We like to give you the best information to help you have the best travel experience in Hawaii, so this is what we think will work. If you can spend extra days, we recommend it and will add in suggestions to cater to that for you. When you arrive in Hilo, pick up your rental car.
You may want to rent a hilo camper instead to tour around this area. You can also see the foot Kahuna Falls on a looped walk. The loop walk was closed for us, I believe due to storm damage so we missed the falls.
There's a new black sand beach on the Big Island and it's gorgeous | Hawaii Magazine
Craig returned the next day early in the morning so the sun was shining on the falls and saw a much prettier and vibrant waterfall. You can park up the road just outside the car park to nab the cheaper price! From the lookout area, take a few slippery steps up and through the exquisite forest ah those trees! When we asked our online community for advice on things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii, we loved all the tips on places to eat and drink!
And music. This place was one of our favorite finds in Hawaii. It had our vibe and was a tip from a couple of locals. Make sure you always ask them for the hidden secrets! Okay, so if you want an unhealthy milkshake or breakfast on the go, head to Just Cruisin Coffee.
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Again, locals recommended to us that this was the best place in town for coffee as it was a local business. And our kids loved their milkshakes. Or, you can head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for the evening. It depends on your time frame. Visiting Volcano National Park has been my favorite homeschooling lesson so far. Where else in the world can you get so close to an active volcano?
Our only disappointment was that we could not walk close to the lava flow or see where the lava flows into the ocean. The high sulfur content can damage their developing lungs. Not worth the risk.
49 Black Sand Beach
We drove along the crater chain link road, spending time pulling off the road to view the craters, see giant fields of lava rock and marveling at their texture and shape imagining the red hot lava seeping down and cooling down to the preserve its last movement into rock. The girls were fascinated. Especially Savannah who grabbed a pen and piece of paper to write a story of all she learned about volcanoes and lava. We sat down together by a sprouting baby fern and talked about rainforests and how volcanoes help create them.
She destroys everything in her path, yet creates. It was amazing to see it moving around. There is a lava lake in the crater and when it fills up it bubbles over. We arrived on the lucky bubbling-over day. These glistening golden threads are actually fragile volcanic fiberglass and are formed when lava is ejected into the air and small droplets are caught by the wind, which then cools and stretches them into very thin strands.
It is kapu taboo to take the rocks from the lava fields. Every year, dozens of packages are sent to post offices on the Big Island returning rocks or black sand that brought the thief bad luck! Want to take a helicopter tour of the volcanoes and waterfalls, or a bike tour?
Check out these tours:. You can also stay at Volcano House within the Park. We recommend having dinner at the lodge at least a drink from the bar because you can see the red glow from the crater from the dining room windows. Check out some of these gorgeous airbnb rentals. Visit the official website. Leave early in the morning so you have plenty of time to explore some of the sights on the drive from Volcanoes National Park to Kona. No selfie is worth distressing an animal over.
There are plenty of reminder signs around. And even lifeguards politely reminding you.
Blew my mind to see people still continuing to stick their camera inches from their face. Use a zoom lens. We continued our lessons on how volcanoes shape the land with a visit to this beach, the jet-black sand formed when molten lava from two nearby active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea flowed into the water, cooled, and broke into fragments that washed ashore.
Was it worth the mad race and stress of being late? This would have been too challenging time wise with the girls and really put us out. Apparently, the hike is beautiful, and as the beach is remote you will have it to yourself. The hike to and from the beach alone takes about hours, depending on how fast you can walk, and then you still need to calculate for some time on the beach and the drive time it takes to get to South Point.
This is why we write these posts — to help you learn from our mistakes to have a better experience. Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is an acre national historic park that was once the site of royal grounds and was a place of refuge for Hawaiian lawbreakers. I found it fascinating that if a lawbreaker was able to make it here alive they were absolved of their sins. It kind of reminded me of my ex-boyfriend from South Africa who was told by a lawyer if he managed to stay illegal in the UK for 14 years without getting caught he would be granted permanent resident status.
He was eight years in and on track when I left him!!
You can still feel the spirit of peace and forgiveness that continues to surround and bless this special place. The park is in a beautiful location on Honaunau Bay. This area is also known as the second best snorkeling spot on the Big Island.
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South Coast. Papakolea Green Sand Beach — 1 hr 25 min — Requiring a 4-wheel drive from South Point, or about a mile hike, this sandy cove and surrounding cliffs are made largely of green olivine crystals. South Point — 1 hr 20 min — the Southernmost point of land in the United States, with some great cliff jumping for the brave. West Coast. Kealakekua Bay — Captain Cook — 2 hr - a winding narrow road takes you down to this beautiful bay, known for excellent snorkeling and the landing spot of Captain Cook and the Discovery.
Also the location where Captain Cook was killed. Very interesting historic site near Kealakekua Bay. Hualalai — 2 hr — the third oldest of the 5 volcanoes that make up the Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of which Kona Town was founded.