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 154529 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #135 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?
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Offline skey

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #136 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

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #137 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.
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Offline MLM

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #138 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.

Offline shidduch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #139 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. 


Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #140 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.
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Offline shidduch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #141 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.


Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #142 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.
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Offline MendyP

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #143 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...

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #144 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.
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Offline avi h

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #145 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

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #146 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 place. Note though that Ocean View is somewhat out of the way for many things.
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Offline avi h

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #147 on: January 01, 2014, 12:55:28 AM »
Not available for my dates  :'(

Offline aryeh1

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #148 on: January 01, 2014, 01:58:28 AM »
I tried booking a rental car in Honolulu it's like $200 a day?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
« Reply #149 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
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