Topic Wiki

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

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 cgr on February 24, 2022, 09:16:15 PM »

Author Topic: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread  (Read 213937 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #500 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/
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 04:52:59 PM by PBaruch »
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline keepsmiling123

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #501 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

Offline mechayamom

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #502 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.

Offline whYME

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #503 on: August 27, 2015, 02:14:02 PM »
IINM your only problem with heights is Mauna Kea

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #504 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.
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Offline whYME

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #505 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?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #506 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.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #507 on: August 27, 2015, 02:52:06 PM »
Below 3k IIUC.
Saddle Rd is more than twice that.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline whYME

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #508 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...

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #509 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?
40/50, 42/63

Offline mechayamom

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #510 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?

Offline whYME

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #511 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.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #512 on: August 27, 2015, 04:52:40 PM »
We stayed in Volcano.
Was nice, but it was pretty cold (January time).
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #513 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.
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Offline whYME

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #514 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...

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #515 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.
40/50, 42/63

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #516 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.
40/50, 42/63

Offline mechayamom

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #517 on: August 27, 2015, 05:42:21 PM »
Thanks all for your suggestions...DH would not go for doors off.  :)

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #518 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.   :)
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Offline mechayamom

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #519 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.