While researching the Big Island, also known as the Island of Hawaii, the one description that I read over and over again was that the island was BIG. In fact, all of the other Hawaiian islands could fit within the boundaries of the Big Island–with room to spare. It is large enough that it encompasses 11 out of the 13 climatic zones in the world, and large enough that even after reading about how big it was, I was still shocked at its size while driving around the island.
Thanks to Big Island Revealed for the above photo.
When you visit the Big Island, you can almost see it all. From an active lava flow, to black, white, and even GREEN sand beaches, from lush rain forests to vast deserts, and even SNOW on the summit of Mauna Kea (yes, I said snow… even in Hawaii). Each area of the Big Island is so different from the next that you never quite know what’s going to be over the hill or just around the corner. And in case you were wondering, you can even spot a zebra while driving down Mamalahoa Highway.
Is that a Zebra or a Donkey??!
With close to four full days to explore, I knew that we would not see it all. In fact, I’m convinced that even with a month to explore we would still not come close to seeing all that the Big Island has to offer. So while planning our trip, I figured that the easiest way to conquer the Big Island was to explore it in regions, which is precisely what we did.
Day 1: A Relaxing afternoon/evening in Kona
Day 2: Exploring Hilo & Puna: a Helicopter Tour, a VOLCANO, a dip in Ahalanui, a hike through Lava Tree State Park, and getting Loco!
Day 3: Kona: A beach day and a Scuba Diving Adventure
Day 4: Road Trip! Stops at the Place of Refuge, The Southern Most Point in the US, and a Black Sand Beach
Day 5: Morning in Kona and then a flight to Kauai!
When we traveled East and South we were in the car
forever! for a good four hours roundtrip each day. We knew that we would do a lot of driving, but our expectations were blown out of the water. And not in a good way. In fact, on our late night drive back from Hilo, we turned to quizzing each other on times tables and having dance parties in the car (Mr. Ro-bot-to, anyone?) just to stay awake pass the time.
Lots of driving and all, the Big Island did exactly what we expected it to do: satiate our thirst to return. And hopefully, we will return VERY SOON.
Loved that the Kona Airport was outdoors
As a side note: Pictures and Plane Tickets does not condone drowsy driving. If you’re tired, pull over! :)