We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

Honolulu, Hawaii
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

I have booked a trip to hilo and am staying in VNP at Kilauea Military Camp with my fiancee and our 7 year old daugther.

We are looking for help planning our itinerary for 3 days without spending too much money, which is difficult because we all really want to see some lava but the tours are asronomically priced.

Any ideas or suggestions? To give you an idea of our style, we are all into hiking and very outdoorsy but she is 7 and clearly can't go on any 14 mile treks or anything. Help! we leave in 2 days!

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,440 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

First....thanks for your service to our country and our freedoms. It would be an honor to help.

Ok... the sheer size of the park is close to Oahu. and there are lots of free activities in the park conducted by the NPS.

My first suggestion would be to plan nothing. Wait till arrival,go to the Visitor center and spend some time. Then after getting a grasp of the park and the volcano talk to a Park Ranger and and ask for his input and ideas. He, better than I, can assess your families abilities and interests and suggest some ideas.

Expect much cooler and wetter conditions in the park... fireplaces are then norm expect nights in the low 50's....its at 4000 ft...and a rain forest

There is a forest walk. or geologu walk with a natiralist Free. Then there is the chain of craters road and its many sites.. Then there is the Iki trail, Thurston Lava Tube. The hike to the lava view area off hiway 130 ( 1700-2000) daily.

A drive over to Punaluu black sand beach....however there are no safe beaches along the entire southern

aspect of this island due to lack of coral reefs and the prevailing current. They are looking at beaches

Another free thing to do is go into Hilo to the astronomy museum... is more for kids... then drive up to the Mauna Kea visitor center.... its an elevation gain of almost 10,000 ft and yes it freezes up there... for the nightly 6-10 star party

The late moon rise will compensate for the fullness of the moon.... Totaly free. But watch the road at night... also check to see if your rental car is permitted to the visitor center... ( dont try to drive to the summit not good for you and very not good for the child

When down in Hilo... just north of town off 19, is the 4 mile scenic drive... and drive through the botanic garden. Then a bit north is Akaka falls..

All this free...

Thats a almost 4 days worth of stuff.........

Finaly, at Camp Kiluea, check the bulletin board and the MWR Office there.... they have stuff going on...

Best chow in the area is Kiluea Lodge. However the Camp is pretty good too....It just isnt as open to civilians.

But first off start with the into at the Park....its outstanding...film...exhibits... Missed by many who wont have a clue what then may have missed or what that thingie over there is... Start off with knowledge...

PM me if you have more detailed questions

Heres the my best plan.....

Day 1; fly into Hilo...Do the 4 mile drive, Akaka falls then herad to the Park and get oriented

Day 2 Follow the plan the rangers gave you.. That night go to the lava viewing/ or out to a romantic dinner at Kiluea Lodge.

Day 3: Drive to Hilo go to the astronomy museum.. then up the mountain for an evening... / Or Drive to Punaluu area then back to the park.... ( use caution at any of the beach parks along the south coast... its got some bad players there)

good luck.... and thanks again

Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4,236 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

Well Dan has gone above and beyond.. I have nothing to add but have fun!

Honolulu, Hawaii
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

WOW dan, thanks for all the info! very helpful.

another question-- is it worth it to make the drive to kona? i hear it's cool but a looong drive. and if it IS worth the drive, what are the must do's there?

4. Re: wed 06/10 - fri 06/12 2009

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 3:17 am, December 06, 2009