puu Oo, but unfortunately its headed away from the ocean.   :-\

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/lava-flows-from-hawaiis-kilauea-volcano-514817091778

Might be a nice time for a heli flight over the volcano.

Any way to get close to it? We will be at VNP tomorrow.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 30, 2015, 02:31:26 AM
Any way to get close to it? We will be at VNP tomorrow.

You can technically hike over to Puu Oo but you'd have to be a bit meshuga. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 30, 2015, 02:49:54 AM
Here goes tentative itinerary..looking for advice on if I should stay in Kona for 2 days and midway (volcano) 2 days.  Or rent a condo in Kona and spend 1 night in Volcano.

Sunday - Travel in from Kauai, spend the day, settling in, shopping then head over to Mauna Kea for sunset  If time, go to Polulu Lookout and hike to the beach before Mauna Kea.  Return to Kona
Monday - AM 2 tank dive, spend the afternoon exploring the different beaches, maybe coffee tour, and sunset on A-bay
Tuesday - Head to Volcano, stop at black sand beach, green sand beach, VNP stay until nightfall to see Jagger museum of the crater at night.  Sleep in Volcano/or somewhere around there.
Wednesday - morning heli ride out of Hilo, rest of day in either VNP if more to be done, or head back to Kona via Hilo side.
Flight out of Kona is Thursday at 12:30.

How far is the trip from Volcano to the airport?  Is it better to spend 2 nights in volcano and drive back in the AM to Kona for the flight..or head to Kona on Wednesday night to be closer to the airport?

Any comments, suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
Some thoughts:

Regarding Mauna Kea, do you know how your body reacts to high altitude?  The more time you set aside to acclimate, the better off you'll be.  You need to figure HOURS to get to the summit.  Stop by the Visitor Center on the way down to look through the telescopes.

Depending on how long you stay at the beaches, you may still have time to hit all the other main attractions at HVNP (Do just a few (5?) miles of CoC Rd, stopping at pullouts, if short on time, plus Nahuku and the beginning of Devastation Trail.  These give you a nice feel for the place and shouldn't take more than 2 hours all told.) before heading to Jaggar.  For Tuesday night, stay at a hotel in Hilo near the airport.  Staying in Volcano just doesn't make sense in your case.

Wednesday, after your helicopter ride, I assume you mean drive back to Kona airport via the North route.  Definitely head back Wednesday, so that you can take your time.  This is where you can go to the botanic garden, waterfalls, fruit stand, etc.  There is a nice fruit stand near Akaka Falls that is open every day, I believe.  Just remember that you should only buy what you can finish eating before you leave, as you can't take most produce back.  If you have time and interest, you can drive to the Waipio overlook.

If for some reason you don't dive on Monday, you'll still be locked into your heli flight Wednesday if you book ahead, and you should.  Bear that in mind.  How long is a two-tank dive?  What time is the earliest you'll be able to fly if you need to postpone your dive a day?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 30, 2015, 02:54:38 AM
Any way to get close to it? We will be at VNP tomorrow.
Take a helicopter tour.  They'll have a birds eye view, and will be more easily able to identify breakouts.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on September 02, 2015, 01:12:06 AM
Falafel in Paradise is open! Really good food, and the chef is great. Highly recommend!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 02, 2015, 07:28:43 AM
So rethinking order of itinerary. Thinks this makes more sense. Lemme know what you think

SUN fly from Kauai to Hilo. Rent car and drop stuff at place to stay around Hilo.
Drive towards VNP and stop at green sand beach. Black sand beach. Spend day at VNP. Short hikes. cOC road until nighttime where we can see the crater from Jagger

Sleep in Hilo
Mon AM helicopter ride. Then either more VNP if we want or explore HIlo and drive northern portion back to KOA. Stopping at various sites
Check into KOA

Tues am scuba. Afternoon exploring beaches in kona/kohala. Maybe coffee plantation

Wed depends on how much we did the other days. Either go down to south point or head to waipio maybe horseback ride. Head to Mauna Kea in afternoon to acclimate and get ready for sunset
Return to KOA

Thursday. Flights is 12:45. What's a short thing to do?

Found renting a vehicle in ITO and returning to KOA is 150 cheaper than renting and returning to KOA
Thx


Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on September 05, 2015, 09:42:04 PM
So rethinking order of itinerary. Thinks this makes more sense. Lemme know what you think

SUN fly from Kauai to Hilo. Rent car and drop stuff at place to stay around Hilo.
Drive towards VNP and stop at green sand beach. Black sand beach. Spend day at VNP. Short hikes. cOC road until nighttime where we can see the crater from Jagger

Sleep in Hilo
Mon AM helicopter ride. Then either more VNP if we want or explore HIlo and drive northern portion back to KOA. Stopping at various sites
Check into KOA

Tues am scuba. Afternoon exploring beaches in kona/kohala. Maybe coffee plantation

Wed depends on how much we did the other days. Either go down to south point or head to waipio maybe horseback ride. Head to Mauna Kea in afternoon to acclimate and get ready for sunset
Return to KOA

Thursday. Flights is 12:45. What's a short thing to do?

Found renting a vehicle in ITO and returning to KOA is 150 cheaper than renting and returning to KOA
Thx
Overall, this looks OK, but you're going to miss Mauna Kea if you need to push off your dive.

South Point and the green sand beach are right near each other, and they're halfway along the south route to Kona, not between Hilo and HVNP.

Two things regarding Mauna Kea:  some rental car companies won't allow you to drive up to the summit.  If they don't allow it, you can risk it, or rent from Harpers.  Also, Visitor Center to stargaze is great on your way down (they have telescopes set up), but it's dark, so you may find it helpful to have a headlamp with a red light, as white light (including camera flashes) is disruptive to people looking at the stars.

If you're into astronomy, and have some extra time in Hilo, the Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo may be interesting.  They have some exhibits and planetarium shows.

For Thursday morning:  hotel pool, beaches for turtle watching (there are some not far from the airport), shop for souvenirs, pick up food for the way back, coffee farm.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 06, 2015, 11:09:06 PM
Overall, this looks OK, but you're going to miss Mauna Kea if you need to push off your dive.

South Point and the green sand beach are right near each other, and they're halfway along the south route to Kona, not between Hilo and HVNP.

Two things regarding Mauna Kea:  some rental car companies won't allow you to drive up to the summit.  If they don't allow it, you can risk it, or rent from Harpers.  Also, Visitor Center to stargaze is great on your way down (they have telescopes set up), but it's dark, so you may find it helpful to have a headlamp with a red light, as white light (including camera flashes) is disruptive to people looking at the stars.

If you're into astronomy, and have some extra time in Hilo, the Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo may be interesting.  They have some exhibits and planetarium shows.

For Thursday morning:  hotel pool, beaches for turtle watching (there are some not far from the airport), shop for souvenirs, pick up food for the way back, coffee farm.

I was going to ask about the rental car companies.  It seems Harpers is the only one that allows the trek up to the summit. 
Would you risk a Wrangler from Alamo to go to the summit?  Should I even do the summit, or the sunset is fine from the visitor center?

Any suggestions for a place in Hilo.  Most look so sketchy.
Thanks guys. 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on September 06, 2015, 11:09:36 PM
Drove a Mustang from Avis to the summit without issue.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on September 07, 2015, 07:34:42 PM
I was going to ask about the rental car companies.  It seems Harpers is the only one that allows the trek up to the summit. 
Would you risk a Wrangler from Alamo to go to the summit?  Should I even do the summit, or the sunset is fine from the visitor center?

Any suggestions for a place in Hilo.  Most look so sketchy.
Thanks guys.
We were once driving a Jeep uphill in the Kahuku unit of HVNP (open only on weekends), when we got a HOT OIL warning.  We stopped so as to avoid a repeat of our last serious Jeep incident.  To answer your question, NO, I personally would not risk it in a Jeep.

I'm not sure if you can actually see sunset from the Visitor Center.  You'd have to find out about that.

Regarding where to stay in Hilo, we've never spent the night there, but you can check the Hawaii Revealed website.  They should have reviews.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 07, 2015, 11:34:52 PM
Pray tell what was the other serious incident with the jeep?
Is there anybody who would drive me up from the visitor center and be able to get a tour of the telescopes?  Keck is open until 4 but would not want to stay at that altitude until sunset.
Subaru telescope has tours but only till 1:30
Deciding not to stay in Hilo. Read revealed books so many times. Lots of warnings about thievery around there
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 09, 2015, 03:08:55 PM
How do you use Blue Hawaiian Gift cards from Costco to pay for helicopter rides?
When you book online, it asks for your credit card number.

Would like to book the trip before I arrive to guarantee it.
Are the Blue Hawaiian gift cards only sold in Costco in Hawaii?  Didnt see them online.

Also any recommendations for Blue Hawaiian vs. Paradise out of Hilo for the Volcano and waterfall tour?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on September 09, 2015, 05:05:25 PM
How do you use Blue Hawaiian Gift cards from Costco to pay for helicopter rides?
When you book online, it asks for your credit card number.

Would like to book the trip before I arrive to guarantee it.
Are the Blue Hawaiian gift cards only sold in Costco in Hawaii?  Didnt see them online.

Also any recommendations for Blue Hawaiian vs. Paradise out of Hilo for the Volcano and waterfall tour?
as far as I understood, for BH GCs you need to to it all there, and at that point you wouldn't get the advanced purchase fare, which makes the discount not as great...but I could be wrong
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on September 09, 2015, 05:34:09 PM
How do you use Blue Hawaiian Gift cards from Costco to pay for helicopter rides?
When you book online, it asks for your credit card number.

Would like to book the trip before I arrive to guarantee it.
Are the Blue Hawaiian gift cards only sold in Costco in Hawaii?  Didnt see them online.


Did it a few weeks ago. You need to buy the GC's at costco and call Blue Hawaiian to make a reservation. They only sell discounted gc's at costco as far as im aware. They will put your CC on hold until you get to the register and pay with the GC's. You don't get the online discount, you only get the discounted rate you buy the gc's for which is $100 gc for $80. A way better price than the online deal IMHO

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on September 09, 2015, 06:06:49 PM
Did it a few weeks ago. You need to buy the GC's at costco and call Blue Hawaiian to make a reservation. They only sell discounted gc's at costco as far as im aware. They will put your CC on hold until you get to the register and pay with the GC's. You don't get the online discount, you only get the discounted rate you buy the gc's for which is $100 gc for $80. A way better price than the online deal IMHO
Not WAY better by any means...for kauai the online price is $210.65  regular price is $239.38  if you buy 2x$100 you save $40 as opposed to $28.73 difference of $11.27 if it makes sense with the amount of pax and you manage to get the full 20% off its $191.50  which is a savings of  $19.15. Yes it's a savings, but nothing crazy.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on September 09, 2015, 06:22:48 PM
Not WAY better by any means...for kauai the online price is $210.65  regular price is $239.38  if you buy 2x$100 you save $40 as opposed to $28.73 difference of $11.27 if it makes sense with the amount of pax and you manage to get the full 20% off its $191.50  which is a savings of  $19.15. Yes it's a savings, but nothing crazy.

IMHE paying $400 for $500 of gc's is better than paying $25 extra online with their online savings. Besides for us we did the Kohala Coast Adventure and we booked the A Star which is cheaper anyway but since all the A Stars were out we flew on an Eco Star which they charge more for, at a significant discount (AKA the A Star price w/ our already discounted gc's) 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on September 09, 2015, 06:24:50 PM
I've been able to use the GCs with the day of flight last minute discount.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on September 09, 2015, 06:57:13 PM
I've been able to use the GCs with the day of flight last minute discount.
they were sold out the day i went...its all about when you go
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on September 09, 2015, 07:01:41 PM
How do you use Blue Hawaiian Gift cards from Costco to pay for helicopter rides?
When you book online, it asks for your credit card number.

Would like to book the trip before I arrive to guarantee it.
Are the Blue Hawaiian gift cards only sold in Costco in Hawaii?  Didnt see them online.

Also any recommendations for Blue Hawaiian vs. Paradise out of Hilo for the Volcano and waterfall tour?
if not doing a doors off tour, take them seriously and wear dark solid clothing...on top and bottom. I never was told this warning, but had i done my HW (was never good at that) its out there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 10, 2015, 02:24:19 AM
Thanks people. Since the helicopter is going to be my focal point I want to make sure I reserve in advance. So guess I will book online with the discount instead of gift cards. The week before I go is the ironman. Could be lots of people are staying after.

When quoting a jeep price on big island for 4 days. Was getting 600-1500. Insanity.
From ITO to KOA. So decided a way around was book the one day from ITO to KOA. That was 66. And then switch cars in KOA for the remaining 3 days. Came out to like 350.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 23, 2015, 11:38:53 PM
Just an FYI.  If you go to multiple islands and book helicopters on both Blue Hawaiian provides a 17% discount...it is better than their online price for each individual flight
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on September 24, 2015, 12:15:27 PM

Just an FYI.  If you go to multiple islands and book helicopters on both Blue Hawaiian provides a 17% discount...it is better than their online price for each individual flight

I'll have to keep that in mind for next time! DH and I can't decide which island to go back to, so we will do at least two on our next trip ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mechayamom on September 27, 2015, 03:22:00 AM
Waiting with anticipation your trip report
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on September 27, 2015, 09:35:18 AM
After YT ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 10:28:46 AM
In November / December, what is the tznius situation in Hawaii?  Are people for the most part dressed, or is the whole island the equivalent of being at the beach?  Any particular island better or worse if this is a concern?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Marco Polo on October 21, 2015, 10:30:34 AM
In November / December, what is the tznius situation in Hawaii?  Are people for the most part dressed, or is the whole island the equivalent of being at the beach?  Any particular island better or worse if this is a concern?
I think if going to Hawaii, you should expect it to be like the beach all the time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 10:36:55 AM
That's what I needed to know.
Thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 21, 2015, 11:05:28 AM
I think if going to Hawaii, you should expect it to be like the beach all the time.

-1

My experience on five Hawaiian islands has shown me that there are more tznius issues on a single NYC subway car than on an entire island. People are dressed normally, overall. Of course the beaches and swimming holes will have obvious issues, but there are enough places one could find semi-or even complete privacy.

There is an entire thread discussing this as well (search - I'm on Tapatalk so I can't link properly).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Marco Polo on October 21, 2015, 11:06:23 AM
-1

My experience on five Hawaiian islands has shown me that there are more tznius issues on a single NYC subway car than on an entire island. People are dressed normally, overall. Of course the beaches and swimming holes will have obvious issues, but there are enough places one could find semi-or even complete privacy.

There is an entire thread discussing this as well.
Not denying you can't find secluded places, but overall, Hawaii is a tropical destination where most people are not dressed in suits.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 11:18:24 AM
I thought it might be better in the winter... there's warm weather wear, and then there's beach wear... being the latter, I will look for another destination :(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 21, 2015, 11:21:01 AM
Not denying you can't find secluded places, but overall, Hawaii is a tropical destination where most people are not dressed in suits.

Not suits, but it doesn't "look like a beach all the time".
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on October 21, 2015, 11:52:50 AM

I thought it might be better in the winter... there's warm weather wear, and then there's beach wear... being the latter, I will look for another destination :(

We went in the summer and did not find people in beach wear other than at the beach. Especially on TBI there is so much to do without going near the beaches, we had no tznius problems

Agree with SF that a NYC subway in the summer presents more tznius problems than we came across. Note that Ali'i starts out by the beach and people will be dressed accordingly.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on October 21, 2015, 11:53:33 AM

Not denying you can't find secluded places, but overall, Hawaii is a tropical destination where most people are not dressed in suits.


Agreed no one wears suits but most people were dressed normally
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on October 21, 2015, 11:54:14 AM
Just wear really dark sunglasses  :P
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 12:12:44 PM
-1

My experience on five Hawaiian islands has shown me that there are more tznius issues on a single NYC subway car than on an entire island. People are dressed normally, overall. Of course the beaches and swimming holes will have obvious issues, but there are enough places one could find semi-or even complete privacy.

