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 144244 times)

Offline efflpetzel

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #675 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)

Offline hachover

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #676 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.
I'm an optimist; but only because life isn't going to give me any other good choices.

Offline shulem92

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #677 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

Offline shulem92

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #678 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?)

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #679 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.
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Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #680 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.

Offline shulem92

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #681 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?

Offline dansdealsfan5

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #682 on: August 18, 2016, 03:15:56 PM »
Is anyone being on the BI next Monday, the 22nd?

Yes, iyh. Why

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #683 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.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #684 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".
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Offline Zalc

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #685 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):
Ocean entry viewpoint by Zalc DDF, on Flickr
lava export8 by Zalc DDF, on Flickr
lava export7 by Zalc DDF, on Flickr
one of many cracks in the lava field by Zalc DDF, on Flickr
lava export3 by Zalc DDF, on Flickr
lava export1 by Zalc DDF, 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 that rent for $10/hr: Kalapana Cultural Tours: 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: 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.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #686 on: August 18, 2016, 07:19:53 PM »
Wow, nice pics and video!

Offline Zalc

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #687 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!

Offline Zalc

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #688 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/

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #689 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...
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