Aloha Again! Kathy Boyd, dropping in to give you some of my TOP activity recommendations while you’re on the Big Island. These allow you to experience the island in a myriad of ways (by air, land, and sea), as well as do a few of things you can ONLY DO on the Big Island (not Maui, Oahu, or even the mainland for that matter!). Here they are:
- The Hawaii Experience – Helicopter over the island to view active lava flows, lush green valleys, and rugged terrain! The volcano is the pride of our ever expanding island! 85% of our island is inaccessible by car, so air allows you to see the most of our 11 biodiversity zones. A KONA DEPARTURE is a great option if you’re short on time. Kona flights are about 2 hrs…but it’s a busy week so the available slots fill up fast. If you are free on Tuesday, they offer a landing in Hilo for a longer adventure. (We also offer 50 min flights from Hilo if you are interested).
- Mauna Kea Summit and Stars – This one fills up quickly, often 2 or 3 weeks in advance…so email me at [email protected] right away to not miss this! Thirteen countries around the world have built billion dollar telescopes to view the stars, other planets, and far galaxies. See the stars at 14,000+ feet in elevation & enjoy an otherworldly view of the sunset! The only other place you can do this is in Chile, South America!! (Kids need to be at least 13 years old due to the elevation change).
- Manta Ray Snorkel – Swim with the safe and beautiful manta rays as they do a ballet of somersaults while they feed on plankton. This is rated as one of the top 100 dives in the world year after year and snorkelers can even participate! (If you are traveling with a group, we offer private charters that will accommodate groups starting as small as 6).
- Luau – Okay, Hawaii State Law says you must do a luau when coming to the island (just kidding!). But if you’ve never experienced one, The Royal Kona Luau has the award winning fire knife dancers, is located right on the ocean, and the food is as authentic as it gets! I have access to a limited number of VIP seats available for the best view and up close action! The luau is hosted on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; e-mail me at [email protected] to reserve your seats. (The luau at the King Kamehameha moves to the Sheraton during race week, so this is the closest option…about 1/2 a mile from the pier. If you prefer a specific luau…I can still help you).
- Lava Walk – This one is not for everyone, but for those that go, it’s sure to be the highlight of your trip! You will need a full day for this trip! You will meet your geologist guide on the East side of the island (or we offer a pick up from Kona or Waikoloa), where they will share with you all of the history of the area. From there you will set out to Kalapana, the city lava destroyed….twice! Thereafter, you will be gifted the knowledge of how lava is created, formed, and moves about our island. Your guide will be a geologist capable of sharing with you all the amazing details about lava along your approximately 1.5 hour hike. Once you arrive, you will spend about an hour right in the lava flows, often close enough to poke a stick in it! I went out on this experience recently, check out this picture.
Some other popular adventures that I love are:
- Ziplines – There are several options on the Big Island; lucky for me I have experienced them ALL!!! So, let me know how much time you have free and I can tell you about the close to town Ohia Forest and the Aerial Trekking Course in the Lands of Kamehameha’s Birth – Kohala. There is also a new course that features the waterfalls that the east side boasts and the only dual line course on island. You can drive to each one yourself or consider a combo of the Zip and Dip (Waterfall Walk & Swim) or the Zip N Volcano to check out the glow at Halemaumau after dark!
- Day on the Water Charters – Traveling with a group and everyone has something in mind…not always the same thing? Why not a day charter? Go out for a day on the water, or combine fishing with snorkeling, or visit historical places only seen from the ocean. I have boats for all budgets and group sizes leaving from all 3 Kona points – Keauhou Bay, Kailua Pier and Honokohau Marina. Charters available from 3 – 8 hours.
- Kealakekua Bay Snorkel – If you love the water like I do, you will want to be sure to experience the crystal clear waters of the 315 acre marine sanctuary know as Kealakekua Bays Captain Cook Monument. This is where Disney sent the Pixar crew to get inspiration for Finding Nemo! Catamarans or Hard Rigid Inflatable Rafts…we will find the right ride for you!
This is an extremely busy time on island, so planning ahead is really important. I can also help you with transportation. Cars (especially minivans) sell out in advance, so drop me a line at [email protected] or call at 808 987 6955 ASAP if you are needing help with that. If you are not planning on a car during your visit, I can also arrange airport shuttles and provide you with other transportation options. If your plans include some island hopping, I’ve got you covered; just let me know what island and how many days!
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Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.