The Big Island of Hawaii is a volcanic landscape like no other. With cascading waterfalls, beautiful black sand beaches and active volcanos - this really will be a holiday to remember. The below ideas are just a small portion of our favourite things to see and do on the Big Island, for a more personalised and extensive itinerary and recommendations we leave you in the hands of our expert Travel Advisors! Why not get in touch today and as them all about the amazing Big Island of Hawaii.
Why not read on to see a more extensive list of all the wonderful things to do on the Big Island, or check out some of our favourites just below!
The Hawaii Big Island is largest and probably the most imposing of all the Hawaiian Islands. The emphasis here is on exploration, discovery and total relaxation. Hawaii Island will mesmerise and enchant you; whatever you look for in a holiday this is where you will find it. For those who want to fill every hour of every day there is a great variety of activities, sightseeing and excursions to enjoy and if it all becomes too much just chill out on a blissful sandy beach or relax over a Hawaiian culinary delight in one of the many superb restaurants.
Volcanoes National Park
This Park and World Heritage Site cover 333,000 acres from the summit of Maunaloe to the sea with many hiking trails that will take you through craters, deserts and rainforests. You will be entranced by the incredible sights at this park especially Kilauea Volcano being one of the most active on earth and producing 250,000 to 650,000 cubic yards of lava a day! You can sometime even watch the lava flowing into the sea and the landscape change before your eyes, a remarkable sight.
Manta Rays in Kona
These majestic fish have wingspans of 20 feet or more. The best way to see them is at night on one of the boat tours available setting off around sunset from Honokohau Harbour. If you wish you can swim with the mantas, snorkelling is permitted and also certified scuba divers. These wonderful gentle giants will often glide by you in extreme proximity but present no danger to swimmers.
Punaluu Volcanic Black Sand Beach
Active volcanoes on Hawaii Island have produced white, green and black sands and famous for its black sand beach is Punaluu. Here you can enjoy a picnic area and watch Hawaiian Green Sea turtles basking in the sun, an unforgettable sight. On the south side of Hawaii are several other black sand beaches worth exploring.
Waipio Valley Lookout Site
Waipio Valley was once home to thousands of native Hawaiians but only about 100 now remain who live amongst the waterfalls and rivers. The Valley is tropical and this area is exceedingly beautiful. Guided tours by horseback or hiking or by truck are available for you to see the Valley and you will marvel at Hawaii Island's tallest waterfall with a drop of 1,300 feet, an amazing spectacle. The helpful guides are always keen to explain the many legends that abound here and answer any questions.
Stargazing on Hawaii Island - Imiloa Astronomy Center
This centre is a $28 million planetarium and museum. With Hawaii Island being one of the most reputed astronomical sites in the world and with a new centre now open to the public, you can study the stars and experience the IMAX-style movie presentation that gives the sensation of flying through space.
Mauna Kea Summit
There are stargazing tours available supplying everything you need from transport to warm clothes and even dinner. Ascend the mountain summit of Mauna Kea approximately 13,796 feet above sea level being the tallest sea mountain in the world. As there is minimal light pollution the views of the stars are amazing. You can also watch a sunset above the clouds a truly magical experience!
Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona)
Although once a small sleepy fishing village on Kona Coast this is now a lively seaside town and where visitors love to explore Coconut Grove shopping area with its unique shops and there is plenty of free parking if you drive here. There are ancient temples and churches to see and in particular Ahu'ena Heiau a thatched ancient sacred temple site surrounded by carved wooden idols where until the 15th century it contained a temple of human sacrifice build by High Chief Umi, but was then reconstructed built by King Kamehameha 1 as a temple of peace and prosperity. Here there are three tiny beaches where you can view a beautiful coral garden by snorkelling off the shore. Stop off to enjoy some good local food at one of the wonderful restaurants and where there is also plenty of Hawaii style nightlife with live music. Another fascinating place to visit is Hulihee Palace.
Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboys) of Hawaii Island - Parker Ranch
Parker Ranch is one of the oldest ranches in the country and rich in history. The best way to enjoy this is on horseback where you will be exploring the many historical sites such as the Blacksmith Shop, the original horse breaking pens and Red Track where Parker Ranch trained their world record-holding thoroughbreds. Ride through rolling hills and whether you are a beginner or experienced rider, you will be welcomed to ride with the Cowboys of Hawaii.
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Park
Hawaii is home to beautiful landscapes that deserve care and admiration; hence, the quantity of National Parks! The Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Park is located on the South Kona coast, next to Honaunau Bay. It is made up of 180-acres of deep, Hawaiian culturally important land thanks to its rich history including being the home of the Hawaiian Royals.
Kilauea Volcano is the pinnacle landmark for Hawaiian history on the Big Island. Located within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world - it may actually be the most! Visitors can actually witness new land being created while you are on your Hawaiian holiday!
Waterfalls on the Big Island
Waterfalls flourish on the Hawaii Big Island, though to truly see them in all their glory you'll need to take to the skies in a helicopter! Not only does this offer an amazing birds-eye view, but many of the waterfalls are inaccessible and can't be reached by foot or car.
Swim with the Dolphins
Don’t miss a chance to swim with the dolphins on the beautiful Kona Coast as they live and play in their natural ocean habitat. This is a unique experience to interact with these highly intelligent mammals, and will become a memory that will last forever. Tours are available so don’t miss the opportunity to book one of these.
Located on Alii Drive in Kailue Village is the Hulihee Palace that was previously the summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty built in 1838. This is a must if you enjoy delving into some fascinating Victorian history as now being a museum you can view the beautiful ornaments, furniture and artefacts. Every month there are free music concerts with the Hulihee Palace Band. Across the street is Hawaii’s earliest church Mokuaikaua built in 1820 also well worth a visit.
The Kona Inn
The Kona Inn was the first destination resort to open in West Hawaii and leads onto a large lawn shaded by palm trees and leads to the ocean. This is a wonderful area for whale and dolphin watching and enjoying the Kona sunsets. Here you can enjoy a picnic and explore the Inn with its many interesting shops and good restaurants.
Hilo's Farmers Market
Known as one of the best markets to visit in Hawaii Hilo's Farmers Market is popular with locals and visitors alike. Here you will be able to find all the different kinds of exotic fruit, vegetables and nuts grown on the island as well as Papayas that are also grown here and maybe sample one of the popular Strawberry Papayas. There are also colourful flower stalls, handmade jewellery and plenty of other craft items including koa wood and etched glass.
Fishing and Kayaking
Kona Coast is famous for big game fishing tournaments. Visitors are encouraged to get a taste of this by taking a deep sea charter, but for the less adventurous you can discover other means of fishing from jetties and streams on dry land. Whatever you fancy there is something for the enthusiast or beginner. If you want to try your hand at kayaking there are outrigger canoes available for all the family to enjoy and Kayaks can be rented with lessons for the less experienced and beginners. There are also guided tours selecting the best views along the way.
Humpback Whales migrate to Hawaii in December to breed and leave in April. To view these magnificent animals you can take a trip out to sea where you can see and hear how the whales behave during this time and you will even be able to listen to the famous haunting whale songs.
Here we have given you just a taste of Hawaii Big Island but there is much more to discover with its beautiful hotels, tours and excursions. Our expert team at Tailormade Hawaii will be able to guide you through all availabilities to help you plan and book your holiday of a lifetime. You can either call us or send an email and we will give you all the information you need.
The Waipio Valley on Big Island is part of the Hamakua Coastal Drive and long the rim of the massive canyon you will find many look out spots that provide amazing views over the Waipio Valley!
The Kalapana Cultural Tours Lava Walk is a unique experience on the Big Island —from a lava walk to bike tours and/or boat tours, this is a fantastic way to see new land actually being formed on the Big Island.
Mauna Kea is technically the largest mountain on earth, even though it is a volcano, if you take into account height from the bottom of the ocean! Mauna Kea is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and is home to an amazing observatory at the summit — one that visitors can enjoy on their Big Island holiday.