Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

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Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Shire hobbit wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:14 pm Whale watching and submarine tour gets my vote!
We want to get on a boat for sure.
I was thinking perhaps an evening cruise with dinner, as a change. We've been on a few 'regular' whale watching tours. Imagine seeing bright lava from a boat in the evening! Wonder if there is a tour like this...
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golfrgirl
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by golfrgirl »

One more suggestion, Parker Ranch: https://parkerranch.com/. Even though I didn’t go on my visit, my SIL did and really enjoyed.
heyyou
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by heyyou »

Imagine seeing bright lava from a boat in the evening! Wonder if there is a tour like this...
Yes, but only when there is lava flowing into or near the sea. Search for YouTube videos with phrasing about "lava into ocean."

There has been lava on the surface, inside of the crater of the volcano, for a long time, but that is very distant from the ocean, and the national park does not let you get near it, only allowing viewing from a very safe distance, with better viewing at night.

When a flow erupts from the side of the volcano and runs downhill to the ocean, that is when to go on a second trip to Big Island, maybe staying in Hilo for closer proximity from your motel to the after dark excursion site, since you may go there for several nights.

The following night after your boat tour, you can walk across miles of previous lava flows to get to the same place that you saw from the boat. It is easy to trip on the rough uneven surface, and any fall will cut your skin. Going when the moon is high helps. Per Rachel Carson, the moon comes up 51 minutes later each night, which includes being straight overhead, 51 minutes later, each night (24 hours per day divided by a 28 day moon cycle?).

We went late in the night, then used the very early morning light to walk out. Bring water and snacks and something to sit on for lava watching while waiting for enough light to safely exit. For public safety, sometimes it is illegal to walk to the flow, but the guards would leave at 10:00 p.m. That was in the 2000s decade.
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Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

heyyou wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:16 pm
Imagine seeing bright lava from a boat in the evening! Wonder if there is a tour like this...
Yes, but only when there is lava flowing into or near the sea. Search for YouTube videos with phrasing about "lava into ocean."

There has been lava on the surface, inside of the crater of the volcano, for a long time, but that is very distant from the ocean, and the national park does not let you get near it, only allowing viewing from a very safe distance, with better viewing at night.

When a flow erupts from the side of the volcano and runs downhill to the ocean, that is when to go on a second trip to Big Island, maybe staying in Hilo for closer proximity from your motel to the after dark excursion site, since you may go there for several nights.

The following night after your boat tour, you can walk across miles of previous lava flows to get to the same place that you saw from the boat. It is easy to trip on the rough uneven surface, and any fall will cut your skin. Going when the moon is high helps. Per Rachel Carson, the moon comes up 51 minutes later each night, which includes being straight overhead, 51 minutes later, each night (24 hours per day divided by a 28 day moon cycle?).

We went late in the night, then used the very early morning light to walk out. Bring water and snacks and something to sit on for lava watching while waiting for enough light to safely exit. For public safety, sometimes it is illegal to walk to the flow, but the guards would leave at 10:00 p.m. That was in the 2000s decade.
Thx. We were lucky to see lava flow by air and helicopter 14 years ago! So lucky to have seen that. Let's see what we can see in Dec 🙏
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mary1492
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by mary1492 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:57 pm Thx. We were lucky to see lava flow by air and helicopter 14 years ago! So lucky to have seen that. Let's see what we can see in Dec 🙏
Check this out from honeymoon 28 years ago...

Image
tommy85
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by tommy85 »

I did not read all the responses, so this may already be recommended. I would recommend star gazing at night from the observatory. Take a warm jacket, it can get cold up there.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Sandtrap »

tommy85 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:28 am I did not read all the responses, so this may already be recommended. I would recommend star gazing at night from the observatory. Take a warm jacket, it can get cold up there.
+1
This is a really cool thing to do.
Very warm jacket and thick pants. Keep the car motor running and the heat on if it is near and someone is going to sit in the driver's seat. Mugs of hot chocolate.

The air is very very thin, so the lower o2 levels might make some lightheaded or faint very quickly if doing anything more than standing around in one place. So, be prepared for that.

I have family (ohana) nearby in Waikii Ranch and Kamuela so it's a relatively short drive up.
If there's snow, that can be really cool to go up and play for awhile.

