Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii

Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island is very unique. It is the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, and is still growing, making it the only place in Hawaii where you can actually hike out to lava flow. Because it is the youngest, it also has the clearest water, which means it is also an excellent place for activities such as scuba diving or snorkeling. However much of the Big Island you choose to see, you will not be short of things to do.

Camp by an Active Volcano

If you've ever liked the idea of camping next to a volcano, you can do that on the Big Island at Volcanoes National Park. There are several campsites in the area; some you can drive to while others will requires some hiking. The drive-up camp site is called Namakani Paio and is located just outside the park entrance. According to "Hawaii the Big Island Revealed" there are 10 cabins that rent for around $50 a night each. Or you can bring your own tent, in which case camping is free and requires no reservation. Despite the fact that it is Hawaii, it does get cold in Volcanoes National Park, and you should be aware of the altitude, which, at Namakani Paio, is 4,000 feet.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
1 Crater Rim Dr.
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718
(808) 985-6000
nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Kayak to the Captain Cook Monument

The Kona part of the Big Island is well known for its calm waters, making it a great place to kayak. One of the best places to paddle to is the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay. The Captain Cook Monument marks the site where Captain Cook was killed in 1779. The monument is a difficult hike to get to, but is a fairly easy paddle, just one mile each way. The waters there are particularly clear and are an excellent spot to snorkel. You may also get lucky and see the pod of spinner dolphins that frequents this area. There are numerous kayak rental companies on the Big Island. One popular Kona company is Kahaluu Bay Surf and Sea.

Kahaluu Bay Surf and Sea
78 Alii Dr.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
(808) 322-4338

Hike Kilauea Volcano

You'll find numerous hikes worth doing all around Volcanoes National Park. The most famous of these hikes is to watch the lava flow. The best time of day to see the lava flow is in the evening, where you can see the orange glow of the lava. However, remember to bring a flashlight as there are lots of loose lava that you can easily trip over in the dark. You will also need good, thick-soled shoes with ankle supports for your hike. The actual lava flow changes from day to day, so you will need to check the U.S. Geological Survey website for the most current information about where best to see lava flow.

Volcanoes National Park
1 Crater Rim Dr.
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718
(808) 985-6000
nps.gov/havo/index.htm

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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