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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:51 PM   #1
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Hawaii (Big Island) - looking for recommendations

Looking to head out there for a week towards the end of the month and was looking for some ideas on what others have done and can recommend (or stay away from).

The main attraction for me will be Volcanoes National Park. I've also got Mauna Kea and a few of the waterfalls on my list but was wondering if there's any other places anyone can recommend going to.

Also wondering which side you'd recommend staying on? Hilo or Kona side? (or should one do the east side/west side split in locations to stay)
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:13 PM   #2
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There's a 9 page long thread not even half way down the page

https://www.revscene.net/forums/6509...waii-oahu.html
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ch28 View Post
There's a 9 page long thread not even half way down the page

https://www.revscene.net/forums/6509...waii-oahu.html
I scanned through that thread and it seems to be all about Oahu/Honolulu. I was looking for Big Island specifically.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:29 AM   #4
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Forgive him, to most people here Hawaii means Oahu (esp. if you're Asian) and sometimes maybe Maui.

We went to the Big Island in 2013. One thing you need to keep in mind is that it's a HUGE island. It's bigger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined pretty much. It's also a very much laid-back "Hawaiian" feel of a place with far fewer tourists than the latter two. The scenery is amazing with tons of lava sculpted landscapes. The downside is, you will do a lot of driving if you want to see it all. It's a 3 hour drive from Kailua-Kona (where most of the resorts are) to Hilo following the southern route through Volcanoes national park.

Things to do in order along that route (Kona-Hilo):

- Kayaking/Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay State
- Pu'uhonua O Honaunau Historic Park where Native Hawaiians used to live
- Papakōlea Green Sand Beach - this one's a bit of a hike that we didn't do as it was crazy hot out and weren't prepared
- Punalu'u Black Sand Beach
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Kilauea) - make sure you see the road that was overtaken by lava.


- Mauna Kea - you can drive up to the Observatory to do some stargazing at night. Pack a jacket, it is cold up there.

- Hilo - nice little sleepy town that has a very large Japanese-American population. The mochi covered fruit store you must try. Stayed at a B&B there for a couple of nights.


On the way back on the northern route from Hilo-Kona you have:
-'Akaka Falls State Park
-Waipi'o Valley Lookout


-Waimea (cowboys in Hawaii)
-Hapuna Beach (arguably the best and most popular beach on the Island)

My advice is that you need at least a week to see the island. We had that much time and we felt kinda rushed with only 2 days on the beach.

Oh and if you have a chance try and go on a Manta Ray spotting trip. They're out of this world.
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:28 PM   #5
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Came back from my trip a few weeks ago. Had a great time and I highly recommend everyone go at least once to Hawaii (Big Island). It's certainly got a different feel to Oahu. Having now been to each of the islands of Hawaii, it seems each island has it's own "personality". They're all certainly unique in their own way and you won't get the "meh, I've seen this before" feeling when visiting.

I ended up splitting my trip into 4 days Kona and 3 days in Hilo so I could cut out the back and forth driving. Checked out the following places:
*Hapuna Beach & Anaeho'omalu Beach
*Pololu Valley Lookout & Waipi'o Valley Lookout
*South Point, Papakōlea (Green Sand Beach) & Punalu'u (Black Sand Beach)
*Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens
*A'kaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Umauma Falls
*Volcanoes National Park
*Mauna Kea

I also did the Manta Ray snorkeling but unfortunately, on the day I went, there were no manta rays so I struck out on that, and couldn't reschedule. I'll have to try that next time.

The highlight of the trip was obviously the volcanoes. I took the boat tour out to the point where the lava flows into the Pacific Ocean - I definitely recommend it if you do want to check it out. It's very bumpy and you do get wet so it's not for everyone but the view is spectacular and it gives a different perspective (and a lot less strenuous) than walking out there (and even the helicopter tours)

I also took a tour up to the peak of Mauna Kea. It was a "sunset tour", so you're going up there in the late afternoon and watching the sun set. Again, another trip I would recommend if you have the opportunity. Again, another bumpy ride, and the air gets very thin up there. (where even walking up a hill gets you pretty winded) However, the views are spectacular.

Papakōlea (Green Sand Beach) now has locals who will offer you rides out to the beach for $25 round trip. I ended up taking them up on the offer for a ride and I have to say, it's worth the money. It's a long, hot, windy walk out to the beach.

I didn't get to snorkel at Kealakekua Bay as I ran out of time. I ended up snorkeling at Kahaluʻu Beach on my final day there and managed to see a sea turtle and a few fish.

Overall, I think as CivicBlues mentioned, a week is probably good to explore Big Island. I ended up with a bit of spare time on the last day at each location so I could actually relax a bit and slow down.

Lava flowing into the ocean. Did the 4:30am tour - probably the best time to do it since you can get a better view of the lava and catch the sunrise on the way back.


Mauna Kea Sunset. Only some tour companies and true 4x4 vehicles can drive up to the peak. Pretty awesome sunset with Haleakala Crater on Maui in the background.


Papakōlea (Green Sand) Beach.


Punalu'u (Black Sand) Beach


Sea Turtle at Kahalu'u Beach

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Old 04-25-2017, 08:53 AM   #6
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hmm my photobucket links are dead. Anyone know what happened?
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:57 AM   #7
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It's just vBulletin being dumb with the image tags. I used the button originally and the links were broken off the bat. I ended up using imgur's BB code which looked like below (just add back in the [ ] brackets)

img]http://i.imgur.com/RT92Xf9.jpg[/img
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