Good eats not too far away in Kamuela in the older shopping center. Family owned Thai and Italian restaurants.
Or, take out and go eat at the nearby park and just chill.
The "L & L" Drive Inn for takeout, in Kamuela is very different than any of the others in Hawaii. Try some local dishes. (caution: weight gain).

j :D

High mountain slopes of Mauna Kea, at Waikii Ranch, just down from Saddle Road and the observatories and summit, looking across to Mauna Loa and Kona side.
Image
Looking up toward the summit on a clear day.
From the back porch.
Image
Sunset: Hilton Waikaloa Village Resort
Image
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Escapevelocity
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Escapevelocity »

mr_brightside wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 4:18 pm
livesoft wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:52 pm I recommend a tour with a guide that will take you as close to real-live-hot lava as possible. It might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plan on footwear that does not melt.
this

seeing actual lava flowing at your feet is unworldly

--------------------------------------
there is no active lava flow going on at this time.
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

mary1492 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:06 am
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:57 pm Thx. We were lucky to see lava flow by air and helicopter 14 years ago! So lucky to have seen that. Let's see what we can see in Dec 🙏
Check this out from honeymoon 28 years ago...

Image
Very cool!
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Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Sandtrap wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:16 pm
tommy85 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:28 am I did not read all the responses, so this may already be recommended. I would recommend star gazing at night from the observatory. Take a warm jacket, it can get cold up there.
+1
This is a really cool thing to do.
Very warm jacket and thick pants. Keep the car motor running and the heat on if it is near and someone is going to sit in the driver's seat. Mugs of hot chocolate.

The air is very very thin, so the lower o2 levels might make some lightheaded or faint very quickly if doing anything more than standing around in one place. So, be prepared for that.

I have family (ohana) nearby in Waikii Ranch and Kamuela so it's a relatively short drive up.
If there's snow, that can be really cool to go up and play for awhile.

Good eats not too far away in Kamuela in the older shopping center. Family owned Thai and Italian restaurants.
Or, take out and go eat at the nearby park and just chill.
The "L & L" Drive Inn for takeout, in Kamuela is very different than any of the others in Hawaii. Try some local dishes. (caution: weight gain).

j :D

High mountain slopes of Mauna Kea, at Waikii Ranch, just down from Saddle Road and the observatories and summit, looking across to Mauna Loa and Kona side.
Image
Looking up toward the summit on a clear day.
From the back porch.
Image
Sunset: Hilton Waikaloa Village Resort
Image
Amazing pics! BTW, I'm gonna get the guide book, perhaps the one upthread...
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Sandtrap »

Tip for walking on volcanic lava flows, old and not so old and fairly new (black vs brown in color):

Think of volcanic lava as molten bubbling glass.
There are hollow spots where the bubbles were (all over the place) that can be from a few inches deep to yards deep. And, they can and do break when stepped on. If your foot goes down, you get slashed badly (bleed) and also strain your ankle and other things.

Horses and people have been known to step into things like this even on the older lava flows on the Hilo side in Mountain View, etc. which can be covered with grass, etc. Amazing and have caution.

Wear: not slippers (flip flops/zories), good sneakers, hiking shoes, etc. Jeans and long socks vs no socks and cut off jean shorts, etc. Gloves of you are going to climb around the large rocky lava areas.

Old local.
j :D
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Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Sandtrap wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:27 am Tip for walking on volcanic lava flows, old and not so old and fairly new (black vs brown in color):

Think of volcanic lava as molten bubbling glass.
There are hollow spots where the bubbles were (all over the place) that can be from a few inches deep to yards deep. And, they can and do break when stepped on. If your foot goes down, you get slashed badly (bleed) and also strain your ankle and other things.

Horses and people have been known to step into things like this even on the older lava flows on the Hilo side in Mountain View, etc. which can be covered with grass, etc. Amazing and have caution.

Wear: not slippers (flip flops/zories), good sneakers, hiking shoes, etc. Jeans and long socks vs no socks and cut off jean shorts, etc. Gloves of you are going to climb around the large rocky lava areas.

Old local.
j :D
Nice tips. I'm looking forward to more in the revealed guidebook I ordered!
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woof755
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by woof755 »

Piper59 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:40 pm Even though it's on the other side of the Island, you've gotta hit Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Been there two times - it's an absolute magical place.
I give this my whole hearted endorsement. Check out Friends of Hawaii Volcanos National Park for a private tour. I know these folks, they do wonderful work with the Park.
https://www.fhvnp.org/institute/private-tours/

The drive from Kona to Hilo, via Saddle Road, is amazing. You'll feel like you're on the surface of the moon. With grass.
While in the park, do drive all the way to the southernmost point. You can park, walk a bit, and end up at a literal cliff which feels like the end of the world. Gorgeous. On the way down, you'll pass fields and fields of black lava that you can get out and climb on. Fantastic photo opportunities.

