this has taken a few days to get to …
I’m not sure where that time has gone but our time exploring Hawaii’s Big Island is over. While we haven’t had much of a chance to just sit we have taken an awful lot in in our time here.
The Big Island has something for everyone and isn’t crazy commercialised with a nice relaxed feel to the place. The diversity of the island is quite amazing from tropical forests and waterfalls, to rolling fields, sparse and jagged coastlines, lava flows and black sand beaches.
While there are many organised tour groups that will take you to all the sights. I personally hate this form of travel and would much rather do it on my own terms and in my own time. For this reason I would recommend that you hire a car to get around to get the most out of the island as public transport is limited. Navigating around the island is easy.
While some of the following is in previous posts I just wanted to put together an overall summary.
There were a number of highlights for us on the big island, they included:
Volcanoes – I struggle to find the right words to describe seeing live volcanoes, their beauty, their power, their destruction.
A must do is a helicopter flight over them to understand the scale. I highly recommend Paradise Helicopters for their service and I think the only company to offer the ride with doors off, which adds to the whole experience.
Volcano National Park – a must do and allow all day to look and wander down the various trails and drive the chain of craters road to the end where the lava meets the sea. If the volcano is active a night visit is a must!
We spent 7 hours in the park just talking the place in. We could have spent heaps more time to explore the longer hiking trails. All the different lava flows were fascinating and the different types of lava rocks were intreging.
World Botanic Garden – certainly worth the admission price. The gardens are spectacular. If you like gardens or photographing flowers/plants you’ll be in heaven.
Manta Rays – it took some convincing to get Deb to join me on this as swimming with creatures that are over 12 feet wide is quite a daunting thought. Manta Rays are gentle giants and have no teeth or stingers so there is no reason to be afraid.
Then we were in the water floating on top of the water, watching the Manta Rays move and feed below. Watching them glide through the water was just magical. On the night we were treated to 26 visiting Manta Rays.
A big shout out to the crew at Big Island Divers. These guys were fantastic. They are very professional and made the experience a lot of fun. I would highly recommend them.
Going for a ride – I love riding when I’m away as it gives you a completely different view and feel for the location. I’ve used scooters (when that’s all that’s available) but my preference is a full size motorcycle. This trip we hired a Harley Davidson – Heritage Classic for the day and traversed the west side of the Island.
I used Big Island Harley who were great to deal with. We explored the west side of the island in the day taking in 180 miles of great scenery including two different valleys and nearly every wether condition.
Kona – we loved Kona. It was relaxed and had a loverly small town feel about it with nice places to eat, shop, drink Kona coffee and hang out. Or just laze by the pool.
and these were just some of our highlights