There is an entire thread discussing this as well (search - I'm on Tapatalk so I can't link properly).

Ok I missed this post entirely.  I'm having a hard time finding the thread you are referring to; can you give me a few keywords that you remember?  I'm not looking for people dressed for the winter, just moderate decency.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 12:13:20 PM
We went in the summer and did not find people in beach wear other than at the beach. Especially on TBI there is so much to do without going near the beaches, we had no tznius problems

Agree with SF that a NYC subway in the summer presents more tznius problems than we came across. Note that Ali'i starts out by the beach and people will be dressed accordingly.

Ali'i?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on October 21, 2015, 12:24:11 PM
Ok I missed this post entirely.  I'm having a hard time finding the thread you are referring to; can you give me a few keywords that you remember?  I'm not looking for people dressed for the winter, just moderate decency.

Found it - http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=49076.0
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 21, 2015, 12:26:28 PM
Found it - http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=49076.0

Thanks!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on October 21, 2015, 12:46:20 PM

Ali'i?

Sorry, meant to write Ali'i Drive, where there are a lot of popular shops and falafel in paradise is right there too
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 21, 2015, 12:49:48 PM
Never seen beach wear at the top of MK or in VNP. At beaches, pools, and resorts expect beach wear. Everywhere else, expect warm weather dress.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: keepsmiling123 on October 22, 2015, 03:11:58 PM
In November / December, what is the tznius situation in Hawaii?  Are people for the most part dressed, or is the whole island the equivalent of being at the beach?  Any particular island better or worse if this is a concern?

My wife and I went in the summer and the tznius issue was not bad
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 22, 2015, 03:30:27 PM
It's no worse than MIA.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yos9694 on October 22, 2015, 03:31:54 PM
It's no worse than MIA.

Az vos
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 22, 2015, 03:32:39 PM
If you'd go to MIA then go to HI.
If not, then don't.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: normathej on October 22, 2015, 03:35:14 PM
How to find out about minyanim in HI, if there are any?
That MIA has in abundance...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on October 22, 2015, 03:37:53 PM
Please read the articles in the Wiki (and continue discussion) here:
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=2098
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 10, 2016, 02:01:29 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-dengue-idUSKCN0VI0G2
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on February 10, 2016, 07:16:02 AM

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-dengue-idUSKCN0VI0G2

Wow. Anyone here changing their plans?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 29, 2016, 01:21:43 PM
I heard falafel in paradise moved. Anyone been there recently?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 30, 2016, 02:57:07 PM
Chabad on the BI is in dire financial straights, they do amazing work, please help if you can!
http://jewishbigisland.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=55230975dda471f18d0a6d0e6&id=9152c0c17a&e=62dba93fb0


Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 26, 2016, 06:46:37 PM
We have a lava ocean entry as of today!

I've been working on arranging photography workshop over the last few weeks, I hope to have all the details hammered out this week.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Ergel on July 27, 2016, 12:31:53 AM
How long does this typically last?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on July 27, 2016, 12:37:38 AM
typically
I'm pretty sure there's no such thing.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 27, 2016, 01:27:56 AM
How long does this typically last?

Average has been around 3 months in the recent past.

I'm pretty sure there's no such thing.

True, but the last few have been a couple of months. Here's hoping.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 27, 2016, 09:15:33 AM
Can I drive a Chevy Tahoe down to Waipio and up Mauna Kea (excuse my car ignorance). We currently have 2 jeeps on hold but I'm afraid we won't fit with all of our luggage and thinking about the Tahoe.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 27, 2016, 09:28:47 AM
Can I drive a Chevy Tahoe down to Waipio and up Mauna Kea (excuse my car ignorance). We currently have 2 jeeps on hold but I'm afraid we won't fit with all of our luggage and thinking about the Tahoe.

MK is definitely no problem, but I believe Waipio is (SCMIIW).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 27, 2016, 12:57:28 PM
Can I drive a Chevy Tahoe down to Waipio and up Mauna Kea (excuse my car ignorance). We currently have 2 jeeps on hold but I'm afraid we won't fit with all of our luggage and thinking about the Tahoe.

I am not sure how off road capable a Tahoe is but the main issue with Wapio is having 4wd low range.  I saw Jeep Renegades driving the road to Waipio so maybe a Tahoe can make it to the beach.  However, you will most certainly not be able to drive all over Waipio and cross rivers in a Tahoe.  You need a raised 4wd vehicle to do that.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 27, 2016, 12:59:16 PM
Having low 4 is critical on TBI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on July 28, 2016, 01:28:09 AM
We have a lava ocean entry as of today!

I've been working on arranging photography workshop over the last few weeks, I hope to have all the details hammered out this week.
Where is it on Google maps?
How close can I get with a rental car?
What about with a Jeep?

I'd love to go over while I'm here!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 28, 2016, 02:12:15 AM
Where is it on Google maps?
How close can I get with a rental car?
What about with a Jeep?

I'd love to go over while I'm here!

8-10 mile hike.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 28, 2016, 08:04:31 AM
Heli tours get to see it?

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on July 28, 2016, 09:06:33 AM
Heli tours get to see it?

Yup
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 28, 2016, 10:51:21 PM
Thanks SF. Well that's settled then. If it's still flowing when we go, we do a heli tour :)

Has anyone done the Atlantis submarine? Wondering if it's worthwhile.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on July 31, 2016, 05:44:10 AM
Of the Manta Ray snorkel trips, which company is best?
What about Captain Cook, can you just rent gear?

Is it possible to get it for cheap? (Last minute etc.)

Thanks!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sedge on July 31, 2016, 08:50:18 AM
We're going for a week over Thanksgiving. Thank you to this thread.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 31, 2016, 09:58:26 AM
Of the Manta Ray snorkel trips, which company is best?
What about Captain Cook, can you just rent gear?

Is it possible to get it for cheap? (Last minute etc.)

Thanks!

1.  I can't say which company is best for a Manta Ray snorkel trip but we went with this one and were very happy:

          https://www.fair-wind.com/

2.  For Capt Cook, it is possible to hike out there on your own and enter the water from land (although I was told that is illegal to do so), but it is a difficult hike.  There are places you can rent snorkel gear if that is what you plan on doing.

3.  I am not aware of last minute deals for the Fair Wind but they do offer a discount if you book two tours with them.  If you book the Capt Cook trip you will get a discount for the Manta Ray trip.  Their tours do fill up so if you want a particular date/time I would not recommend waiting until the last minute.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 31, 2016, 09:40:02 PM
Looking at boat tours to see lava, pricing $150-200 for most. Anyone know of anything cheaper $100 range?

Is it possible to hike to see the current lava flow without a guided tour? Any info would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 31, 2016, 10:23:58 PM
Looking at boat tours to see lava, pricing $150-200 for most. Anyone know of anything cheaper $100 range?

Is it possible to hike to see the current lava flow without a guided tour? Any info would be appreciated.

1. No.

2. Yes- just follow the yellow brick road.

https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm

However, the guys at Kalapana Cultural Tours can drive you most of the way on one of their gators which will significantly cut down on the length of your hike.

http://www.kalapanaculturaltours.com/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on August 01, 2016, 02:30:14 AM


Of the Manta Ray snorkel trips, which company is best?


The BI revealed book has some very good recommendations including a manta ray scuba night trip by the Sheraton which sounds amazing
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 01, 2016, 02:38:35 AM
1. No.

2. Yes- just follow the yellow brick road.

https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm

However, the guys at Kalapana Cultural Tours can drive you most of the way on one of their gators which will significantly cut down on the length of your hike.

http://www.kalapanaculturaltours.com/

What do they charge for the Gator drive?

You can also rent a bike from http://kaimurentals.com/ (http://kaimurentals.com/) for $10/hr, so you only need to walk 1 mile to the lava. (there is a 3 mile dirt road before the park gate)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 01, 2016, 07:43:41 AM
What do they charge for the Gator drive?

You can also rent a bike from http://kaimurentals.com/ (http://kaimurentals.com/) for $10/hr, so you only need to walk 1 mile to the lava. (there is a 3 mile dirt road before the park gate)

Sounds like an intriguing idea, but where pray tell are you supposed to leave the bike?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 01, 2016, 07:44:47 AM
Sounds like an intriguing idea, but where pray tell are you supposed to leave the bike?
They give you a lock, and they say you tie it to the gate at the park entrance.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 01, 2016, 07:45:55 AM
They give you a lock, and they say you tie it to the gate at the park entrance.

Wow, sounds great then. Will definitely look into that option now.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 01, 2016, 07:47:41 AM
Wow, sounds great then. Will definitely look into that option now.
There are 1000's of visitors daily now, so I'd call them to see what the deal really is, and how far in advance they are booked.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 01, 2016, 07:48:42 AM
There are 1000's of visitors daily now, so I'd call them to see what the deal really is, and how far in advance they are booked.

Absolutely.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 02, 2016, 09:33:35 AM
http://www.foxla.com/news/184171470-story Who knew volcanos had faces?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 02, 2016, 01:21:36 PM
http://www.foxla.com/news/184171470-story Who knew volcanos had faces?

Saw that last night. L❤️ve it!!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 02, 2016, 03:49:25 PM

If my then 8 month old could do it, so could your DH.   :)
Did you have to pay for your child?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 02, 2016, 05:04:57 PM
If you are referring to the heli flights, I always book a private charter.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 02, 2016, 05:07:20 PM
If you are referring to the heli flights, I always book a private charter.
Oh. Is it cheaper for a large group or did you do it because you know a guy?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on August 02, 2016, 05:08:39 PM
Oh. Is it cheaper for a large group or did you do it because you know a guy?
Both
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 02, 2016, 05:15:49 PM
Oh. Is it cheaper for a large group or did you do it because you know a guy?

I'm friends with the owner of Paradise Helicopters. He is joining us in Kauai in January. He's a very special and fine person.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 02, 2016, 05:42:09 PM
I'm friends with the owner of Paradise Helicopters. He is joining us in Kauai in January. He's a very special and fine person.
Does he offer discounts for DDF friends of yours?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 02, 2016, 05:59:53 PM
Lol
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 02, 2016, 09:49:52 PM
Any advice for those who aren't going to summit of Mauna Kea for sunset, anything to do nearby? Don't want to wait that long at visitors center but we all want to be there for stargazing after dark
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 03, 2016, 08:16:47 PM
Do the different versions of the Hawaii revealed books make such a difference. I want to know if I need to buy the most updated one...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 03, 2016, 08:22:37 PM
Any advice for those who aren't going to summit of Mauna Kea for sunset, anything to do nearby? Don't want to wait that long at visitors center but we all want to be there for stargazing after dark
Why not go to the summit?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 03, 2016, 08:24:03 PM
Why not go to the summit?
Traveling with kids.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on August 04, 2016, 01:34:40 AM
Traveling with kids.
So?

The stargazing at the visitor center is really boring ime

If you insist on doing it take along some instant noodle soup, it get really cold up there
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 04, 2016, 01:38:44 AM
Just acclimate the kids before driving to the summit.
Amazing sunset from up there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 04, 2016, 07:55:13 AM
Kids from 2-12, anyone take young kids all the way up? I was going to send my two older ones and stay back with little ones.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 04, 2016, 10:40:12 AM
From what I read  (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/visiting-the-summit.html)I was under the impression kinds under 16 shouldn't go up.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sedge on August 04, 2016, 11:04:18 AM
My wife and I are going in November for 7 days with our 3 and 6 year-old children. Staying at  Hilton Waikoloa.

Is a heli the best way to see volcanos/lava?

Would also like to see green/black sand beaches, waterfalls, coffee or chocolate plantatians and charter a snorkeling and fishing trip.

Any suggestions on TBI would be great.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 04, 2016, 11:32:29 AM
My wife and I are going in November for 7 days with our 3 and 6 year-old children. Staying at  Hilton Waikoloa.

Is a heli the best way to see volcanos/lava?

Would also like to see green/black sand beaches, waterfalls, coffee or chocolate plantatians and charter a snorkeling and fishing trip.

Any suggestions on TBI would be great.

With small kids Heli is the best way to see lava ASAIK.
Get the book. Read this thread. Come back with more specific questions.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 09, 2016, 09:41:00 AM
Looking for comments/advice on our itinerary, any would be appreciated! Thanks. Staying in Captain Cook area, about 40 minutes South of Kona. We are a total of 10 people, from 2-62 years old. Planning to be up early every day, and we only go to beaches when noone is around.

Thursday - arrive and settle in for our 2 days shabbos (de'oraisa only on Friday)

Sunday:
Punalu'u Beach (if we can get out early enough to get there when noone is there yet)
VNP
Kaumauna Caves (if time)
Mauna Kea Sunset and Stars

Monday
Heli Tour (those who aren't going will go to Hilo Zoo)
Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots
Red Road Puna

Tuesday
Makalewena Beach
Waipi'o Valley (drive down)
Cave # 3
Coffee Farm Tour in Kona area (any suggestions?)

Wednesday
Snorkel Kealakekua Bay area
Pu'uhonua Honaunau
Pack up :( check out is at 11:00
Ali'i Drive, Kamakana Playground
Rent hotel room for showers and freshening up before 8:45 flight home
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 09:50:31 AM
Sunday schedule is ridiculous, you need at least two days to do that. VNP needs most of the day, plus you want to go to the Jaggar Museum overlook after dark. Mauna Kea is also hours and hours. And all that before considering the hours of driving from the Kona side to the Hilo side and back.

You should consider Honomalino Bay BTW, it's quite close to where you're staying. Lovely beach, other worldly snorkeling, and you'll most likely have the entire place to yourself. Note that it's a 20-minute hike from the parking area, but very easy.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 09, 2016, 09:53:04 AM
Sunday schedule is ridiculous, you need at least two days to do that. VNP needs most of the day, plus you want to go to the Jaggar Museum overlook after dark. Mauna Kea is also hours and hours. And all that before considering the hours of driving from the Kona side to the Hilo side and back.

You should consider Honomalino Bay BTW, it's quite close to where you're staying. Lovely beach, other worldly snorkeling, and you'll most likely have the entire place to yourself. Note that it's a 20-minute hike from the parking area, but very easy.
Technically u can do jaggar early morning, no?
While its still dark. As per TR I'm reading, so I don't really know
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 09:57:07 AM
Technically u can do jaggar early morning, no?
While its still dark. As per TR I'm reading, so I don't really know

I suppose it could be done before sunrise, but that'll turn out to be a 20-hour day. With ten people, that sounds like a fun day...

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/6a/48/b0/6a48b08b12a1aec12bfeeddb7f2e21f5.jpg)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 09, 2016, 10:06:58 AM
Sunday schedule is ridiculous, you need at least two days to do that. VNP needs most of the day, plus you want to go to the Jaggar Museum overlook after dark. Mauna Kea is also hours and hours. And all that before considering the hours of driving from the Kona side to the Hilo side and back.

You should consider Honomalino Bay BTW, it's quite close to where you're staying. Lovely beach, other worldly snorkeling, and you'll most likely have the entire place to yourself. Note that it's a 20-minute hike from the parking area, but very easy.

We've done VNP as a couple, and I don't think my kids will have patience to spend more than 2-3 hours there tops. We will be iyH seeing lava from heli so we aren't planning on staying after dark.
I'm going to check out Honomalino Bay, maybe Wednesday morning.

Do you know how the hike is to Makalawena? Should we do Honomalino instead?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 10:17:32 AM
We've done VNP as a couple, and I don't think my kids will have patience to spend more than 2-3 hours there tops. We will be iyH seeing lava from heli so we aren't planning on staying after dark.

I'll go out on a limb here and say that the heli is not a replacement to seeing Halemaumau crater and the plume at night.

Do you know how the hike is to Makalawena? Should we do Honomalino instead?

I've never done Makalawena so I can't compare, but Honomalino is just... incredible.


Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 09, 2016, 10:56:21 AM
I'll go out on a limb here and say that the heli is not a replacement to seeing Halemaumau crater and the plume at night.

I've never done Makalawena so I can't compare, but Honomalino is just... incredible.


I agree that it's not a replacement, but I don't think my kids will be able to spend so much time at VNP. Anyone have any recent pics of the crater at night I can show my kids to try to convince them? I can probably do Mauna Kea the next night.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 11:02:04 AM
I agree that it's not a replacement, but I don't think my kids will be able to spend so much time at VNP. Anyone have any pics of the crater at night I can show my kids to try to convince them? I can probably do Mauna Kea the next night.

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8525/8536183506_57f7c985fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/e1jaXG)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 09, 2016, 11:10:52 AM
(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8525/8536183506_57f7c985fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/e1jaXG)

Does it generally look like that, or does it depend on the timing?

Awesome pic!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 11:15:26 AM
Thanks.

Always looks like than, unless the skies are clear. Then you see a billion stars too...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 09, 2016, 11:22:41 AM
Thanks.

Always looks like than, unless the skies are clear. Then you see a billion stars too...
Are the stars a + or a - ? Cuz the clouds make it look kinda haunting. Pretty cool IMHO
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 09, 2016, 11:23:33 AM
Are the stars a + or a - ? Cuz the clouds make it look kinda haunting. Pretty cool IMHO

Very big plus, in my book at least.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 09, 2016, 04:54:27 PM
Very big plus, in my book at least.
Nice picture SF!

What settings did you use to get that?

Any Quick tips that you would be able to give on how to shoot lava night pictures?

(With a mirrorless and decent lens)

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 11, 2016, 12:13:09 AM
The drive from Hilo to Kona around sunset is surreal!

We left a bit late, but we just barely caught up to it.

The video does not do it justice, but it's what I got.



Shot on the LG V10 Camera @ 2FPS.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 11, 2016, 12:53:34 AM
The drive from Hilo to Kona around sunset is surreal!

We left a bit late, but we just barely caught up to it.

The video does not do it justice, but it's what I got.



Shot on the LG V10 Camera @ 2FPS.

Wow! Stunning.

Nice picture SF!

What settings did you use to get that?

Any Quick tips that you would be able to give on how to shoot lava night pictures?

(With a mirrorless and decent lens)

Thanks in advance!

Use a tripod, get close, make sure not to overexposed the lava.

I shot my picture at f/2.8, 20 seconds, ISO 800.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 11, 2016, 12:55:18 AM
The drive from Hilo to Kona around sunset is surreal!

We left a bit late, but we just barely caught up to it.

The video does not do it justice, but it's what I got.



Shot on the LG V10 Camera @ 2FPS.
Wow, really nice!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 11, 2016, 07:50:45 AM
We have to be out of our rental by 11 and our flight is at 9. I'm thinking of booking a hotel room to store our luggage and shower. Any hotels offer early check in wih status? I have spg Hilton and Hyatt status.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 14, 2016, 12:12:36 PM

Wednesday
Snorkel Kealakekua Bay area
Pu'uhonua Honaunau
Pack up :( check out is at 11:00
Ali'i Drive, Kamakana Playground
Rent hotel room for showers and freshening up before 8:45 flight home

Do you plan on snorkeling Kealakekua Bay before check out?    Are you going with a boat tour?  Hiking down to the monument and then snorkeling?  Neither of these will get you back in time for an 11AM check out.

Just a FYI, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is religious-y.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 14, 2016, 12:39:28 PM
There is a place to snorkel in the bay that's a 7 minute walk from the home. We plan to go around 8am so should have plenty of time. Pu'uhonua Honaunau can be done after checkout or we might just skip it.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 14, 2016, 02:55:30 PM
There is a place to snorkel in the bay that's a 7 minute walk from the home. We plan to go around 8am so should have plenty of time. Pu'uhonua Honaunau can be done after checkout or we might just skip it.
In the actual bay?

Can you share where it is?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 14, 2016, 04:47:14 PM
I suppose it could be done before sunrise, but that'll turn out to be a 20-hour day. With ten people, that sounds like a fun day...

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/6a/48/b0/6a48b08b12a1aec12bfeeddb7f2e21f5.jpg)

I disagree with this.  There are always fewer people there in the AM, which to me automatically equals better.  If you are trying to do things in the AM, go to Jaggar first, then other things in HVNP, then head back to the hotel for an early night.  This works especially well if you're on East Coast time.  Also, if you have kids that want to stay in the car (like if they're not quite ready to start the day), it's only about a minute walk from the overlook.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 15, 2016, 03:35:21 AM
Just left the BI a few hours ago, was a great few days...just a tip for anyone interested, we got advice from the guys at ATV outfitters (which was a lot of fun btw) to check out Pololu valley lookout/hike to the best black sand beach on the island. There was a short-ish but steep downhill hike to get down to the beach (which means uphill coming back up) but it is absolutely amazing and well worth it. I complained the whole way back up, but saw many senior citizens who were doing it just fine...so I guess I'm a wimp.
I took your advice, and boy is that a great hike (http://www.bigislandhikes.com/pololu-valley/)!

It's about 350' back up, so if you can walk up a 30 story building, you can make this hike.

The place is really amazing.

A word of caution: The water is too turbulent to swim in, and people are dragged out to sea there with disturbing regularity....

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8611/28377659593_c4585b75b6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KeCVwZ)
Polulu Valley (https://flic.kr/p/KeCVwZ) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 15, 2016, 10:21:16 AM
In the actual bay?

Can you share where it is?

I was wondering this myself, so I went back through my heli flight pix of the area, and the big cliff that I remembered (from boat tour) surrounding the whole bay is in fact just in the northern part.  The southern part of the bay has a number of houses right along the coast, with what appears to be easy access.  Most likely visible in Google Earth.

Entry may or may not be public access.  Although all beaches in Hawaii are public access, I don't think it applies to non-beach coast.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ah on August 15, 2016, 11:28:18 AM
I took your advice, and boy is that a great hike (http://www.bigislandhikes.com/pololu-valley/)!

It's about 350' back up, so if you can walk up a 30 story building, you can make this hike.

The place is really amazing.

A word of caution: The water is too turbulent to swim in, and people are dragged out to sea there with disturbing regularity....

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8611/28377659593_c4585b75b6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KeCVwZ)
Polulu Valley (https://flic.kr/p/KeCVwZ) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
Was an amazing last minute, unplanned hike, would have been better if had more hydration with us and been more prepared. Was amazing black sand, and we swam with no problems for a bit, everyone was swimming. Guess we got lucky. Glad you made it there!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 15, 2016, 12:55:28 PM
In the actual bay?

Can you share where it is?

Quote from owner of the home:
Manini Beach is a 10min. walk (or less), flat, grassy, easy sandy access to the water. Google "Manini Beach Kealakekua Bay" and you will find lot's of images there. As for the walk down, check out this link : https://www.google.com/maps/@19.4736492,-155.9181787,497m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 15, 2016, 04:55:35 PM
Quote from owner of the home:
Manini Beach is a 10min. walk (or less), flat, grassy, easy sandy access to the water. Google "Manini Beach Kealakekua Bay" and you will find lot's of images there. As for the walk down, check out this link : https://www.google.com/maps/@19.4736492,-155.9181787,497m/data=!3m1!1e3

I'm big on research and this sounded intriguing, so I looked it up.  Hawaii Revealed app:  ``Slightly south of Napo'opo'o Beach is Manini Beach.  Coral rubble sprinkled with 'a'a lava, and poor swimming make this another must-miss beach."  Doesn't say anything about snorkeling.  But Doughty sometimes misses the mark, so please let us know if it's worth a visit!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 15, 2016, 06:29:30 PM
I'm big on research and this sounded intriguing, so I looked it up.  Hawaii Revealed app:  ``Slightly south of Napo'opo'o Beach is Manini Beach.  Coral rubble sprinkled with 'a'a lava, and poor swimming make this another must-miss beach."  Doesn't say anything about snorkeling.  But Doughty sometimes misses the mark, so please let us know if it's worth a visit!

According to the owner, there is a decent snorkeling spot closer to the house than manini but entry is a little tricky. That's where I plan to try if I go. Hopefully going to get better snorkeling in other places but this is worth a try. I'll TARB.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 16, 2016, 01:46:41 AM
According to the owner, there is a decent snorkeling spot closer to the house than manini but entry is a little tricky. That's where I plan to try if I go. Hopefully going to get better snorkeling in other places but this is worth a try. I'll TARB.

Oh, nice.

That is all the way across from the Monument, near where we launched the rental kayaks.

It's about a 40 minute kayak to get to the Monument snorkel area from there, but worth it.

You can rent the Kayaks from the Hawaiian that lives at the launch for a fair bit cheaper then the "Official companies", and you don't need to schlep the kayak on your car roof. (I think $60 for a double)

Here is the Launch: https://goo.gl/maps/jjJTD1BsRWn (https://goo.gl/maps/jjJTD1BsRWn)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 16, 2016, 03:05:43 AM
Has anyone run the Manta Snorkel with this company?

Sunlight On Water
Their Boat (http://sunlightonwater.com/about-us/our-boat): 40 foot Fiberglass Boat with warm shower.
Manta Ray Snorkel - $87 (http://sunlightonwater.com/swim-with-manta-rays)

Tripadvisor reviews (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60872-d671033-Reviews-Sunlight_on_Water-Kailua_Kona_Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 16, 2016, 08:42:48 AM
Is anyone being on the BI next Monday, the 22nd?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 16, 2016, 05:15:29 PM
Landing in koa at 12 pm. Till I get a rental car... Google maps says 1 hour 20 minutes from koa to the mount kea visitor center. How much time do I need to acclimate myself to the altitude? (I'm getting mixed reports between 20 min to hour) and how long is the drive to the top, from the visitor center? Just trying to see if its feasible to check into my hotel first. (Sheraton kona). Half hour to hotel, and 1:40 to visitor center from hotel. Sunset is at 6:45
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 16, 2016, 05:28:02 PM
How long before my scheduled flight do I have to arrive in the airport? Flights at 1:10 pm. Are there long lines in KOA? Are the rental car locations on site? I have TSA pre, so security shud be fairly smooth...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: tageed-lee on August 16, 2016, 05:55:54 PM

Very nice! What is the soundtrack?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 17, 2016, 12:19:30 AM
Landing in koa at 12 pm. Till I get a rental car... Google maps says 1 hour 20 minutes from koa to the mount kea visitor center. How much time do I need to acclimate myself to the altitude? (I'm getting mixed reports between 20 min to hour) and how long is the drive to the top, from the visitor center? Just trying to see if its feasible to check into my hotel first. (Sheraton kona). Half hour to hotel, and 1:40 to visitor center from hotel. Sunset is at 6:45

I would recommend an hour to acclimate at the visitor center before heading to the top.  Everyone reacts differently and there is no way of knowing how you and everyone with you will react.  Some people seem to adapt better while others get very sick.  To minimize the risk, its best to spend an hour.  I don't recall how long the drive is to the top.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 17, 2016, 12:28:20 AM
FWIW we did 5 minutes and were fine, but YMMV.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 17, 2016, 12:34:06 AM
Do u think I'll need more or less time coming straight off the airplane? Or no difference?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 17, 2016, 12:41:58 AM
FWIW we did 5 minutes and were fine, but YMMV.

You may have been fine but I know of others who got pretty sick at the top.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 17, 2016, 12:45:49 AM
Hence
FWIW...but YMMV.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 17, 2016, 12:48:37 AM
Hence

I understand your post but.....I wouldn't encourage anyone to go to the top after 5 minutes at the visitor center out of an abundance of caution.  To even suggest to the contrary would be reckless in my opinion.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on August 17, 2016, 03:22:43 PM
FWIW we did 5 minutes and were fine, but YMMV.
+1.

5 mins is more than enough, remember to dress warmly as it gets pretty cold up there & take along some instant noodle soup for when you come back down to the visitor center (they provide free hot water)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: hachover on August 17, 2016, 03:35:10 PM
Do u think I'll need more or less time coming straight off the airplane? Or no difference?

I don't think having been on an airplane will make much difference, it's pressurized in there.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 17, 2016, 03:37:31 PM
I don't think having been on an airplane will make much difference, it's pressurized in there.
Thanx
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 18, 2016, 01:37:50 AM
I see many people mentioning that the dolphins only come out in the morning. Until what time is considered morning? (When is the biggest chance of spotting them?)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 18, 2016, 11:03:14 AM
Looking for comments/advice on our itinerary, any would be appreciated! Thanks. Staying in Captain Cook area, about 40 minutes South of Kona. We are a total of 10 people, from 2-62 years old. Planning to be up early every day, and we only go to beaches when noone is around.

Thursday - arrive and settle in for our 2 days shabbos (de'oraisa only on Friday)

Sunday:
Punalu'u Beach (if we can get out early enough to get there when noone is there yet)
VNP
Kaumauna Caves (if time)
Mauna Kea Sunset and Stars

Monday
Heli Tour (those who aren't going will go to Hilo Zoo)
Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots
Red Road Puna

Tuesday
Makalewena Beach
Waipi'o Valley (drive down)
Cave # 3
Coffee Farm Tour in Kona area (any suggestions?)

Wednesday
Snorkel Kealakekua Bay area
Pu'uhonua Honaunau
Pack up :( check out is at 11:00
Ali'i Drive, Kamakana Playground
Rent hotel room for showers and freshening up before 8:45 flight home

OK, so I had to come back to this, since your schedule is making me dizzy, and I enjoy bin-packing/scheduling problems (PhD in computer science make these fun puzzles to me).  I started typing up some suggestions on how you can rearrange your schedule, but it was too long and involved.  PM me if you are interested.  Just a couple of quick things:

1) Consider adding Imiloa Astronomy Center---it's something kids and adults can enjoy and their planetarium show(s) will prepare everyone for Mauna Kea.

2) Is your family big into spelunking?  You have two caves listed, plus I assume you'll also do Thurston lava tube in HVNP, while there.  I've never been to Cave #3, but I have been to the others.  Kaumana is ... DARK, with sharp, jagged rocks to climb over...after you climb down a bunch of steep steps.  We took a few steps into the cave for photos, then left, and I have done Thurston lava tube, all the way to the dark end (unfortunately closed now with no plans to reopen).  Kaumana is more extreme, IMO.  With regard to Thurston lava tube, you can definitely take a 2-year old through this one.  It's lit, and though there are steps, I've carried a lightweight umbrella stroller down there (with kid inside).  You can probably choose just one cave to get a feel for it.

3) Pick up some brochures at the Kona airport regarding coffee farms.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 18, 2016, 02:19:32 PM
OK, so I had to come back to this, since your schedule is making me dizzy, and I enjoy bin-packing/scheduling problems (PhD in computer science make these fun puzzles to me).  I started typing up some suggestions on how you can rearrange your schedule, but it was too long and involved.  PM me if you are interested.  Just a couple of quick things:

1) Consider adding Imiloa Astronomy Center---it's something kids and adults can enjoy and their planetarium show(s) will prepare everyone for Mauna Kea.

2) Is your family big into spelunking?  You have two caves listed, plus I assume you'll also do Thurston lava tube in HVNP, while there.  I've never been to Cave #3, but I have been to the others.  Kaumana is ... DARK, with sharp, jagged rocks to climb over...after you climb down a bunch of steep steps.  We took a few steps into the cave for photos, then left, and I have done Thurston lava tube, all the way to the dark end (unfortunately closed now with no plans to reopen).  Kaumana is more extreme, IMO.  With regard to Thurston lava tube, you can definitely take a 2-year old through this one.  It's lit, and though there are steps, I've carried a lightweight umbrella stroller down there (with kid inside).  You can probably choose just one cave to get a feel for it.

3) Pick up some brochures at the Kona airport regarding coffee farms.

