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bigisland for first time

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bigisland for first time


We are going to kailua-kona for a 7 day trip with our 4year old daughter. can anyone give ideas about the must to see places and activites to do.

Are there white sandy beaches?

is one day enough for to see the volcano? how close can i get to see the volcano?

I have lot of questions but let me go and research also.

thanks in advance


Fremont, California
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1. Re: bigisland for first time

1) Head up to Hapuna Beach area - nice beach area.

2) You can see the volcano in one day - but the commute there and back adds about 2 -3 hours one way to the trip. As such, get up very early and be on your way to the volcano. You will be very very close to the Volcano....it depends upon if lava is flowing - if it is, then they do let you hike out there and see that too. Its an absolutelly amazing place. Be sure to walk thorugh Thurston Lava Tube (if your daughter enjoys short hikes). There are fun places to see between Hilo and Volcano Park such as an orchid shop, Macademia Nut factory, and others.

Vacaville, Ca
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2. Re: bigisland for first time

White beaches are North in the Kohala area. There is a great snorkeling beach just south of the town of Kona. Kahalui (?) beach. Sometimes turtles are there in the early morning or early evening. Going to the Hilton Waikoloa is always a treat. You can see the dolphins and even sign up and pay of course to swim with them. There is an age limit however and I think 4 is too young, but not too young to see them perform.

Mauna Kea and Hapuna beaches are both very nice.

The volcano's take a good long day to see. Lots of driving. When you go down the Chain of Craters road to the end you still have to walk over uneven lava beds to see the flow. Sometimes the walk can be a couple of miles one way. It can be hot and there is no shade, so come prepared with good walking shoes, water and hats.

Call the center first to see how the flow is going and also they can tell you how far the walk will be. It is worth it if you have the stamina.

Try to see the Waipio Valley, up north, also. You can take a wagon ride into the valley or go by horseback or atv's I believe. Another way is by helicopter.

If you are going soon, there is whale watching. Also on the way to the volcano's is the black sand beach which has a lot of turtles. Not good swimming but a great beach to go to.

Hope this helps

Gurnee, Illinois
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3. Re: bigisland for first time

Just got back a week ago. I would recommend spending the night at Volcano Village if you plan to see the lava flow at night. Otherwise count on at least 4 hours round trip and at least 3 hours at the park depending on how much time you want to spend at each attraction. If you plan to drive down the Chain of Crater Road to see the lava flow, add 2 more hours. The whole trip can easily take 10 hours not counting hiking to see the lava flow at night.

We spent the night at A B&B called My Island Inn, http://www.myislandinnhawaii.com/. Their rooms are clean and only about $80 for 2 per night, have good breakfast and a beautiful garden with lots of flowers. As of 1/24, we could see the lava flow at night. We could see it flowing down the distant mountain side from the Chain of Crater Road and also see it enter the ocean far away after about 1 ½ mile hike. The first part of the hike is to the end of the road (about one mile easy walk), then you will need to hike over large lava rocks along the beach for another half mile which will take you twice as long. They marked the rocks with reflectors to guide the way and you must have flash lights to hike at night. At the end of the markers, the flow was still very far away and you would need binoculars to see it better. Some people hiked past the markers for another mile or so along the ocean for a better look. We thought it would be hard to find our way back without the markers at night and didn’t venture any further. Had we known better, we would have hiked there during day light and returned after dark like most people did.

Hapuna Beach and Kaunaoa Beach or Mauna Kea Beach (enter through Mauna Kea Hotel) are two excellent white sand beaches about one hour north of Kailua-Kona. Yes, we saw turtles at Kahaluu Beach (5 miles south of Kailua-Kona) and dolphins at the Hilton Resort in the Waikoloa Village. The Hilton is like Disney meets Vegas – huge well kept elaborate grounds with exotic and expensive décor.

As for activities, be sure to pick up brochures such as “This Week at Big Island”, “Big Island Gold” and “Big Island Maps, Beaches & Tours” at the airport. We also enjoyed visiting Hilo and driving up the east coast after spending the night a Volcano. We timed it so we could visit the Hilo Farmers Market (open Sundays and Wednesdays). Don’t miss it if you like flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables. It is many times bigger than the one at Keauhou (5 miles south of Kailua-Kona). We also enjoyed visiting Coconut Island, Queen Liliuokalani Gardens and Rainbow Falls at Hilo. We also visited Akaka Falls State Park and Waipio Lookout the same day.

If you like to learn about Hawaii culture and history, other places we visited and recommend are Pu’uhonua O’Honaunau National Historical Park (Place of Refuge) and Lapakahi State Historical Park. We couldn’t see everything we wanted to see in one week. Hope you’d enjoy the Big Island as much as we did.

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4. Re: bigisland for first time

Thanks everyone for your ideas and the tips. sure going to have good time at the bigisland.

one more thing, does any one have any idea about the tropical forest( i heard from my friend that you can see different climatic conditions at the bigisland).Is it worth seeing it?



Palm Springs...
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5. Re: bigisland for first time

Wiith your 4 year old..... the Hiltoon is the only choice for the price it is a childs dream....a hawaii disney land..... a family paradise. The other option is thee Kona Vilage and all inclusive family resort.

One day is enought to see just the volcano but more to see in thee area.

The only way to see the lava safely and the vent is by an air tour.. like Big island Air...... it is almost 1/2 the price of any helo trip