Free Things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii

Free Things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii
The beauty of a vacation to the Big Island is that although it can be expensive, you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the island. There are numerous free activities you can do on the Big Island, such as hiking through rain forests to enormous waterfalls or spending the day at a beach swimming with turtles.

Hike to Lava Flow

If you're keen on seeing active lava flow, you'll need to come prepared. Bring a pair of good quality hiking boots with you, as the terrain can be rough, both on ankles and on the soles of your shoes. You should also pack a good flashlight as the very best time to see the orange glow from the lava is during the evening. For the most accurate information, be sure you check the U.S. Geological Survey website beforehand so that you can see precisely where the lava is flowing that day and where will be the best place to view it.

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

Visit a Black Sand Beach

If you're visiting the southern part of the Big Island, be sure to stop by Punaluu Black Sand Beach, which is the most accessible volcanic black sand beach on the island. The views at Punaluu are exceptional, with eye-catching black sand next to beautiful blue water and swaying palm trees. According to "Hawaii the Big Island Revealed" the water at Punaluu is particularly chilly due to cold freshwater springs and you should stay close to shore due to possible rip currents. However, if you do decide to venture into the water here, be sure to look for sea turtles, which frequent the area and feed on the seaweed found on nearby rocks.

Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Highway 11
Puna, HI 96772

Hike to Akaka Falls

Visitors to the Big Island's Hamakua coast should definitely consider going to see the spectacular Akaka Falls. The hike to the waterfalls is very short, just a half mile long through lush, green vegetation that takes you past a stream and a small 15-foot waterfall before you come across the 420-foot-tall Akaka Falls. In addition to Akaka Falls, there is a smaller waterfall called Kahuna Falls, which is 100 feet high. Kahuna Falls is located just a mile farther into the park and the trek there will take you through more rain forests filled with bamboo and other exotic trees and plants.

Akaka Falls
End of Akaka Falls Road, Off Hwy 220
Hilo, HI 96710
(808) 974-6200

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.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.