Thanks. Will PM.
My kids are super into caves. We did kamauna last year and I think my kids will love it. My youngest just turned 3 and I think he can manage in there. I'll TARB.  Worse case scenario, I'll hang out with him at the top or in the car.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 18, 2016, 02:57:48 PM
 I thought I saw people mentioning that the big Island has a revealed app. how come I don't see it on the App Store?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: dansdealsfan5 on August 18, 2016, 03:15:56 PM
Is anyone being on the BI next Monday, the 22nd?

Yes, iyh. Why
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 18, 2016, 03:38:44 PM
I thought I saw people mentioning that the big Island has a revealed app. how come I don't see it on the App Store?

Used to be there and it appears they removed it. I think they are working on a new version of the app.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 18, 2016, 03:38:44 PM
I thought I saw people mentioning that the big Island has a revealed app. how come I don't see it on the App Store?

They pulled it a while ago, they claim it'll be back "soon".
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 18, 2016, 06:44:06 PM
If anyone going needs convincing to make it out to the lava fields, this was last night (Press to see full size):
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8795/28968880692_2f263e1547_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/L8T5Yd) Ocean entry viewpoint (https://flic.kr/p/L8T5Yd) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
(https://c7.staticflickr.com/9/8081/28453365454_12a51438c9_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KmjWfs) lava export8 (https://flic.kr/p/KmjWfs) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8026/28456489363_64b0c8bfe1_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KmAWSX) lava export7 (https://flic.kr/p/KmAWSX) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8373/28453366244_c39bee237e_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KmjWu5) one of many cracks in the lava field (https://flic.kr/p/KmjWu5) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/9/8078/28456491753_f43e65aaeb_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KmAXAa) lava export3 (https://flic.kr/p/KmAXAa) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr
(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8019/28997762451_756bc9c1bc_t.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Lbr7vz) lava export1 (https://flic.kr/p/Lbr7vz) by Zalc DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/146089048@N06/), on Flickr



The bike ride was about 30 minutes there and 40 back, on a very rough gravel road. You are able to take the bike right up to where the lava covered the road, and walk directly from there on to the field. (tie the bike to itself, no one is carrying it 4 miles to steal it...)

There are 2 companies at the end of the road (https://goo.gl/maps/PTi3Wnsf3wT2) that rent for $10/hr: Kalapana Cultural Tours (http://kalapanaculturaltours.com/index.html): 808-345-4964 (they have better bikes, with gel padded seats, those are a absolute must!, they also have some Fat Tire bikes) and Kaimu Rentals (http://kaimurentals.com/contact-us/): 808-333-4392 (They don't do reservations)

It is a surreal experience, walking on the active lava field at night, with glowing cracks everywhere under your feet and the sound of the tinkling lava. Bring a strong flashlight, and nerves of steel.

I would aim to get there before sunset, and stay as long as you want after, so you get to see it by day and night.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 18, 2016, 07:19:53 PM
Wow, nice pics and video!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 18, 2016, 07:39:19 PM
Wow, nice pics and video!
And that's from a amateur. Wait until SF makes it there!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 18, 2016, 08:35:52 PM


Looking for comments/advice on our itinerary, any would be appreciated! Thanks. Staying in Captain Cook area, about 40 minutes South of Kona. We are a total of 10 people, from 2-62 years old. Planning to be up early every day, and we only go to beaches when noone is around.

Thursday - arrive and settle in for our 2 days shabbos (de'oraisa only on Friday)

Sunday:
Punalu'u Beach (if we can get out early enough to get there when noone is there yet)
VNP

https://dannydealguru.com/2016/08/16/free-entry-to-all-412-u-s-national-parks-this-month/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 18, 2016, 08:55:17 PM
If anyone going needs convincing to make it out to the lava fields, this was last night (Press to see full size):

Darn it, you are NOT making this any simpler for me ;D.

The plan was to do a Sunday-Thursday workshop on the Big Island in September. However, the lava is just being to unpredictable this time around, so there's no way of knowing if it'll still be there in a month. Additionally, the costs are so high that I'd need to charge over $2k per person, which I think is too much for such a short trip.

I was able to bring the cost down to ~$1500p/p if we have at least 4 people (somewhere around $1750 if we only have 3), so maybe it really could happen...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 18, 2016, 09:01:48 PM
Darn it, you are NOT making this any simpler for me ;D .

I was able to bring the cost down to ~$1500p/p if we have at least 4 people (somewhere around $1750 if we only have 3), so maybe it really could happen...
Anyone else have some awesome pictures to post? Maybe then he'll figure out how to get it down to $1000 :))
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 18, 2016, 09:04:22 PM
Anyone else have some awesome pictures to post? Maybe then he'll figure out how to get it down to $1000 :))

(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/ab/ab8c229496701a3c93896c03d0a251dc00d0428b5e74c8f1da2d40985648dca6.jpg)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: whYME on August 18, 2016, 09:13:00 PM
https://dannydealguru.com/2016/08/16/free-entry-to-all-412-u-s-national-parks-this-month/ (https://dannydealguru.com/2016/08/16/free-entry-to-all-412-u-s-national-parks-this-month/)
So apparently there are 412 national parks now.  :-\ who knew...





(yes, I know what he meant and that I'm being pedantic. :P )
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 18, 2016, 10:30:04 PM
Ocean entry from 2011 and 2013 - Reservations for 2016 now being taken  :)

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8733/27961606543_f0a97581fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/JASxsx)Lava ocean entry on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2011. (https://flic.kr/p/JASxsx) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8763/28649490516_7a3f7d11c7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KDE8p3)Lava flowing into the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2013. (https://flic.kr/p/KDE8p3) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7512/28681452935_d0566e833a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KGtWHe)Lava flowing into the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2013. (https://flic.kr/p/KGtWHe) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8817/28576170972_5a9cbd7eec_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Kxbm3Y)Lava flowing into the ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2013. (https://flic.kr/p/Kxbm3Y) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8619/28470735752_d5fd1f3f22_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KnRXQm)Surface lava flow near ocean entry on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2011. (https://flic.kr/p/KnRXQm) by P Bryan (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131667304@N06/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 19, 2016, 12:19:34 AM
Used to be there and it appears they removed it. I think they are working on a new version of the app.
Do they still have a tablet version?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 19, 2016, 12:22:00 AM
Do they still have a tablet version?

NAFAIK
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 19, 2016, 01:44:15 AM
Used to be there and it appears they removed it. I think they are working on a new version of the app.
Does anyone still have the working app on their phone?

Maybe someone can share the APK of the old version?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 19, 2016, 01:45:23 AM
Maybe someone can share the APK of the old version?

I haven't found one online so far.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 19, 2016, 10:40:37 AM
I haven't found one online so far.
That sucks, I'm due there next week
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 19, 2016, 10:48:09 AM
I was able to bring the cost down to ~$1500p/p if we have at least 4 people (somewhere around $1750 if we only have 3), so maybe it really could happen...

Well, it's official now. The workshop is on.

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=62659.msg1538835#msg1538835
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 19, 2016, 07:03:32 PM
I haven't found one online so far.
Is downloadatoz a safe site? It looks like they have an apk version for android
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 22, 2016, 05:25:48 AM
Has anyone run the Manta Snorkel with this company?

Sunlight On Water
Their Boat (http://sunlightonwater.com/about-us/our-boat): 40 foot Fiberglass Boat with warm shower.
Manta Ray Snorkel - $87 (http://sunlightonwater.com/swim-with-manta-rays)

Tripadvisor reviews (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60872-d671033-Reviews-Sunlight_on_Water-Kailua_Kona_Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html)
Update:

It was absolutely amazing!

From what I could tell this company is one of the best out on the water, quality. Nevermind that they are a good $20 cheaper then the nearest comparable tour.

Basically, there is one spot in the "Manta village" where tens boats congregate around, and the divers stand on the floor and look up. (This killed the coral BTW)
They end up fighting over the same few mantas, getting mostly flybys.

This company has specially engineered lights (cost $50k) that attract far more plankton then most other's white LED boards, and they go off to the side and "poach" the mantas, which then stay only by them.

Our night the "campfire" had one or 2 by them, but our boat had 3 to ourselves for at least 25 minutes, and a fourth showed for a bit.

They came within millimeters of us tens of times, and I'm pretty sure one brushed me.
   
Has anyone run the Manta Snorkel with this company?

Sunlight On Water
Their Boat (http://sunlightonwater.com/about-us/our-boat): 40 foot Fiberglass Boat with warm shower.
Manta Ray Snorkel - $87 (http://sunlightonwater.com/swim-with-manta-rays)

Tripadvisor reviews (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60872-d671033-Reviews-Sunlight_on_Water-Kailua_Kona_Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html)
Update:

It was absolutely amazing!

From what I could tell this company is one of the best out on the water, in quality. Nevermind that they are a good $20 cheaper then the nearest comparable tour.

Basically, there is one spot in the "Manta village" where a dozen boats congregate around, and the divers stand on the floor and look up (This killed the coral BTW).
They end up fighting over the same few mantas, getting mostly flybys.

This company has specially engineered lights (cost $50k) that attract far more plankton then most other's white LED boards, and they go off to the side and "poach" the mantas, which then stayed only by us.

Our night the "campfire" had one or 2 by them, but out boat had 3 to ourselves for at least 25 minutes, and a fourth showed for a bit.

They came within millimeters of us tens of times, and I'm pretty sure one brushed me.

They post free underwater pictures of each tour  here (https://sunlightonwater.smugmug.com/).

They had plenty of food and drink on the boat, (kosher snacks as well), and the hot shower as you get out of the water makes the ride back super comfortable.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 26, 2016, 07:35:05 PM
The view from the jaggar museum was incredible this past Wednesday night. The lava was the biggest in 5 years! If anyone has a need for the volcano's national park pass (20$ value good till 8/31) I'm in LA till Sunday night
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 28, 2016, 03:36:36 PM
The view from the jaggar museum was incredible this past Wednesday night. The lava was the biggest in 5 years! If anyone has a need for the volcano's national park pass (20$ value good till 8/31) I'm in LA till Sunday night
Any pics?

I had horrible weather while I was there...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 30, 2016, 10:17:54 PM
Any pics?

I had horrible weather while I was there...
It was horrible weather, but then it cleared up. Pix will be uploaded as soon as I figure out how...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Zalc on August 30, 2016, 10:20:37 PM
It was horrible weather, but then it cleared up. Pix will be uploaded as soon as I figure out how...
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0

I've used flickr and photobucket in the past.

Flickr is better, the other is faster.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 30, 2016, 11:32:37 PM
http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=46084.0

I've used flickr and photobucket in the past.

Flickr is better, the other is faster.
Thanx
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 31, 2016, 02:10:57 AM
There's a hurricane that's set to hit TBI tomorrow, most national parks are closed (including VNP) and lots of beaches are closed too.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on August 31, 2016, 03:13:04 PM
Will shops at Ali'i drive be open around 6 pm? Do they close early?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on August 31, 2016, 10:50:10 PM
There's a hurricane that's set to hit TBI tomorrow, most national parks are closed (including VNP) and lots of beaches are closed too.
Looks like u got off easy BH
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on August 31, 2016, 10:51:03 PM
Nice and sunny in kona now and just a bit of rain and wind in hilo.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on September 01, 2016, 08:37:47 AM
Left Kona at 848 pm, saw some clouds but otherwise perfect weather. You never know with weather in Hawaii!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: @Yehuda on December 05, 2016, 12:06:46 PM
My wife and I are going in November for 7 days with our 3 and 6 year-old children. Staying at  Hilton Waikoloa.

Is a heli the best way to see volcanos/lava?

Would also like to see green/black sand beaches, waterfalls, coffee or chocolate plantatians and charter a snorkeling and fishing trip.

Any suggestions on TBI would be great.
How was the Hilton?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: sedge on December 05, 2016, 05:16:12 PM
How was the Hilton?
Outstanding but the F&B is mediocre. Sad they are closing the kids club. They had discontinued the evening program when we were there which posed some issues.

Altogether an excellent experience and Diamond treatment was superb.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 09:58:23 PM
So I've finally started planning our upcoming BI trip (next month). We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday

Monday-Option 1

Monday-Option 2

Tuesday

What I'm not sure about is if I want to do Mauna Kea on Mon or maybe Tue night on the way to the Sheraton. If we do it on Tuesday (which seems to make sense from a driving perspective), that gives us only 1 full day to do things on the Kona side.

I haven't looked into activities there yet, but maybe someone has insights into the Volcano part so far?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on December 19, 2016, 10:07:48 PM
So I've finally started planning our upcoming BI trip (next month). We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday
  • Arrive, get car, shop at Walmart for food
  • Drive to Volcano Airbnb
  • Go to Jagger museum before sunset (sunset is 6:08p) to see the crater by day and night

Monday-Option 1
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls around 10:30am
  • Another activity: any suggestions?
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable) getting there for sunset to see it by day and night

Monday-Option 2
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls around 10:30am
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable)
  • Go to Mauna Kea visitors center for sunset

Tuesday
  • Go back to VNP to see the sights along Crater Rim Dr.
  • Another activity: any suggestions?

What I'm not sure about is if I want to do Mauna Kea on Mon or maybe Tue night on the way to the Sheraton. If we do it on Tuesday (which seems to make sense from a driving perspective), that gives us only 1 full day to do things on the Kona side.

I haven't looked into activities there yet, but maybe someone has insights into the Volcano part so far?
Option 1 sounds better. You would rather have the day/night advantage by the ocean entry than the visitor center.

If u are going to VNP on Tuesday, I would take the scenic route back to the sheraton stopping by the black sand beach, south point, and numerous beaches up the whole kona coast. The drive from VNP to the Sheraton via mauna kea is longer and very boring. I had the same arrival info as u, and I did mauna kea that night. So maybe consider doing that on your way to your volcano airbnb (because that IS on the way)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 19, 2016, 10:51:16 PM
So I've finally started planning our upcoming BI trip (next month). We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday
  • Arrive, get car, shop at Walmart for food
  • Drive to Volcano Airbnb
  • Go to Jagger museum before sunset (sunset is 6:08p) to see the crater by day and night

Monday-Option 1
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls around 10:30am
  • Another activity: any suggestions?
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable) getting there for sunset to see it by day and night

Monday-Option 2
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls around 10:30am
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable)
  • Go to Mauna Kea visitors center for sunset

Tuesday
  • Go back to VNP to see the sights along Crater Rim Dr.
  • Another activity: any suggestions?

What I'm not sure about is if I want to do Mauna Kea on Mon or maybe Tue night on the way to the Sheraton. If we do it on Tuesday (which seems to make sense from a driving perspective), that gives us only 1 full day to do things on the Kona side.

I haven't looked into activities there yet, but maybe someone has insights into the Volcano part so far?
Unclear---are you flying into Kona or Hilo?  Depending on how Halemaumau is behaving, Jaggar could be a mob scene sunset time.  Same to lava entering ocean.  Both are significantly more peaceful in the early AM.  Also, heli tour is best in the early AM (think the first flight).  Can you do Mauna Kea first day?  Why don't you do HVNP sites (CoC Rd, too) same day as Jaggar?

Your first option for Monday has you in Hilo in the AM, and Kalapana in the PM.  From Volcano, you'd have to drive to Hilo to get to Kalapana, wouldn't make sense to go back in between (maybe if you can get earlier flight it makes more sense).  In the area is the new Kaimu black sand beach, Ahalanui, Lava Trees State Park, Imiloa Astronomy Center, some waterfalls, lighthouse.  For the amount of time you'll be on the BI, I wouldn't spend my time at those.  Akaka Falls might be doable---which way are you driving back to Kona (N,S,Saddle)?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 10:51:26 PM
Option 1 sounds better. You would rather have the day/night advantage by the ocean entry than the visitor center.

