Turtle on the Beach
Volcano
Lava Flow
Great for Families
Secluded Coves
Kilauea-iki Crater
Explore
Black
Sand Beaches

Hawaii The Big Island "Island of Adventure"

Big Island

Think big. Hawaii Island is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain, but it’s remarkable for more than just its size. Picture yourself visiting Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, or talk story with a cultural demonstrator at Puuhonua o Honaunau, a historic park that was once a place of refuge. Whether you’re walking on a black sand beach, snorkeling with manta rayshorseback riding in Waimea or sailing along the Kona Coast, Hawaii, the Big Island is your island for adventure.

It’s easy to feel awed on Hawaii Island. From the molten magma flowing from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the snow-capped heights of Maunakea; from the green rainforests of the Hamakua Coast to the jet-black sands of Punaluu Beach; Hawaii Island is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature.

To avoid confusion with the name of the entire state, the Island of Hawaii is often called the “Big Island,” and what an appropriate name it is. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, its sheer size can be inspiring. You’ll find all but two of the world's climatic zones within this island’s shores.

The dramatic size and scope of the largest Hawaiian Island create a microcosm of environments and activities. On this island’s vast tableau, you’ll find everything from extravagant resorts and incredible golf courses to modest local towns and sacred Hawaiian historical sites, from the birthplace of King Kamehameha I to Hawaii’s first missionary church in Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona). With so much to see, it’s best to experience the island in small pieces. There’s plenty of room on Hawaii Island for your return.

 

 

Hawaii Travel Planner 2017

Big Island Planner

Big Island Snorkeling video
Big Island Snorkeling Video

Big Island Map and activities

Big Island Map

Big Island Adventure and Science Brochure

 

 

Big Island Activities & Tours

Kona Side
NELHA 
Learn about Hawaii Island 
aquaculture, ocean thermal 
energy conversion, ocean 
water desalination and more at 
the Natural Energy Laboratory 
Hawaii Authority.

Kaloko-Honokohau National 
Historical Park 

The 1,160-acre park seeks to 
preserve, protect and interpret 
the traditional native Hawaiian 
activities and culture that thrived 
on the site.

Historic Kailua Village 
Depart on sport fishing charters 
or stroll Ali‘i Drive to find a 
variety of attractions beyond the 
shops and restaurants . Don’t 
miss Hulihe‘e Palace . Once a 
summer vacation residence of 
Hawaiian royalty, the Palace 
features beautiful koa wood 
furniture from the past and the 
grounds feature a Hawaiian 
fishpond . Moku‘aikaua Church, 
built in 1820 (Hawai‘i’s earliest 
Christian Church), is located 
right across the street.

Kealakekua Bay State 
Historical Park

Preserved as a Marine Life 
Conservation District, this bay is 
popular with divers, snorkelers 
and kayakers . The Captain 
Cook Monument is located at 
the north end of the bay, at the 
site of his death in 1779.
 
Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau 
National Historical Park

Restored to its early 1700s 
appearance, step back into 
time and explore the many 
archeological sites including 
Keone‘ele Cove, the royal 
canoe landing, as well as heiau 
(sacred place of worship), halau 
(long house for canoes) 
and fishponds.
 
Ka‘u & Puna
Ka Lae (South Point)
Here is the southernmost point 
of land in the United States . 
To reach the rocky shoreline, 
take the narrow South Point 
Road 12-miles past open plains 
and windmills.
 
Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach
The black sand at Punalu‘u, 
located between the towns of 
Naalehu and Pahala, is formed 
from hardened lava that has 
been weathered and crumbled 
into tiny particles. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Dramatic, diverse, vast (more 
than 333,000 acres) and still 
growing, the Park has been 
designated an International 
Biosphere Reserve and a 
UNESCO World Heritage site . 
A trip to Hawai‘i would not 
be complete without a visit 
to Hawai‘i Volcanoes 
National Park.

Explore Puna
The easternmost land section 
of the Hawaiian archipelago, 
Puna welcomes the rising 
sun . It was considered the 
source of regenerative energy 
in ancient times, a view that 
many feel still holds true today. 

Visit funky Pahoa town, then 
take a leisurely circular drive on 
Highways 130, 137 and 132, 
including stops at Ahalanui 
Thermal Springs Park and 
Lava Tree State Park 

Hilo Side
East Side Gardens
Hilo has several parks among
its many attractions, including
the pristine Japanese-style
Lili‘uokalani Gardens and
Hawaii Tropical Botanical
Garden on the four-mile scenic
route approximately eight
miles north of Hilo. Guided and
self-guided tours are available
at World Botanical Gardens,
16 miles north of Hilo. Just a
few miles south of town at the
Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo, 100
varieties of Palm join more than
75 animal species in the only
tropical rainforest zoo in the
United States.

Imiloa Astronomy Center
of Hawaii

Located on a nine-acre campus
above the University of Hawai‘i
at Hilo, the center explores the
connections between Hawaiian
cultural traditions and the
science of astronomy.
Downtown Hilo
Hilo is a flourishing capital city
and cultural hub with Downtown
Hilo at its center. The centuries old storefronts, galleries,
historical and cultural sites,
shops and restaurants can all
be explored on foot including:
Hilo Farmers Market,
Mokupapapa Discovery Center
for Hawaii’s Remote Coral
Reefs, Lyman Museum and
Mission House and the Pacific
Tsunami Museum.

Akaka Falls State Park
Perhaps the most famous of the
Island’s many waterfalls, Akaka
Falls is easy to reach and the
short, circular trail takes you
through lush rain forest and
past two waterfalls.

Waipio Valley Overlook 
Drive to the end of Highway 
240 to reach the Waipio Valley 
Overlook . There is a road into 
Waipio Valley accessible by 
four-wheel drive or you can hike 
it. There’s also a shuttle and 
tour available.

Kohala Side
Waimea 
The upland town of Waimea 
is paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) 
country . Several area ranches 
offer the opportunity to ride the 
range in a guided tour of the 
pastures with spectacular views 
of the coastline and peaks.

Hawi and Kapaau
Located at the northern tip of 
the island, the once-plantation 
towns of Hawi and Kapaau are 
home to a number of boutiques, 
restaurants and art galleries 
with works by local artists.
 
Lapakahi State Historical Park 
Take a self-guided tour of 
this partially restored fishing 
settlement, located about 12 
miles north of Kawaihae . Dating 
back more than 600 years, the 
262-acre park offers a glimpse 
of how native Hawaiians lived.
 
Pu‘ukohola Heiau National 
Historic Site
 
This massive stone temple has 
been carefully preserved, and 
it is believed to be one of the 
last sacred structures built in 
the Hawaiian Islands before 
western influence.

Kohala Coast
Luxury resorts, great golf and 
shopping, white and black 
sand beaches, and a number 
of historical sights coexist 
harmoniously along this sunny 
stretch of Hawai‘i Island . 

 

 Hawaii Tourism Authority
©  Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)