Topic Wiki

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

Kosher Food/ Restaurants:

Synagogue:

Things to Do:
Lava (find out in advance what the best way is to see the lava):
  • Helicopter
  • Hike/Bike
    • Surface flow - depending on the conditions, it might be possible to hike to surface flow.  Inquire with Kalapana Cultural Tours.
    • Ocean entry - At the present time, there are three ways to access the area where lava is flowing into the ocean: (i) walk the approximately 10 miles round trip over the county emergency access road from Kalapana (you can also walk over the road from the National Park side as well) - UPDATE - you are now restricted to .5 miles from the surface flow due to dumb tourists putting themselves in danger and almost getting killed. As a result, viewing ocean entry from land is not as enjoyable as it used to be; (ii) rent a bicycle from one of several companies and ride to the ocean entry; or (iii) pay for Kalapana Cultural Tours (www.kalapanaculturaltours.com) to drive you most of the way and then hike or bike the remaining approximately 1.8 miles each way. 
  • Boat

Caves/lava tubes
  • Thurston Lava Tube (parking now restricted to 30 minutes)
  • Kaumana
  • ranger-led to?
  • Cave 3
  • Kazamura Caves http://kazumuracave.com/

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

Waterfalls

Historical/museums

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

Snorkeling

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

SCUBA

Swimming with dolphins

Coffee Farm Tours

NPS sites
  • If you plan on going to more than one NPS site in your time in Hawaii, it probably makes sense to get a Hawaii Tri-Parks Pass, which costs $30 per year for all three parks that collect fees (HAVO,HALE,PUHO), instead of up to $25 for a few days for one park.
  • Hawaii Volcanoes NP (HVNP) (ALL BUT KAHUKU UNIT IS CLOSED FOR NOW)
    • Jaggar Museum/Halemaumau overlook
    • Thurston lava tube (Definitely do the dark end if open, but has been closed for years.)
    • Chain of Craters Rd. to Holei sea arch
    • Kahuku (only weekendsEXPANDED HOURS FOR NOW)
    • Easy hikes:  Sulphur Banks, Devastation Trail, Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs
  • Pu'uhonua o Honaunau NHP
  • Kaloko Honokohau NHP
  • Pu'ukohola Heiau NHS (heiau means temple)

Botanic Gardens
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden htbg.com

Miscellany
  • Lava Tree State Monument CLOSED
  • Ahalanui (covered by lava, July 2018)
  • Seahorse Farm (great place for kids)- http://seahorse.com/
  • Cape Kumukahi Lighthouse - you can see where the lava came right up to the fence surrounding the lighthouse
  • South Point
  • Atlantis submarine
  • Hilo farmers market, Wednesdays (and Saturdays)
  • Pololu
  • Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo
  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center - skippable; more expensive than Walmart; Rabbi Chazanow, previously of the BI has said that nuts without any chocolate/dairy are PAREVE, including Dry Roasted and Honey Roasted, even when bearing the OU-D

Hotels:
  • Kohala
  • Kona
  • Volcano
  • Hilo

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

Notes:
« Last edited by SSLPhD on July 14, 2018, 10:31:09 PM »

Author Topic: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread  (Read 155467 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #195 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.
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #196 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. 
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #197 on: February 23, 2014, 11:17:04 AM »
Why didn't Alex have a sat phone for hike like that?
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #198 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.
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #199 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.

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #200 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?
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #201 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.

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #202 on: February 23, 2014, 08:33:56 PM »
Depends if you're actually staying in Kona or Kohala.
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #203 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.
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #204 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.
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #205 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
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #206 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?

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #207 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?

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #208 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. 
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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #209 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.