If u are going to VNP on Tuesday, I would take the scenic route back to the sheraton stopping by the black sand beach, south point, and numerous beaches up the whole kona coast. The drive from VNP to the Sheraton via mauna kea is longer and very boring. I had the same arrival info as u, and I did mauna kea that night. So maybe consider doing that on your way to your volcano airbnb (because that IS on the way)
Interesting idea. So day I do Mauna Kea on the way to the Airbnb, will I have extra time between picking up the car and food shopping when I get there? I guess not.

Then when  would I go to the Jagger museum at night? I guess we can go Tuesday morning real early, but with sunrise at 6:57 (dawn at 5:49) it would mean a very early morning with a baby. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 10:56:49 PM


Unclear---are you flying into Kona or Hilo?  Depending on how Halemaumau is behaving, Jaggar could be a mob scene sunset time.  Same to lava entering ocean.  Both are significantly more peaceful in the early AM.  Also, heli tour is best in the early AM (think the first flight).  Can you do Mauna Kea first day?  Why don't you do HVNP sites (CoC Rd, too) same day as Jaggar?

Your first option for Monday has you in Hilo in the AM, and Kalapana in the PM.  From Volcano, you'd have to drive to Hilo to get to Kalapana, wouldn't make sense to go back in between (maybe if you can get earlier flight it makes more sense).  In the area is the new Kaimu black sand beach, Ahalanui, Lava Trees State Park, Imiloa Astronomy Center, some waterfalls, lighthouse.  For the amount of time you'll be on the BI, I wouldn't spend my time at those.  Akaka Falls might be doable---which way are you driving back to Kona (N,S,Saddle)?

We're flying into KOA. Problem with AM lava sights is the baby, though maybe the 2 hour time difference would help.

I can take an earlier flight, but that just leaves more time in the afternoon before sunset at the lava by the ocean. If you'd skip all those sights you mentioned, what would you do instead given our limited time?

If we do Mauna Kea on Sunday night then we'd drive the southern route back exploring the sights along the way.

Does that make sense?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on December 19, 2016, 10:59:55 PM
Interesting idea. So day I do Mauna Kea on the way to the Airbnb, will I have extra time between picking up the car and food shopping when I get there? I guess not.

Then when  would I go to the Jagger museum at night? I guess we can go Tuesday morning real early, but with sunrise at 6:57 (dawn at 5:49) it would mean a very early morning with a baby. Thoughts?
See my TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66659.msg1569561.msg#1569561) I landed 1. Got out of airport in 15 min. Got my car 15 min. Went to Walmart. Checked in by the Sheraton all before 230. So yeah plenty of time. Being that your staying in volcano, u can literally play it by ear. If the website shows that the volcano is erupting you can hop over there anytime... IMO jaggar museum itself shouldn't take more than 15 min.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 11:02:26 PM
See my TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66659.msg1569561.msg#1569561) I landed 1. Got out of airport in 15 min. Got my car 15 min. Went to Walmart. Checked in by the Sheraton all before 230. So yeah plenty of time. Being that your staying in volcano, u can literally play it by ear. If the website shows that the volcano is erupting you can hop over there anytime... IMO jaggar museum itself shouldn't take more than 15 min.
I know we can hop over to the museum. It's a 5 minute drive from the Airbnb. Are there any things to see between Walmart and Mauna Kea? I read your TR.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on December 19, 2016, 11:02:48 PM


If we do Mauna Kea on Sunday night then we'd drive the southern route back exploring the sights along the way.

Does that make sense?
And explore the south side by night?
Also mauna kea to volcano via south point is extremely long. Check out Google maps from mauna kea visitor center to volcano
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on December 19, 2016, 11:05:20 PM


I know we can hop over to the museum. It's a 5 minute drive from the Airbnb. Are there any things to see between Walmart and Mauna Kea? I read your TR.  Thanks!
my point was that besides for the ocean entry, the only other sighting of the volcano is at the visitor center a.k.a. jaggar museum. Therefore if it is active at night u can just hop over being that ur staying in volcano itself. Most people planning to do the whole day/sunset/night at the jaggar museum, are only because they're staying far away and they're trying to capitalize/optimize their time

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 11:23:45 PM


And explore the south side by night?
Also mauna kea to volcano via south point is extremely long. Check out Google maps from mauna kea visitor center to volcano

No, we'd leave Volcano in the late morning and drive the south side during the day, getting to the Sheraton after dark.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 11:24:41 PM
my point was that besides for the ocean entry, the only other sighting of the volcano is at the visitor center a.k.a. jaggar museum. Therefore if it is active at night u can just hop over being that ur staying in volcano itself. Most people planning to do the whole day/sunset/night at the jaggar museum, are only because they're staying far away and they're trying to capitalize/optimize their time
Good point. We could go Sunday night after Mauna Kea, even if it's just for a few minutes since we'll be close by.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 19, 2016, 11:25:48 PM
1. Overall, night things will be harder for baby because of the time difference.

2. It always takes us hours to get from KOA airport to Volcano.  However long you think it'll take, it'll take longer.

3. Airbnb to Jaggar is going to be more than 5 minutes.  You need to figure 15-20, if you don't want to miss dawn/dusk.

4. Umauma is better than Akaka.  Iirc, not terribly far from Hilo.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 19, 2016, 11:38:56 PM
1. Overall, night things will be harder for baby because of the time difference. Maybe, but with only 2 hours (and the baby often going to bed an hour or two late anyways) it's not a big deal. It's much harder coming from the east coast in the summer with a 6 hour difference.

2. It always takes us hours to get from KOA airport to Volcano.  However long you think it'll take, it'll take longer. That's why we were thinking of stopping at Mauna Kea along the way. Do you think that makes sense?

3. Airbnb to Jaggar is going to be more than 5 minutes.  You need to figure 15-20, if you don't want to miss dawn/dusk. Gmaps says 12 minutes to the museum. I understand there will be traffic if it's busy, but as shulem92 pointed out we don't need to be there for dawn and dusk if we can see it by day anything and drive back well after dark to see it again.

4. Umauma is better than Akaka.  Iirc, not terribly far from Hilo. So do you think it's worth doing (with a baby) before heading to Kalapana?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 12:12:51 AM
Modified plan based on the above suggestions:

We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Does this sound better? That way on Wednesday we can go back south to see other sights along highway 11 and/or do other activities. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 20, 2016, 01:53:25 AM
1. Why Mauna Kea?  Sunset or stargazing/telescopes? https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29217-i268-k2316287-Sunset_from_mauna_kea_visitors_center-Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html

2. I've been to Jaggar during the day, I've been to Jaggar at night, I've been to Jaggar at dawn, and I've been to Jaggar at dusk.  The changing colors, etc. is part of the magic.

5:49 dawn Monday before heli flight (even earlier one) works well.  Just be there 5-10 minutes (or more) before dawn, and make sure you have warm clothing.  Or better yet, get to HVNP early Tuesday and spend a few hours.

3. Akaka Falls has nice hike. Umauma, IMO, is much prettier, and/but no hike.  You might have time for both.

4. Don't leave out a black sand beach, if you haven't been to one yet.  Punalu'u is an easy one to access, can do Tuesday.  Or Kaimu, near Kalapana, if you like more privacy.

5. South Point is utterly uninteresting, unless you like those stick lighthouses (?).  I've never seen anyone jump in the winter, just in summer, but maybe I was there at the wrong time of the day/week.

6. Green sand beach best late in day, like if you could catch the last ride out.  Then it's empty, no bugs, less harsh light. Prepare to eat dust.  Support baby's head well on the ride out and back.  Make sure baby is well secured to adult for the way down.  Don't plan on carrying in arms.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on December 20, 2016, 10:27:25 AM
Modified plan based on the above suggestions:

We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday
  • Arrive, get car, shop at Walmart for food
  • Drive to Mauna Kea visitors center for sunset
  • Drive to Volcano Airbnb
  • Go to Jagger museum at night time permitting

Monday
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls at 9:30am (requires being at ITO at 8:30a and leaving 7:45a) or 10:30a
  • Hike near Hilo, not sure which?
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable) getting there for sunset to see it by day and night
  • Go to Jagger museum at night if we couldn't Sunday

Tuesday
  • Go back to VNP to see the sights along Crater Rim Dr. (including seeing the crater by day)
  • Drive to Kona along Highway 11 (South Road) stopping at Green Sand Beach/South Point

Does this sound better? That way on Wednesday we can go back south to see other sights along highway 11 and/or do other activities. Thoughts?

Looks great. Do you plan to stay at Mauna Kea for stargazing? My husband loved it but I was a little bored. It will be cold for the baby.

We love Akaka falls, it's not a true hike but it's beautiful and will be easy with a baby in a carrier. We saw some strollers there but there are a lot of steps.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 10:54:57 AM
Looks great. Do you plan to stay at Mauna Kea for stargazing? My husband loved it but I was a little bored. It will be cold for the baby.

We love Akaka falls, it's not a true hike but it's beautiful and will be easy with a baby in a carrier. We saw some strollers there but there are a lot of steps.
Thanks! We may stay for a little bit for stargazing, weather and crankiness dependent. I see myself enjoying it for about 10 minutes before getting bored. We'll have a coat for the baby.

That's good to know about Akaka falls. We plan on having a baby carrier backpack, plus my wife isn't crazy about big hikes anyway. Despite being 30 minute north of ITO it could be a good option in between the heli tour and Kalapana. How long does it take?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 11:06:38 AM
1. Why Mauna Kea?  Sunset or stargazing/telescopes? https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29217-i268-k2316287-Sunset_from_mauna_kea_visitors_center-Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html

2. I've been to Jaggar during the day, I've been to Jaggar at night, I've been to Jaggar at dawn, and I've been to Jaggar at dusk.  The changing colors, etc. is part of the magic.

5:49 dawn Monday before heli flight (even earlier one) works well.  Just be there 5-10 minutes (or more) before dawn, and make sure you have warm clothing.  Or better yet, get to HVNP early Tuesday and spend a few hours.

3. Akaka Falls has nice hike. Umauma, IMO, is much prettier, and/but no hike.  You might have time for both.

4. Don't leave out a black sand beach, if you haven't been to one yet.  Punalu'u is an easy one to access, can do Tuesday.  Or Kaimu, near Kalapana, if you like more privacy.

5. South Point is utterly uninteresting, unless you like those stick lighthouses (?).  I've never seen anyone jump in the winter, just in summer, but maybe I was there at the wrong time of the day/week.

6. Green sand beach best late in day, like if you could catch the last ride out.  Then it's empty, no bugs, less harsh light. Prepare to eat dust.  Support baby's head well on the ride out and back.  Make sure baby is well secured to adult for the way down.  Don't plan on carrying in arms.
1. Your TA link showed people who liked sunset and those who didn't. We'd go to Mauna Kea because it's on the way to Volcano and we'd be passing by around sunset.

2. That's why we want to see it at different times of the day.

3. Depending on how long Akaka takes we may have time to see Umauma too. It seems to be worth the 15 minute drive from Akaka.

4. We've seen a black sand beach on Maui. We do plan on seeing the new one near Kalapana and if that doesn't happen we may stop at another one.

5. If we're driving by anyway, isn't it at least worth the few minute detour off of highway 11 just to see the ocean from there? I'm aware there's no sign or anything fancy like in Key West.

6. Depending on where were are it may be the afternoon by the time we're there. Is it easy to find people to drive you there? Couldn't you just put the baby in the car in a car seat and use a backpack carrier to carry the baby down to the beach itself? That's what I imagined. Based on shulem92's TR it seems that you can either sit inside or outside the car/truck.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on December 20, 2016, 11:23:12 AM
1. Your TA link showed people who liked sunset and those who didn't. We'd go to Mauna Kea because it's on the way to Volcano and we'd be passing by around sunset.

The sunset itself by mauna kea is amazing. If your into stargazing then its worth it to stick around. (Remember, it takes a while to get fully dark to appreciate it.) But I found that for the view of the stars, there is an amazing view by the visitor center to the volcano (jaggar museum) also

2. That's why we want to see it at different times of the day.

3. Depending on how long Akaka takes we may have time to see Umauma too. It seems to be worth the 15 minute drive from Akaka.

4. We've seen a black sand beach on Maui. We do plan on seeing the new one near Kalapana and if that doesn't happen we may stop at another one.

The punaluu black sand beach is literally 1 minute off of highway 11. There are turtles there also.

5. If we're driving by anyway, isn't it at least worth the few minute detour off of highway 11 just to see the ocean from there? I'm aware there's no sign or anything fancy like in Key West.

Definitely is. IMO, it was worth the 15 minute detour. Great views. No beaches, because its cliffs, but it has a certain feel to it.

6. Depending on where were are it may be the afternoon by the time we're there. Is it easy to find people to drive you there? Couldn't you just put the baby in the car in a car seat and use a backpack carrier to carry the baby down to the beach itself? That's what I imagined. Based on shulem92's TR it seems that you can either sit inside or outside the car/truck.
There is a parking lot near the boat ramp where locals wait. Very easy to find.
I was offered to sit inside, but not all of the locals offer that option.
Even though it was inside, it was quite dusty, as the windows were open. (I don't think they even close at all. Lol)
It is possible to bring a baby, just bear in mind that it is pretty steep getting down to the actual beach. With steps carved into the mountainside.
Also it may take some time for the whole procedure. I would give it 2 hours give or take
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 01:07:32 PM
The sunset itself by mauna kea is amazing. If your into stargazing then its worth it to stick around. (Remember, it takes a while to get fully dark to appreciate it.) But I found that for the view of the stars, there is an amazing view by the visitor center to the volcano (jaggar museum) also

The punaluu black sand beach is literally 1 minute off of highway 11. There are turtles there also.

Definitely is. IMO, it was worth the 15 minute detour. Great views. No beaches, because its cliffs, but it has a certain feel to it.
There is a parking lot near the boat ramp where locals wait. Very easy to find.
I was offered to sit inside, but not all of the locals offer that option.
Even though it was inside, it was quite dusty, as the windows were open. (I don't think they even close at all. Lol)
It is possible to bring a baby, just bear in mind that it is pretty steep getting down to the actual beach. With steps carved into the mountainside.
Also it may take some time for the whole procedure. I would give it 2 hours give or take
We do plan on stopping at the black sand beach at Punalu'u too, especially since it's right off the road.

Thanks for the heads up regarding the baby. We'll try and see how it goes, but I know people have brought babies before.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 20, 2016, 01:26:47 PM
Modified plan based on the above suggestions:

We have Sun 12:30pm to 12:30pm Thu. Sun/Mon nights are in Volcano while Tue/Wed nights are at the Sheraton (Kona).

Rough plan for Sun pm - Tue am:

Sunday
  • Arrive, get car, shop at Walmart for food
  • Drive to Mauna Kea visitors center for sunset
  • Drive to Volcano Airbnb
  • Go to Jagger museum at night time permitting

Monday
  • Heli tour of Volcano and waterfalls at 9:30am (requires being at ITO at 8:30a and leaving 7:45a) or 10:30a
  • Hike near Hilo, not sure which?
  • Drive to see lava entering ocean (if still applicable) getting there for sunset to see it by day and night
  • Go to Jagger museum at night if we couldn't Sunday

Tuesday
  • Go back to VNP to see the sights along Crater Rim Dr. (including seeing the crater by day)
  • Drive to Kona along Highway 11 (South Road) stopping at Green Sand Beach/South Point

Does this sound better? That way on Wednesday we can go back south to see other sights along highway 11 and/or do other activities. Thoughts?
Random thoughts:
The various natural hot springs are neat.
Road to the sea bring you to a nice spot as well.
Kīlauea Iki trail was awesome.
There were south point jumpers in the winter when we went.
Loved the Hilo market, but that's on Wednesday.
Not doing Waipio?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 01:37:53 PM
Random thoughts:
The various natural hot springs are neat.
Road to the sea bring you to a nice spot as well.
Kīlauea Iki trail was awesome.
There were south point jumpers in the winter when we went.
Loved the Hilo market, but that's on Wednesday.
Not doing Waipio?
Where are the hot springs?

