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volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

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volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

I was wondering what the best day tour to the big island is? Best value for money and best time at the volcano national park.

Mauka Makai Adventures
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1. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Why not rent a car and make your own tour? You can drive straight to volcanoes national park, and spend your whole day driving up and down chain of craters road and take in the park (if you have time, the Kilauea'iki trail is great! It takes you into a crater that was boiling with lava only 50 years ago!)

The added value of having your on car is that you can make real-time decisions depending on the weather. If Volcano is really unpleasant, Punalu'u is one of worlds best black sand beaches between Kona and Volcano on Hwy 11!

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Volcano
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2. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

I honestly don't think it is worth the expense to come to the Big Island on a day tour just for one day, but each is on his own.

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3. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

I am thinking of flying from Maui to Hilo and stay 2 nights in the area to visit VNP and if there is time, somethng else in the area... Would that be a suitable plan? For example, arriving in Hilo at 10 am on Sat 8/6 and departing HIlo on Monday 8/8... That would give us one fuul day and 2 halves... canyou suggest something in that time frame?

Also, if this is a suitable plan, where should I look for the 2 nights accomodation?

I know some people suggest doing it as a one day trip from Oahu but it spunds way too hectic to me

Opinion? Suggestions?

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4. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Just make sure....

Sat or Sun...

You need less ONE day see the Whole VNP!!!!

From Hilo airport get to VNP, if your driving ( I reallyl recommend rent the car)... It's about 40 min to get to the VNP.

There is lot's things to see in VNP!!! It is not a complicated park, just simple drive around the area with map they give you from the park entrance.

When i was first planning to Hilo trip. last year... I find out some of tour companys, price and area tour in Hilo area...

I find out Price of Touring VNP expensive then the renting a car!!!

if your staying only twe days, I will recommend rent car from ariport!!!!

There is lot great beachs also,...

One day you visit VNP and another day you can just relax on the beach in hilo area.

Another tip:

Before trip to Hawaii, Buy or order online Guide book!!!

"Frommer's Hawaii 2011" ( I ordered this Amazon)

They have all the address and map..It was so helpful!!!

Edited: 2:15 am, July 03, 2011
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5. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

I don't believe there is a direct flight from Maui to Hilo, and if you have to go through Honolulu than you will lose a whole day with travel. If you must see the VNP than do it while you are in Honolulu, there are lots of flights between Honolulu and Hilo.

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6. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Typicallytrop... there seems to be a nonstop Maui to Hilo but not the return so if I were to do a one day trip I would do it from HNL

I still cannot phantom having enpugh time to do a one day outing to VNP given flying time and car rental pick up/drop off

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7. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

I did a day trip from Waikiki to Hilo/VNP in April. When I was in Maui in 2008, I said that if I ever came back to Hawaii, I wanted to see the Volcano on the Big Island. Well, my sister decided to get married on Oahu. She can be quite difficult and spending a week with her (even in Paradise) can be trying. My mom & I decided to go for a daytrip just the 2 of us, partially to see VNP and partially for a break from family.

It was a long day, but I think quite worth it. It cost about $300 for both our airfares and another $90 for the rental car (I probably could've gotten a better deal if I'd researched it more). Another $15 each for the shuttle to and from the airport/our hotel.

We left our hotel at 5 am for a 7 am flight to Hilo. The flight is less than 1 hour. We had to no baggage just our purses and jackets. I wore pants that are either capris or you can roll them up into shorts. The airport in Hilo is tiny. We walked over to the car rental place and then drove over to Rainbow Falls. Got to the falls by 8:30 a.m. It was flowing nicely and we even got to see a rainbow. By 9:00 a.m. the rainbow had faded.

We drove out to VNP. We stopped in the town of Volcano at the Lava Rock cafe for a late breakfast/brunch. It was literally the only place open. We got omelettes that were pretty big and pretty good. We picked up some water & snacks at the store in Volcano. Not much selection so I'd advise picking up your snacks in Hilo (no concessions in the park). Then drove to VNP. 40 minute drive from Hilo to VNP.

The visitors center is very good. They have rangers there that will tell you what to see based how much time you have. We got a map. We saw the steam vents and then went up to the museum and looked around. After that we drove down the Chain of Craters road. We decided to drive to the end of the road without stopping - but we made one stop 1/2 way down because the view was so spectaular. Then we went to the end of the road and walked to the last mile and took our pictures by where the lava had flowed across the road. Then we took a look at the sea arch. We drove back up the road stopping at just about every look out and crater. We decided not to walk out the the petroglyphs. We did walk through the Thurston Lava tube. My mom really enjoyed that. You won't see red flowing lava, but my mom & I enjoyed seeing the different lava formations and the beautiful views of the ocean.

We spent about 4.5 hours in the park. You could spend longer if you want to hike on all the trails. We got back to Hilo about 4:00 and went out to Richardson Beach to see a black sand beach. We just chilled out and spotted a turtle in a tidal pool. We spent quite a bit of time watching it swim around.

We had dinner about 6:00 and got back to the airport around 7:15- 5 minute drive, dropped off the car and had about an hour wait in the airport. Got back to our hotel about 10 p.m. The next day we slept in and spent most of the day on the beach.

We really enjoyed our day and it didn't feel hectic. We took our time. We knew that we weren't going to see everything and were okay with that. It is a long day, but we just planned a relaxed day following our day trip. I'd skip the tour and just do it myself. It's pretty easy.

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8. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Thank you so much for your detailed post. It was as good as a trip report for making me feel I was having the experience! :)

While there are things that could be added to such a day trip, there is really no need. You hit all the high spots. Some people choose to skip Chain of Craters and spend more time in the upper park. Personally I find CoC to be a wow for visuals just as you did.

A couple of optional other stops might be Akatsuka Orchids (a bit below Volcano) and Hilo Coffee Mill tasting room (Mountainview).

Nice touch going to Richardson's at the end. Good idea to get back to Hilo with plenty of time instead of driving to the airport under time pressure. Watching the turtle swim sounds like a great end to a fine day.

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9. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Thanks bzymom22 for the great report on VNP. Yes, I suppose it is doable in one day and you had a good reason/excuse to do it as such!

We are going to take a more relaxed approach on a nonstop flight from Maui at 9:20 am... On arrival we'll pick up a car and drive 20 mins north to Akaka Falls and later visit the Hawaii Tropical Gardens before heading to Volcano where we will stay 2 ngiths in a small cottage. The next day we'll visit VNP, walk the trails, do the stops on the lookouts, lavav tube, etc. Hope to make a nigth visit as well to maybe catch the glow from the crater and, if a clear night, a gazillion stars (no full mooon while we are there!) Next day we will find our way to Hilo do some other explorations in that area before taking a 4'sh flight to HNL and connect to our flight back to the mainland's East coast

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10. Re: volcano tours from waikiki to the big island

Hi Jill, it seems as though you're asking about an all in one package day tour. There are several that I have found, but I haven't tried any. All of their reviews on TA are mixed, so really make sure the itinerary you're choosing is the right one for you. Bus companies like Roberts Hawaii and Polynesian Adventure Tours (Gray Line) offer packages that are very reasonable, but you could be in a group of 50. Discover Hidden Hawaii offers the same knd of thing, but they only use mini buses, so groups of less than 25. They all offer door to door, or near to it, service from hotels in Waikiki.