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Finn
Member since Aug 2012
713 posts

To do's on the big island?
Planning a trip to Hawaii in may. Going to big island for the first time. Will be there about a week. Seems like it takes a couple of hours to work your way and the island. What is the best way to break up my schedule so I'm not spending half the day driving? is four-wheel drive a necessity?


tduecen
TBD Fan
Member since Nov 2006
154921 posts
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re: To do's on the big island?
Bus is fairly cheap and available.... I'm heading for Easter and plan on not renting a car. Using bus and Uber (which is expensive hence bus)

I have a snorkling adventure, walk to a inactive volcano, and mostly sight seeing


Snoop Dawg
Washington Fan
Member since Sep 2009
745 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
quote:

Seems like it takes a couple of hours to work your way and the island. What is the best way to break up my schedule so I'm not spending half the day driving? is four-wheel drive a necessity?


It takes a lot longer than a couple of hours to circle the island. Luckily there are plenty of things to do along the way. Hawaii Volcanoes NP, Akaka Falls, coffee tours south of Kona, both of the valleys in the north, Kohala area beaches, the famous black sand beach, waterfalls in Hilo, chocolate tours, and more.

I enjoyed renting a Jeep there. If you want to summit Maura Kea you’ll need four wheel drive.

Buy the book “Hawaii The Big Island Reveled.”
This post was edited on 3/6 at 4:19 pm


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Snoop Dawg
Washington Fan
Member since Sep 2009
745 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
quote:

Bus is fairly cheap and available.... I'm heading for Easter and plan on not renting a car. Using bus and Uber (which is expensive hence bus) I have a snorkling adventure, walk to a inactive volcano, and mostly sight seeing


Rental cars are cheap on the Big Island. Unlike the mainland, cars don’t easily shuffle between different car rental locations to meet demand.


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GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
8235 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
I can't imagine trying to see the Big Island without a car.

Volcanoes National Park will take a full day. You'll want to drive the Chain of Craters road, hike around Kilauea Iki, walk in the lava tube, see the fern forest, etc. I enjoyed staying a night in the nearby town of Volcano so that I could go back in at night and see the red glow coming up from the lava in the Kilauea crater. Even though there is a lava tube in the part, it's not nearly as impressive as some of the tubes that lie outside the park on private property. Some of those lava tube caves are amazing, and I recommend the one that I did, LINK.

You could spend a couple of days seeing everything on the east and north coasts: Akaka Falls, the town of Honokaa (which feels like "Old Hawaii" from the 1920s, and the Waipio Valley are all very much worth your time.

You definitely need a 4WD if you want to drive down into the Waipio Valley. Otherwise, you need to park your car and hike for a while.

I didn't have time to see much on the south and west coasts, tour the observatory, or to tour one of the big ranches, so I know that I missed a lot.


CWilken21
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Gnawlins
Member since Mar 2005
3577 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
What we did was take a day at the resort and then the next day, do a driving tour. Ended up taking 3 tour days to see the island. The Shaka Guide App was awesome. Its GPS navigated and it allowed us to do more than we ever thought we could in a week while allowing some time to relax between adventure days.

SHAKA


Gilly
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2014
67 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
We like the Big Island. Take a ride to Southpoint and jump into ocean. Snorkel at 2 step is pretty amazing and easy. Green sand beach is beautiful.


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SagesSon
Auburn Fan
Member since Apr 2019
54 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
Took a week for anniversary on the big island a few years back. Great time. Stayed in Kailua, during that week we:
Snokeled at Two Step
Submarine ride out of Kailua (Kona)
Helicopter ride to look for lava flows (Blue Hawaiian)
Ziplined in Hilo area (Skyline Eco-venture - fantastic)
Drove to Volcano - meandered thru Pahoa area sightseeing
Saw the volcano
Went to the black beach and saw turtles nesting
Visited the observatory for star gazing
Played a round of golf at Hapuna
Laid on the beaches in Kona a couple of days
Great Visit. Missed the green sand beach. That was the only time I would have needed a 4WD.
Enjoy - we did.


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Ramblin Wreck
Georgia Tech Fan
Member since Aug 2011
3217 posts

re: To do's on the big island?
Definitely go to the telescope observatories on top of Mauna Kea. You can drive it, but I wouldn’t recommend it since it is about 14,000 feet. There are some reasonable priced tours that will drive you in a 4WD van. It’s pretty cool (literally). The tour groups will provide you a parka. You literally will look up and see satellites passing over every few minutes. You are also higher than the jets flying in to land in Kona.


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