Isn't the Road to the Sea the way to get to the green sand beach which we're planning on doing on Tuesday?

Kīlauea Iki looks a bit too challenging for my wife. Not sure how fun a big ascent will be with a baby on my back, but it does look nice.

So I guess the jumpers may or not be there. Either way it's good to know that the minute temperature difference doesn't deter them.  :)

Hmm, yeah I guess we'll be missing the Hilo market.

As of now, I don't think Waipio is in the plan. It looks awesome and I'd love to do it. Any ideas of how to fit it in? I don't think driving back on Wednesday from the Sheraton seems like a good idea especially since there are probably places I'd want to see on the Kona side. I haven't planned Wednesday or Thursday morning yet though, so I'm open to ideas.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 20, 2016, 01:42:05 PM
1. Your TA link showed people who liked sunset and those who didn't. We'd go to Mauna Kea because it's on the way to Volcano and we'd be passing by around sunset.

Main point:  call in advance.  I wouldn't make the trek up (and only partway at that), if sunset was what you're coming for, and the conditions weren't right.  Also, bring a head lamp with red light, and of course, keep close eye on baby for signs of altitude sickness.

2. That's why we want to see it at different times of the day.

You only get all the gradations of lighting at dawn or dusk.

3. Depending on how long Akaka takes we may have time to see Umauma too. It seems to be worth the 15 minute drive from Akaka.

4. We've seen a black sand beach on Maui. We do plan on seeing the new one near Kalapana and if that doesn't happen we may stop at another one.

5. If we're driving by anyway, isn't it at least worth the few minute detour off of highway 11 just to see the ocean from there? I'm aware there's no sign or anything fancy like in Key West.

If you want the bragging rights or have time to kill, sure.  Otherwise, you could omit it, no big loss.  There's a non-picturesque heiau and a non-picturesque lighthouse.  There are many, many better places to see the ocean.

6. Depending on where were are it may be the afternoon by the time we're there. Is it easy to find people to drive you there? Couldn't you just put the baby in the car in a car seat and use a backpack carrier to carry the baby down to the beach itself? That's what I imagined. Based on shulem92's TR it seems that you can either sit inside or outside the car/truck.

No room for car seat.  Don't even count on your own pair of usable seat belts.  Even if yes, you need to keep head from being a bobblehead.  Yes to backpack carrier.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 20, 2016, 01:45:16 PM
Random thoughts:
The various natural hot springs are neat.
Road to the sea bring you to a nice spot as well.
Kīlauea Iki trail was awesome.
There were south point jumpers in the winter when we went.
Maybe we went during school hours in the winter?  The two times we went to South Point during the winter it was deserted.  In the summer---lots of teens.
Loved the Hilo market, but that's on Wednesday.
Not doing Waipio?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 20, 2016, 01:49:36 PM
Where are the hot springs?

Isn't the Road to the Sea the way to get to the green sand beach which we're planning on doing on Tuesday?

Kīlauea Iki looks a bit too challenging for my wife. Not sure how fun a big ascent will be with a baby on my back, but it does look nice.

So I guess the jumpers may or not be there. Either way it's good to know that the minute temperature difference doesn't deter them.  :)

Hmm, yeah I guess we'll be missing the Hilo market.

As of now, I don't think Waipio is in the plan. It looks awesome and I'd love to do it. Any ideas of how to fit it in? I don't think driving back on Wednesday from the Sheraton seems like a good idea especially since there are probably places I'd want to see on the Kona side. I haven't planned Wednesday or Thursday morning yet though, so I'm open to ideas.
-There were lots of hot springs, though I think some were removed from the revealed books. GIYF.

You're right about RTTS. Been 8 years since we did it :)
We also never did make it to the green sand beach. Didn't really know how to get there and road was very bumpy.

Gotta find a way to do Waipio...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on December 20, 2016, 01:50:55 PM
Maybe we went during school hours in the winter?  The two times we went to South Point during the winter it was deserted.  In the summer---lots of teens.
We were there 1/29/09.
Lots of jumpers. Was quite exciting to see.
Verrrrry windy.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on December 20, 2016, 01:59:16 PM
-There were lots of hot springs, though I think some were removed from the revealed books. GIYF.

You're right about RTTS. Been 8 years since we did it :)
We also never did make it to the green sand beach. Didn't really know how to get there and road was very bumpy.

Gotta find a way to do Waipio...
Could it be done after the Heli tour before Kalapana at sunset? Do you have another idea?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: hachover on December 24, 2016, 10:42:40 PM
You're right about RTTS. Been 8 years since we did it :)
We also never did make it to the green sand beach. Didn't really know how to get there and road was very bumpy.

There's a parking lot at the beginning of the road to green sand beach, with signs warning people not to try driving their rental cars, and it was filled with people who wanted to be hired to take you to green sand beach in their pickups. It's a good alternative if you don't want to or can't drive yourself. Personally, I walked, but that was strenuous.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 27, 2016, 10:11:33 AM
I received this e-mail this morning, and it may be relevant to some of you:

WELCOME RABBI LEVI & FRAIDY GERLITZKY TO CHABAD OF THE BIG ISLAND!
We would like to extend a heart-felt welcome, Boruch Haba to Rabbi Levi and Fraidy Gerlitzky, and their son Mendel, as permanent Rabbi & Rebbetzin to Chabad of the Big Island and the larger Jewish community.

We feel privileged to welcome in such a dynamic, committed and caring couple to further Judaism in Kona, and the entire Big Island. Levi and Fraidy have a deep passion for spreading the warmth and beauty of Torah, all over the world! They have taken their passion all the way to Lagos, Nigeria, running Chabad activities for the High Holiday season.

The Gerlitzky's spent time on the Big Island this summer and saw the true (spiritual) beauty of the island and its people, and are eager to contribute and continue the mission of spreading Judaism to every corner of the island and every Jew they encounter!

They will be spending the next few months planning and obtaining resources for their Shlichus in Kona (lit. mission; term used for Chabad outposts, as they fullfil the mission set forth by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.) Once their spiritual and physical bags are packed, the Gerlitzky's will make their way West, and settle on the Big Island.

[deleted info]

Levi & Fraidy are replacing the Chazanow's who are currently residing in Honolulu.
***

[deleted photo and contact info]

***

HAPPY CHANUKAH!

We now find ourselves during the days of Chanukah, when we so openly and proudly proclaim the message of light to the outside; the triumph of purity; a little light dispelling much darkness; the spirit of the Maccabee's, an abbreviation of 'All those for Hashem, follow me!'; fighting evil with good, and so on.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe lived this message every day of his 40+ years of leadership, and as a result has vastly changed the face of world Jewry! The Rebbe cared so deeply for each individual and their connection with Hashem, and thus began the mission of sending young Chabad couples to - literally - every corner of the earth to spread the light, warmth and pride of Judaism.

We are humbled to have been part of the Rebbe's tremendous vision, by bringing Chabad to the Big Island of Hawaii. While personal circumstances have brought us to the point of relocating, we know this in no way reflects on the strength of the Jewish spirit glowing on the Big Island.

We have every confidence that Chabad, under the leadership of Rabbi Levi & Fraidy, will flourish in a tremendous way. And as the Chanuka miracle & message lives on just as strongly today, so will the flame of Yiddishkeit continue to burn in Hawaii!

Sincerely,

Rabbi Avremel & Rivky
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on December 28, 2016, 11:07:32 AM
Anyone know why avremel left, had a lot of fun with him
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on January 09, 2017, 04:48:11 PM
If lava is active, what's a better viewing area to see the lava at sunset/night. Kalapana Ocean Entry or Jagger Museum/Halemaumau Crater?

Is it possible to do both? (seems impractical to leave the park for an hr drive to kalapana bike to the ocean, and drive an hour back to Jagger)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 09, 2017, 04:52:09 PM
If lava is active, what's a better viewing area to see the lava at sunset/night. Kalapana Ocean Entry or Jagger Museum/Halemaumau Crater?

Is it possible to do both? (seems impractical to leave the park for an hr drive to kalapana bike to the ocean, and drive an hour back to Jagger)

Two completely different things. If you had to choose one do Kalapana, but you should really do both if you can. And explore the rest of the park too.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on January 09, 2017, 05:14:49 PM
I plan on exploring the park throughout the day. So you think its worth leaving the park for kalapana and then coming back after dark? sounds a bit grueling...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on January 09, 2017, 05:16:56 PM
So you think its worth leaving the park for kalapana and then coming back? sounds a bit grueling...
How grueling can an hour drive be?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 09, 2017, 05:28:00 PM
If lava is active, what's a better viewing area to see the lava at sunset/night. Kalapana Ocean Entry or Jagger Museum/Halemaumau Crater?

Is it possible to do both? (seems impractical to leave the park for an hr drive to kalapana bike to the ocean, and drive an hour back to Jagger)
Where are you spending the night?  Do Halemaumau at night, ocean entry the following morning, making sure to be there at least half hour(?) before dawn for the full effect.

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 09, 2017, 05:30:09 PM
How grueling can an hour drive be?
You must've missed the biking part.  Miles each way over gravel.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 09, 2017, 05:34:32 PM
You must've missed the biking part.  Miles each way over gravel.

My tuchus is still sore.  :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shulem92 on January 09, 2017, 05:44:09 PM
You must've missed the biking part.  Miles each way over gravel.
I did. Unfortunately :( :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on January 09, 2017, 05:54:09 PM
Where are you spending the night?  Do Halemaumau at night, ocean entry the following morning, making sure to be there at least half hour(?) before dawn for the full effect.

I'm driving to Kona that night...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on February 06, 2017, 12:27:35 PM
My Big Island TR is up here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=72622.0).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yuguy on February 21, 2017, 09:08:17 PM
(Good) Kosher alert: Brown's Deli at the Fairmont Orchid has a soft serve ice cream machine. Only serves one flavor (vanilla) and is OU-D.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: RavChik on May 07, 2017, 03:08:26 PM
My family rarely travels, but we consider the family trip of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids under age of 7) to Hawaii this August.
Any suggestions and tips where to start the research? What the best island/places for kids? Kosher food availability? Best use for points to get there? Thank you
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on May 07, 2017, 04:55:57 PM
My family rarely travels, but we consider the family trip of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids under age of 7) to Hawaii this August.
Any suggestions and tips where to start the research? What the best island/places for kids? Kosher food availability? Best use for points to get there? Thank you
Start here:  http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=2098.0 (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=2098.0)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on May 08, 2017, 11:00:34 AM
My family rarely travels, but we consider the family trip of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids under age of 7) to Hawaii this August.
Any suggestions and tips where to start the research? What the best island/places for kids? Kosher food availability? Best use for points to get there? Thank you

We just did Kauai and TBI with kids this past summer. It was great, let me know if you have specific questions!
 
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on May 16, 2017, 11:13:17 PM
Wiki posted.  Needs a lot of work, better organization, links.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yitzyul on May 16, 2017, 11:19:16 PM
Wiki posted.  Needs a lot of work, better organization, links.
Good Job~ nice start.
Thanks
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: EandN on May 24, 2017, 01:27:14 AM
Does anybody know if the Costco there carries the kosher cheese and bread that they carry in CA?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on May 24, 2017, 05:15:32 PM
Does anybody know if the Costco there carries the kosher cheese and bread that they carry in CA?

I do not believe Costco has kosher cheeses and bread, (we were able to buy kosher cornish hens and other kosher food there) but you should call the Chabad Rabbi to find out about kosher food.  There is a brand of bread that the Rabbi said was permissible to buy (don't remember what it was) and we found kosher food in various supermarkets, Walmart, and health food stores on the Big Island.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on May 24, 2017, 06:06:12 PM
Does anybody know if the Costco there carries the kosher cheese and bread that they carry in CA?
Had to run this past my kids.  They say yes, they believe there was a 2 lb package of Muenster cheese, CY, in Costco on the BI.  I know Maui for sure had when we were there, and I think we skipped Costco on Kauai, so the place we decided against buying it must've been on the BI.  Still, these things change, so definitely call the Chabad Rabbi.  If the new rabbi isn't on the BI, try the HNL rabbi, see if he knows or can put you in touch with Rabbi Chazanow, previously of the BI.

If CY is important, that's all that might be available.  If CS is fine, there are plenty of products in Safeway and Walmart.  They are right near each other, but easier to go to Safeway first.  Safeway has the bread.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on May 24, 2017, 06:09:11 PM
Call the Costco and ask them. Will be easier if you have the Costco item number.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: EandN on May 25, 2017, 01:41:17 AM
Great info! Much thanks to all.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on May 25, 2017, 04:12:27 PM
isn't the new rabbi in yet
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on May 25, 2017, 04:31:02 PM

If CY is important, that's all that might be available.  If CS is fine, there are plenty of products in Safeway and Walmart.  They are right near each other, but easier to go to Safeway first.  Safeway has the bread.
Correction:. This may actually be different bread.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on May 25, 2017, 04:41:51 PM
Is there a shabbos minyan on TBI these days?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on May 28, 2017, 09:48:52 AM
Is there a shabbos minyan on TBI these days?
Never was a guaranteed minyan in the past although now I'm not even sure the new shaliach started yet
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on June 13, 2017, 11:41:12 AM
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158771559215291&id=589465290

Farewell rabbi chazanov, gonna miss him
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 13, 2017, 11:45:44 AM
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158771559215291&id=589465290

Farewell rabbi chazanov, gonna miss him
Can't view.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: GittyElkon on July 17, 2017, 11:43:17 PM
Hi Dan. How do I go about getting the two free bags from Hawaiian Airlines with our inter island flights.
Thank you for your help.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: thaber on July 18, 2017, 02:12:12 AM
Hi Dan. How do I go about getting the two free bags from Hawaiian Airlines with our inter island flights.
Thank you for your help.
https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/airlines/aa/2-months-left-to-use-american-miles-to-book-hawaiian-airlines-awards-between-the-continental-us-and-hawaii/

A couple paragraphs in. No idea if this still works
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 3yummyboys on July 18, 2017, 06:21:03 AM
https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/airlines/aa/2-months-left-to-use-american-miles-to-book-hawaiian-airlines-awards-between-the-continental-us-and-hawaii/

A couple paragraphs in. No idea if this still works

I'm pretty sure JJ doesn't  do it anymore
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on July 24, 2017, 09:32:12 AM
Spoke to the Chabad rabbi on Kauai.  He said that the BI shluchim should be there IY"H second week of August.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on July 26, 2017, 05:39:54 PM
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158771559215291&id=589465290

Farewell rabbi chazanov, gonna miss him

I miss him too, spent a week with Avremel. We had great times! Shared beer and wine and all. He let me crash by the Chabad house and shower in his house..
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on July 26, 2017, 05:42:19 PM
What happened to him?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on July 26, 2017, 05:56:06 PM
What happened to him?

Not sure what happened to him but it appears they are moving to the mainland.  I asked his father in law about him this past January but he wouldn't discuss anything.  We did see his daughter at the Chabad of HNL.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on July 26, 2017, 06:33:11 PM
Rumor is they moved to ATL
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chevron on July 30, 2017, 03:21:31 PM
What happened to him?

Couldnt raise money, maybe he was burnt out ?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mochada on August 23, 2017, 02:47:52 PM
Couldnt raise money, maybe he was burnt out ?

Started a successful startup. I've been in touch with him.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 05, 2017, 09:15:58 AM
Got this e-mail:


Chabad is excited to announce that you can now order kosher meat, chicken, and many other kosher products to the Big Island at minimal cost.

Each person can place his/her own order from Westernkosher.com with any zip code on the Big Island. Delivery is done by a company called Calhono, which specializes in frozen and refrigerated shipments to Hawaii. Their fee is based on the total weight and volume of the entire order, so the exact amount will be determined & due upon pickup from Chabad in Kona. It will be about $1.00 per LB (in addition to the price paid to Western Kosher for the products).

The next delivery will ship on Friday, the 8th of Dec 2017. Please place your order as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday morning. The order will arrive to the Big Island on Tuesday the 19th.

Please click here (http://www.jewishbigisland.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3867850/jewish/Frozen-Kosher-products.htm) for more info on how to order.

We hope to be making orders once a month or so. If you are interested in future updates please let us know.

This arrangement is being provided by Chabad as a service to the community at cost price.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on December 06, 2017, 08:59:47 AM
Got this e-mail:


Chabad is excited to announce that you can now order kosher meat, chicken, and many other kosher products to the Big Island at minimal cost.

Each person can place his/her own order from Westernkosher.com with any zip code on the Big Island. Delivery is done by a company called Calhono, which specializes in frozen and refrigerated shipments to Hawaii. Their fee is based on the total weight and volume of the entire order, so the exact amount will be determined & due upon pickup from Chabad in Kona. It will be about $1.00 per LB (in addition to the price paid to Western Kosher for the products).

The next delivery will ship on Friday, the 8th of Dec 2017. Please place your order as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday morning. The order will arrive to the Big Island on Tuesday the 19th.

Please click here (http://www.jewishbigisland.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3867850/jewish/Frozen-Kosher-products.htm) for more info on how to order.

We hope to be making orders once a month or so. If you are interested in future updates please let us know.

This arrangement is being provided by Chabad as a service to the community at cost price.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Does anyone have a ballpark on how big the fulltime Kosher community on Big Island (or any Hawaiian island for that matter)? This service obviously won't help tourists since it's so infrequent, and it's probably cheaper to check a bag with food anyway (let's say $35 at most for up to 50lbs).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on December 06, 2017, 12:24:16 PM
Does anyone have a ballpark on how big the fulltime Kosher community on Big Island (or any Hawaiian island for that matter)? This service obviously won't help tourists since it's so infrequent, and it's probably cheaper to check a bag with food anyway (let's say $35 at most for up to 50lbs).
Full time kosher community on the BI is just the rabbi and his family.  (Pretty sure it's the same on Kauai and Maui.  Oahu has more.)

It's about convenience as well as price.

The new Chabad on the BI seems to have an extensive list of prepared food (including dairy CY, yay!) that you can order from them as well             (https://jewishbigislandorg.clhosting.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/3830169).
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: chaimdasap on January 04, 2018, 08:07:28 PM
Planning a trip for family of four that wants to stay in a 2 bedroom suite on the beach in kaui, (preferably) for 10 nights. does anyone here know where they can get the most for their points at one of the resorts?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 04, 2018, 11:06:58 PM
Planning a trip for family of four that wants to stay in a 2 bedroom suite on the beach in kaui, (preferably) for 10 nights. does anyone here know where they can get the most for their points at one of the resorts?
Kaui?  If you mean Kauai, maybe try asking in that thread.  I think possibly Marriotts may have what you're looking for.  You might also consider looking for a 1 bedroom suite with a sleeper sofa in the living room.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Mtl18 on January 07, 2018, 04:58:53 PM
Where are affordable places on Kona side to buy produce? Does Wal-Mart have a decent produce selection? Others?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on January 07, 2018, 06:19:56 PM
Where are affordable places on Kona side to buy produce? Does Wal-Mart have a decent produce selection? Others?
Walmart selection is pretty small, but they have a few things that you can buy like potatoes, zucchini, bananas, and apples.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 07, 2018, 11:04:26 PM
Where are affordable places on Kona side to buy produce? Does Wal-Mart have a decent produce selection? Others?
Safeway (right near Walmart), farmers market (W-Su), fruit stands

Don't forget apple bananas, mangosteen, and YELLOW lilikoi if in season.   :)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on January 07, 2018, 11:38:22 PM
Where are affordable places on Kona side to buy produce? Does Wal-Mart have a decent produce selection? Others?

Safeway has a large selection but is quite expensive.  Fruit stands are definitely the way to go.  You can check out Cooks Bounty Fruit Stand and Judy's Fruit Stand if not too far from where you are.  Pictures of both fruit stands are in this TR if you are interested:

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66190.0
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on January 07, 2018, 11:49:20 PM
Fruit stands are definitely the way to go.

Always the best option, all over Hawaii.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 08, 2018, 12:35:54 AM
Fruit stands are great for fruit.  Not so great for other produce.  Don't recall ever seeing a potato, carrot, or salad veggie at a fruit stand, which might be what the poster is looking for.  If you go when Hawaiian sweet corn is in season, buy it from whomever you see set up on the side of the road.  Some things NOT to try: noni, breadfruit, durian.

On one of my recent visits to HI, there was a parsnip shortage back home.  When stores got it back in stock, it was extremely expensive.  Even Safeway was cheaper.  Personally, I like the convenience of Safeway a lot.  Would rather pick up staples there, and consider fruit stands as bonuses.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Mtl18 on January 08, 2018, 09:14:31 PM
Thanks. Ya, was thinking more like veggies for meals. Fruit are a nice bonus but seems the fruit stands are great for that. We'll try walmart  and safeway.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 05, 2018, 09:30:17 AM
http://khon2.com/2018/02/01/tour-guide-dies-after-group-overcome-by-noxious-steam-cloud-near-lava-flow/

Very sad. I've been following his work for years, he was a consummate professional.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: PBaruch on February 05, 2018, 01:41:37 PM
Anyone have intel on the SPG Westin Hapuna Beach Resort opening in Spring of 2018 (after renovation) in Waimea?  It's listed at Cat 5.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JudahMcB on March 21, 2018, 07:18:49 AM
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is completely sold out Jan 17-27. I confirmed with Hilton that a group booked the whole hotel but they wouldn't tell me which group. These dates suspiciously line up with Yeshiva Break 2019. Anyone familiar with the program or know how I could find out which program will be there?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on March 21, 2018, 08:15:29 AM
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is completely sold out Jan 17-27. I confirmed with Hilton that a group booked the whole hotel but they wouldn't tell me which group. These dates suspiciously line up with Yeshiva Break 2019. Anyone familiar with the program or know how I could find out which program will be there?
https://www.healio.com/meeting/hawaiianeyemeeting/home has it Jan. 19-25.  Is there a reason you need to be at that particular hotel during those dates?  There are other, better, hotels on the BI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JudahMcB on March 21, 2018, 09:24:16 AM
There are other, better, hotels on the BI.

What would be better where I could use Hilton points? I currently have a reservation at Kohala Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations (we're 6 in total and need a 2-3BR suite with a kitchen) which has access to the entire Waikoloa Village facility.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on March 21, 2018, 09:24:49 AM
https://www.healio.com/meeting/hawaiianeyemeeting/home has it Jan. 19-25.  Is there a reason you need to be at that particular hotel during those dates?  There are other, better, hotels on the BI.
+1, just stay somewhere else, like the Sheraton for example. It's a nice hotel, just missing a beach.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: E R K on March 21, 2018, 09:36:37 AM
+1, just stay somewhere else, like the Sheraton for example. It's a nice hotel, just missing a beach.

Fairmont Orchid SO MUCH nicer.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on March 21, 2018, 10:30:29 AM
Fairmont Orchid SO MUCH nicer.
Maybe, but I haven't stayed there so I can't compare.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on March 21, 2018, 01:04:29 PM
Fairmont Orchid SO MUCH nicer.

+1000
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: efflpetzel on March 25, 2018, 11:40:48 PM
Fairmont Orchid SO MUCH nicer.
Comparing apples to oranges.

Sheraton is a plain 3* hotel compared to the Fairmont which is a nice 4.5* hotel

(My rating)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on March 26, 2018, 09:42:45 AM
He wasn't really comparing; he was giving an additional option that's also an upgrade. (they're also both still hotels if you're splitting hairs)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on April 18, 2018, 04:00:08 PM
http://bigislandnow.com/2018/04/17/kilauea-volcano-showing-signs-of-increased-activity/

Wonder what comes next. I'm planning to go in August.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on April 22, 2018, 05:55:00 PM
Lodging Question: Should I AirBNB / VRBO on the Kona side or the Hilo side?

I'll be heading to TBI in August with 2 others for my first visit. I'll be arriving on Sunday and leaving on Thursday (3 full days).

I plan on renting an apartment instead of hotel for a few reasons (~100 a night, includes a kitchen, has 3 beds).  I am torn about which side to stay on.

On one hand, Kona has better weather, beaches / snorkeling, and I'll probably be flying into there. On the other hand, many of the activities that I'd like to do such as Volcano, waipio valley, mauna kea among others are closer to the Hilo side. I'd like to pick a side and not move around during my trip for the most part.

Also, any suggestions on specific Airbnb / VRBO would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: israbear89 on April 22, 2018, 06:22:42 PM
Seems to me like you answered your own question. You want to do Volcano, waipio valley, mauna kea and not move around much... which sounds like you want to stay on the Hilo side for the most part... Otherwise you're looking at over 4 hours of driving (there and back) if you stay on the Kona side
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on April 22, 2018, 07:10:23 PM
We stayed in an Volcano VRBO back in '08. Closer to the things I wanted to do on TBI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on April 22, 2018, 11:32:48 PM
Lodging Question: Should I AirBNB / VRBO on the Kona side or the Hilo side?

I'll be heading to TBI in August with 2 others for my first visit. I'll be arriving on Sunday and leaving on Thursday (3 full days).

I plan on renting an apartment instead of hotel for a few reasons (~100 a night, includes a kitchen, has 3 beds).  I am torn about which side to stay on.

On one hand, Kona has better weather, beaches / snorkeling, and I'll probably be flying into there. On the other hand, many of the activities that I'd like to do such as Volcano, waipio valley, mauna kea among others are closer to the Hilo side. I'd like to pick a side and not move around during my trip for the most part.

Also, any suggestions on specific Airbnb / VRBO would be appreciated.
Read my TR. We stayed in Volcano for 2 nights and near Kona for 2 nights. Ended up working your great.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on May 03, 2018, 08:58:24 AM
Read my TR. We stayed in Volcano for 2 nights and near Kona for 2 nights. Ended up working your great.

Thanks for the advice. Will stay on the Hilo side.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on May 03, 2018, 09:02:36 AM
Thanks for the advice. Will stay on the Hilo side.
Ok, but be prepared for rainy weather the whole time. It may not happen, but br prepared.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on May 03, 2018, 09:04:33 AM
http://bigislandnow.com/2018/04/17/kilauea-volcano-showing-signs-of-increased-activity/

Wonder what comes next. I'm planning to go in August.

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/status.html
https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm


Big changes going on with the Volcano this week. Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater collapsed, 61g flow stopped, mass movement of magma under the ground east to the lower rift zone is causing hundreds of earthquakes. Last night a part of the larger Halema‘uma‘u crater collapsed as well. Will be interesting to see what comes next!
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on May 03, 2018, 11:33:20 PM
https://youtu.be/jIX4PUDXqm8
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Shua on May 03, 2018, 11:36:32 PM
http://www.weatherboy.com/lava-eruption-spotted-hawaii/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on May 06, 2018, 01:31:08 AM
https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/news/20180504_pr_closure.htm

Park closure in affect.

From FB:

Park update for Saturday, May 5 at 5:30 pm:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will remain closed today and through tonight. Park staff have been busy assessing trails, roads and buildings in the front country areas of the park today, and thus far, minimal damage has been reported.

If volcanic and seismic activity remain at current levels in the park, the park could partially reopen Sunday afternoon. We will keep you posted through digital, traditional and social media outreach.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on June 14, 2018, 09:12:12 PM
A bit late, but Kapoho tide pools are gone.  :'(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on June 18, 2018, 08:19:54 PM
I see the 2016 version of The Big Island Revealed on Amazon, do I need the 2018 version?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: brodes18 on June 18, 2018, 08:21:24 PM
I see the 2016 version of The Big Island Revealed on Amazon, do I need the 2018 version?
You probably need the one that's not out yet. A lot of the 2018 one related to the volcano and puna area is now outdated.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 18, 2018, 08:22:10 PM
I see the 2016 version of The Big Island Revealed on Amazon, do I need the 2018 version?
I don't think there is a newer one.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on June 18, 2018, 08:22:17 PM
You probably need the one that's not out yet. A lot of the 2018 one related to the volcano and puna area is now outdated.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
So what do I do at this point...?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on June 18, 2018, 08:22:46 PM
I don't think there is a newer one.
So just get the 2016 and rely on information online about the volcano and everything?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on June 18, 2018, 08:34:43 PM
So just get the 2016 and rely on information online about the volcano and everything?
You'll have to look online for current info about the volcano.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yoshyosh on June 18, 2018, 09:48:03 PM
I see the 2016 version of The Big Island Revealed on Amazon, do I need the 2018 version?
I bought the app it is very good for updated information.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on June 18, 2018, 10:26:04 PM
I bought the app it is very good for updated information.
How much is it?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yoshyosh on June 19, 2018, 12:18:14 AM
How much is it?
I think it depends how many islands, something like 8-20 https://www.hawaiirevealed.com/hawaii-the-big-island-revealed/guidebook-app/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on July 12, 2018, 10:31:59 AM
Ahalanui is gone.  :(
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on July 24, 2018, 06:11:34 PM
I need a hotel for one night, I'm looking for convenience over luxury so closer to the airport and free parking would be nice. Anyone have any recommendations?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on August 12, 2018, 12:11:10 AM
Book is $8.69 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996131825/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on August 12, 2018, 12:41:49 AM
Just starting to read TR's now and plan my trip which starts in a week. (just booked tonight).

One important question though since i want to get my car rental done. How important is a jeep for this island?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 12, 2018, 12:53:57 AM
Just starting to read TR's now and plan my trip which starts in a week. (just booked tonight).

One important question though since i want to get my car rental done. How important is a jeep for this island?
Not very.
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 01:38:51 AM
Just starting to read TR's now and plan my trip which starts in a week. (just booked tonight).

One important question though since i want to get my car rental done. How important is a jeep for this island?
Imperative if you want to summit Mauna Kea, something you should definitely do. I saw a bunch of people going up and down in regular AWD's like Nissan Rouge's but I am really glad we had a jeep for it.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on August 12, 2018, 03:08:30 AM
Imperative if you want to summit Mauna Kea, something you should definitely do. I saw a bunch of people going up and down in regular AWD's like Nissan Rouge's but I am really glad we had a jeep for it.

Dan claims he did it in a convertible.

BTW looks like your toaster will be making its way to TBI for me next week so its getting some more use.
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 03:38:51 AM
Dan claims he did it in a convertible.

BTW looks like your toaster will be making its way to TBI for me next week so its getting some more use.
So maybe you can do it in a convertible, I wouldn't have.

I'm very glad that you guys are getting such great use out of my toaster
(I hope you guys aren't shipping it, it would be cheaper to buy a new one.)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on August 12, 2018, 03:40:20 AM
So maybe you can do it in a convertible, I wouldn't have.

I'm very glad that you guys are getting such great use out of my toaster
(I hope you guys aren't shipping it, it would be cheaper to buy a new one.)

nope. they are going to tbi for two days and have free luggage space
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 03:58:28 AM
nope. they are going to tbi for two days and have free luggage space

It's amazing what we all do to save $20
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 12, 2018, 08:47:23 AM
It was scary doing it in a convertible, I'd definitely recommend a Jeep for TBI.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: ckmk47 on August 12, 2018, 11:36:43 AM
Book is $8.69 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996131825/ (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0996131825/)
On eBay you can get a good used copy for $4.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 02:12:32 PM
On eBay you can get a good used copy for $4.
Ain’t nobody got time for ebay shipping.
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 02:13:23 PM
It was scary doing it in a convertible, I'd definitely recommend a Jeep for TBI.
Yea I can’t imagine that was a fun experience, especially at night, it’s some pretty rough going.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 12, 2018, 02:14:22 PM
Yea I can’t imagine that was a fun experience, especially at night, it’s some pretty rough going.
I enjoyed it, my wife OTOH...
Title: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 12, 2018, 02:15:31 PM
I enjoyed it, my wife OTOH...
Lol, I can imagine, I was in the passenger seat of a Jeep and that was a little scary coming down, my friend driving had a good time though. We were on around 4 hrs of sleep in the previous 40 some odd hrs so that didn’t exactly help either.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: 12HRS on August 22, 2018, 02:54:27 AM
Looks like I may be spending an unplanned shabbos here  ;D
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on August 22, 2018, 02:56:34 AM
Looks like I may be spending an unplanned shabbos here  ;D
Sounds like a story...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: E R K on August 22, 2018, 08:44:53 AM
Looks like I may be spending an unplanned shabbos here  ;D

Why? And where? I found Fairmont Shabbos friendly.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Proisrael on August 22, 2018, 08:50:28 AM
Sounds like a story...

Hurricane...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 22, 2018, 09:15:03 AM
Looks like I may be spending an unplanned shabbos here  ;D
Oy, say hi to my sister and BIL. They're planning on staying for shabbos.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Moshe123 on August 22, 2018, 10:56:30 AM
The vast majority of models avoid a hit.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JudahMcB on November 11, 2018, 08:25:06 AM
Can anyone recommend a luau on TBI or Honolulu that does not serve food or has the option to not pay for food? I assume it's too much to ask if there is one that would make arrangements for kosher food?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on November 23, 2018, 08:40:57 AM
20% off Dolphin Quest gift cards now through Cyber Monday:

https://dolphinquest.com/hawaii-big-island/

Text of email:

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To show our appreciation for you, our Dolphin Quest Hawaii location on the Big Island is offering 20% off e-gift cards now through Cyber Monday. They are great gifts  for friends or loved ones traveling to the Big Island, and can be applied to any program!

Gift cards must be purchased online here (linked to above link) from now until midnight HST on Monday, November 26 to receive 20% discount.

Offer only valid for Dolphin Quest Hawaii. For more details, call 1-800-248-3316.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: JudahMcB on January 14, 2019, 11:59:16 AM
Has anyone been to BI National Parks sites since the government shutdown? What is closed? The NPS website says "some areas of the park will remain accessible to visitors" for most sites but doesn't go into detail.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on January 14, 2019, 05:21:09 PM
Has anyone been to BI National Parks sites since the government shutdown? What is closed? The NPS website says "some areas of the park will remain accessible to visitors" for most sites but doesn't go into detail.
From Facebook:

Park update for Jan. 14, 2019:

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announced today that areas of the park will continue to be accessible to visitors. Some visitor services, including cleaning restrooms, trash collection and entrance stations, will now be completed by using revenue generated by recreation fees. Visitors should visit the park website at nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes while planning their visit to get the latest information on accessibility and available services.

Areas accessible to park visitors include:
• Kīlauea Visitor Center (KVC), exhibits, picnic tables, and restrooms
• The Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store in KVC will be open
• Crater Rim Drive from the park entrance to Kilauea Military Camp
• Crater Rim Drive from the park entrance to the intersection at Devastation Trail Parking Lot
• Crater Rim Drive to viewpoints of Halema‘uma‘u near Keanakāko‘i (pedestrians/bicyclists only)
• Crater Rim Trail between Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp
• Volcano House lodging, gift stores and restaurants
• Kilauea Military Camp
• Volcano Art Center Gallery
• Steam Vents and Sulphur Banks
• Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu (vehicles not permitted past the gate at Kīpukapuaulu)
• Mauna Loa Road to Mauna Loa Lookout – pedestrians and bicyclists only
• Kīpukapuaulu day use picnic area
• Kīpukapuaulu and trail
• Ka‘ū Desert Trail to the new Footprints exhibit
• Escape Road from Highway 11 to Crater Rim Drive (no vehicles)
• Namakanipaio Campground

The rest of the park will be closed, including Chain of Craters Road, Kulanaokuaiki Campground, all backcountry areas, and Kahuku.

National Park Service officials have determined that by using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to clean restrooms, remove trash, and complete health and safety operations, the park will be able to continue providing accessibility to the park for visitors while ensuring health and safety.

Some outdoor areas of the park will remain accessible but some facilities and areas will remain closed. Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association continue to provide donations to keep the Kīlauea Visitor Center open. Entrance stations will be open to provide safety and information protection messages to arriving visitors, but entrance fees and camping fees will not be collected.

“We greatly appreciate the generous contributions of park partners, especially Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano House, Volcano Art Center, and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association who have provided tens of thousands of dollars in financial and in-kind donations during the lapse in appropriations,” said park superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Their efforts have contributed significantly to our ability to provide access and basic services to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.”

While basic visitor services continue, other services may be limited or unavailable during the lapse in appropriations, including special events, ranger talks and programs. Additional information is available at www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.

For updates on the shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yunchkup on February 14, 2019, 12:39:59 AM
Does anyone have info on how to tour the observatories on Mauna Kea after sunset? How to see stars from the summit?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on February 14, 2019, 12:42:35 AM
Does anyone have info on how to tour the observatories on Mauna Kea after sunset? How to see stars from the summit?
It's quite easy to see the stars from the summit: just look up. Google SkyMap (app) will tell you what you're looking at.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: mmgfarb on February 14, 2019, 01:38:01 AM
Does anyone have info on how to tour the observatories on Mauna Kea after sunset? How to see stars from the summit?
You can't go to the actual observatories but you'll have no problem seeing way more stars than you've ever seen in your life from the summit by yourself.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on February 14, 2019, 06:50:42 AM
Does anyone have info on how to tour the observatories on Mauna Kea after sunset? How to see stars from the summit?
You're not even "allowed" to stay after sunset.  You can go back to the visitor center and look through the telescopes they have there.

http://www.keckobservatory.org/visit/
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 14, 2019, 08:04:43 AM
You're not even "allowed" to stay after sunset.  You can go back to the visitor center and look through the telescopes they have there.

http://www.keckobservatory.org/visit/

This. They kick everyone off before it gets dark enough to see stars. Go to the visitor's center, they have telescopes and such set up.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yunchkup on February 14, 2019, 08:30:41 AM
This. They kick everyone off before it gets dark enough to see stars. Go to the visitor's center, they have telescopes and such set up.
I've read this before here on DDF, but I remember someone saying something they have access to a tour guide or something like that. According to this link http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/star-gazing-program.html (http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/star-gazing-program.html), stargazing at the visitor center is also no longer an option. I'm hoping someone has "protektzia" to help us out.  ;)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yunchkup on February 14, 2019, 08:32:10 AM
While we're at it, does it make sense to do Mauna Kea and the volcanoes in one day? We're staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on February 14, 2019, 08:38:47 AM
While we're at it, does it make sense to do Mauna Kea and the volcanoes in one day? We're staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Nothing to see at the volcano these days, it's all pretty dormant after the last eruption. A bit of steam, and lots of devastation, if that's your thing.

Time-wise it can certainly work though.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on February 14, 2019, 02:12:30 PM
Another option to see stars, but without a telescope:  drive up to the MLO, park in the lot right before the gate.  This is where people park their cars if doing the day hike to the summit.  It's at about 11,000 feet.  Make sure to acclimate at the telephone wires for half an hour.  The road up is more fun (winding, hilly, one lane) than Mauna Kea, and takes longer, but there probably will be no one around, and you'll likely be able to see lots of stars (there may be some lights left on at night; call to ask if that's a concern).  You might even be able to see Haleakala, but there are some wires that will detract from the view.  There is no visitor center, but there is an outhouse nearby.  No, this is not a touristy thing to do, but with the public stargazing suspended at the MK VIS, it's something to do.  If you are interested in actually going to the MLO, contact them in advance, and they will show you around, but most people are not interested in NOAA's climate monitoring.  (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo/visitingandtours/index.html)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: yunchkup on February 14, 2019, 02:43:01 PM
Another option to see stars, but without a telescope:  drive up to the MLO, park in the lot right before the gate.  This is where people park their cars if doing the day hike to the summit.  It's at about 11,000 feet.  Make sure to acclimate at the telephone wires for half an hour.  The road up is more fun (winding, hilly, one lane) than Mauna Kea, and takes longer, but there probably will be no one around, and you'll likely be able to see lots of stars (there may be some lights left on at night; call to ask if that's a concern).  You might even be able to see Haleakala, but there are some wires that will detract from the view.  There is no visitor center, but there is an outhouse nearby.  No, this is not a touristy thing to do, but with the public stargazing suspended at the MK VIS, it's something to do.  If you are interested in actually going to the MLO, contact them in advance, and they will show you around, but most people are not interested in NOAA's climate monitoring.  (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo/visitingandtours/index.html)
Thanks loads! This was actually very helpful for my star-loving, anything-weather-related-loving husband.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: flaggie on August 01, 2019, 04:29:35 AM
Gonna be on the island August 18 th to 22 was wondering if anybody will be there with kids that wants to take turns babysitting. 3 kids.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 01, 2019, 07:42:51 AM
Gonna be on the island August 18 th to 22 was wondering if anybody will be there with kids that wants to take turns babysitting. 3 kids.
The island is big, can take hours to drive from one place to the next. Would be helpful to say what part of the island you'll be staying at.

You can try Chabad. They have three kids, too, I believe, and even if they don't want to/can't switch off babysitting duties, should be able to recommend someone.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: flaggie on August 04, 2019, 04:43:19 AM
Gonna be mostly on the kona side. Seems like the volcanos are not much to see nowadays...
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Yehoshua on August 04, 2019, 10:34:01 AM
Gonna be mostly on the kona side. Seems like the volcanos are not much to see nowadays...
VNP is still most likely gorgeous even if it's not like it was a couple years ago. Things change at NPs like this. If they didn't, they couldn't be natural.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: flaggie on August 06, 2019, 02:22:50 PM
Anybody know if a photographer I can use? Preferably one who doesn't charge a fortune
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 18, 2019, 07:08:37 PM
Worth visiting with a 7 and 2 yr old?

Assuming answer is yes, is 24 hrs too short? Thinking about being on Maui from Sun-Mon early afternoon, then jump over to BI till Tues afternoon, before flying back home. Alternatively can leave Maui on Sun or …….
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on August 18, 2019, 09:31:43 PM
Worth visiting with a 7 and 2 yr old?

Assuming answer is yes, is 24 hrs too short? Thinking about being on Maui from Sun-Mon early afternoon, then jump over to BI till Tues afternoon, before flying back home. Alternatively can leave Maui on Sun or …….
Stay in Maui.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 18, 2019, 09:37:19 PM
Stay in Maui.

This.

Back when the volcano was active a short hop to TBI made sense. Now it doesn't.

Also, your little kids will preclude you from going up MK.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on August 18, 2019, 09:41:59 PM
This.

Back when the volcano was active a short hop to TBI made sense. Now it doesn't.

Also, your little kids will preclude you from going up MK.
Even with a volcano going to Maui for 1.5 days makes no sense. Can't even do RTH in that short a time.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on August 18, 2019, 10:03:22 PM
Even with a volcano going to Maui for 1.5 days makes no sense. Can't even do RTH in that short a time.

I thought he was asking about going from Maui to TBI for a day...

But yeah, not worth to do an island for less than 4 days or so. Day trips to Lanai, Molokai, or Nihau are the obvious exception.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 18, 2019, 10:23:15 PM
I thought he was asking about going from Maui to TBI for a day...

But yeah, not worth to do an island for less than 4 days or so. Day trips to Lanai, Molokai, or Nihau are the obvious exception.

exactly.

plan is to arrive into maui on sun mid afternoon. so we can either leave to BI on thurs or sunday (4 or 7 days stay). I figured since more to do on maui with kids, better to stay till sunday early afternoon then take 1-way flight to BI, and from there fly back home (9 day trip). this gives us 48 hrs on BI to explore.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: SSLPhD on August 18, 2019, 11:22:40 PM
exactly.

plan is to arrive into maui on sun mid afternoon. so we can either leave to BI on thurs or sunday. I figured since more to do on maui with kids, better to stay till sunday early afternoon then take 1-way flight to BI, and from there fly back home. this gives us 48 hrs on BI to explore.
It sounded like you were going to be on Maui for two days. This makes more sense.  Why not spend that extra day on Oahu, exploring Pearl Harbor?  The BI is my favorite island, but doesn't make sense as part of your itinerary.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 19, 2019, 12:27:48 AM
Even with a volcano, going to Maui for 1.5 days makes no sense. Can't even do RTH in that short a time.

apologies for not being clear. planning on being in Hawaii for 9 days total, and trying to figure out the best way to spend that time. obviously cant do 3 islands, but thought 2 is doable. considering maui and BI are more different then kauai and BI, I thought to spend 1 week in maui (sun-sun), followed by 2 days on BI.

but nothing set in stone and am open to suggestions. considering age of kids is why I leaned more to maui then kauai.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on August 19, 2019, 08:01:16 AM


apologies for not being clear. planning on being in Hawaii for 9 days total, and trying to figure out the best way to spend that time. obviously cant do 3 islands, but thought 2 is doable. considering maui and BI are more different then kauai and BI, I thought to spend 1 week in maui (sun-sun), followed by 2 days on BI.

but nothing set in stone and am open to suggestions. considering age of kids is why I leaned more to maui then kauai.

I assume you're keeping 2 days of shabbos? Otherwise, maybe going to BI on Friday is better.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 19, 2019, 08:10:07 AM

I assume you're keeping 2 days of shabbos? Otherwise, maybe going to BI on Friday is better.

correct - keeping D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 19, 2019, 08:39:34 AM
I'd go to Kauai on Thursday
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 19, 2019, 09:42:59 AM
I'd go to Kauai on Thursday

interesting.

so you're suggesting spending 4 days in maui (sun - thurs afternoon), then spend 2.25 days (cant really count thurs, fri or Shabbos) in Kauai with a 2 yr old?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Dan on August 19, 2019, 09:52:06 AM
If you're trying to squeeze in 2 islands, sure.
Otherwise just stay on Maui.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on August 19, 2019, 10:15:34 AM
If you're trying to squeeze in 2 islands, sure.
Otherwise just stay on Maui.
Why kauai over BI? just easier to do in such a short time?
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on August 19, 2019, 10:25:38 AM
If you're trying to squeeze in 2 islands, sure.
Otherwise just stay on Maui.

may I ask why you think traveling on thurs afternoon & spending Shabbos in kauai is preferred over sun afternoon and spending Shabbos in maui? your suggestion only gives me an extra half day or so of Kauai, unless that's exactly your point :)

my thinking was that 7 days in maui allows me to use a 7 day marriot cert (easy to buy), rather then using my own points for 4 individual nights in maui and 5 nights in kauai.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: shaulyaakov on August 19, 2019, 10:34:37 AM
may I ask why you think traveling on thurs afternoon & spending Shabbos in kauai is preferred over sun afternoon and spending Shabbos in maui? your suggestion only gives me an extra half day or so of Kauai, unless that's exactly your point :)

my thinking was that 7 days in maui allows me to use a 7 day marriot cert (easy to buy), rather then using my own points for 4 individual nights in maui and 5 nights in kauai.
Hmm.. Could be 4 nights + 1 free is better than a 7 night. I guess that would also require shabbos in Maui.

Another factor could be if you care about minyan. Chabad Maui might have a shabbos AM minyan (posted start time is 1015 so might not be so helpful for a litvak). I don't beleive kauai ever has minyan. Either way, this discussion probably belongs in the "which island to visit thread".

With a 2 year old, my personal preference would just be to stay in Maui. Maybe do a day in HNL if you need to connect there anyway for a flight back to the mainland.
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: Something Fishy on September 11, 2019, 01:04:34 AM
Posted a trip report:

Flying to Hawaii for 36 Hours: Something Fishy's Big Island Whirlwind (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=107571.0)
Title: Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
Post by: nirc on November 22, 2020, 11:58:04 AM
It seems as if quite a few things on TBI is closed because of COVID. To start the list:

Kīlauea Visitor Center
Thurston Lava Tube (Nāhuku)
All Volcano House services

To be cont....