If you want to stay a night on the Hilo side, the Grand Naniloa is very nice. Not crazy expensive--everything on the Hilo side is quite chill and casual. It's right on Coconut Island which is a really nice place to stroll around after dinner.

Downtown Hilo is adorable, and plenty of great places for awesome food.
For Thai food Tina's Garden Cafe
For breakfast take out, Short and Sweet
For a burger, definitely Hilo Burger Joint. :sharebeer

Check out Akaka Falls for a fantastic 400 foot waterfall after about a 1 mile paved trek.
https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/hawai ... tate-park/

I don't know as much about the Kona side, but snorkeling at Two Steps after a quick visit to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau place of refuge is a great recommendation. You can walk to Two Steps from the parking lot.
https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm

To clarify something alluded to earlier: Hawaii is always welcoming to visitors who respect this place. Please wear your masks when indoors, and don't be surprised to see most of us wearing them on sidewalks, too. We never stopped.
You will need a vaccine card (or just a photo of your vaccine card) to eat indoors here on Oahu. Did a quick search, maybe this resolution was not passed on Big Island.

Private message me if you would like to chat about other details. I could go on forever.
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woof755
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by woof755 »

Oh, and on the drive up to Akaka Falls, do turn right where it says "Scenic Road". It's only a few extra minutes detour. Gorgeous ocean views and other parts under a tropical canopy.
There's also a nice family run place to buy a coconut to drink (and if you're lucky, eat the fruit out of) out of and / or have a snack as you get closer to the Akaka Falls end of the road.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Wannaretireearly »

woof755 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:31 pm
Piper59 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:40 pm Even though it's on the other side of the Island, you've gotta hit Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Been there two times - it's an absolute magical place.
I give this my whole hearted endorsement. Check out Friends of Hawaii Volcanos National Park for a private tour. I know these folks, they do wonderful work with the Park.
https://www.fhvnp.org/institute/private-tours/

The drive from Kona to Hilo, via Saddle Road, is amazing. You'll feel like you're on the surface of the moon. With grass.
While in the park, do drive all the way to the southernmost point. You can park, walk a bit, and end up at a literal cliff which feels like the end of the world. Gorgeous. On the way down, you'll pass fields and fields of black lava that you can get out and climb on. Fantastic photo opportunities.

If you want to stay a night on the Hilo side, the Grand Naniloa is very nice. Not crazy expensive--everything on the Hilo side is quite chill and casual. It's right on Coconut Island which is a really nice place to stroll around after dinner.

Downtown Hilo is adorable, and plenty of great places for awesome food.
For Thai food Tina's Garden Cafe
For breakfast take out, Short and Sweet
For a burger, definitely Hilo Burger Joint. :sharebeer

Check out Akaka Falls for a fantastic 400 foot waterfall after about a 1 mile paved trek.
https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/hawai ... tate-park/

I don't know as much about the Kona side, but snorkeling at Two Steps after a quick visit to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau place of refuge is a great recommendation. You can walk to Two Steps from the parking lot.
https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm

To clarify something alluded to earlier: Hawaii is always welcoming to visitors who respect this place. Please wear your masks when indoors, and don't be surprised to see most of us wearing them on sidewalks, too. We never stopped.
You will need a vaccine card (or just a photo of your vaccine card) to eat indoors here on Oahu. Did a quick search, maybe this resolution was not passed on Big Island.

Private message me if you would like to chat about other details. I could go on forever.
Excellent, that seems like the type of tour I'm looking for. 👌
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by Sandtrap »

woof755 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:46 pm Oh, and on the drive up to Akaka Falls, do turn right where it says "Scenic Road". It's only a few extra minutes detour. Gorgeous ocean views and other parts under a tropical canopy.
There's also a nice family run place to buy a coconut to drink (and if you're lucky, eat the fruit out of) out of and / or have a snack as you get closer to the Akaka Falls end of the road.
Akaka Falls = mosquito repellent.

Do not eat green coconuts or way too much coconut juice etc anything. It’s called “Kamehameha s Revenge” for good reason.

j🌺
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woof755
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Re: Hawaii - Big Island: Tips & recommendations

Post by woof755 »

Sandtrap wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:44 pm
woof755 wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:46 pm Oh, and on the drive up to Akaka Falls, do turn right where it says "Scenic Road". It's only a few extra minutes detour. Gorgeous ocean views and other parts under a tropical canopy.
There's also a nice family run place to buy a coconut to drink (and if you're lucky, eat the fruit out of) out of and / or have a snack as you get closer to the Akaka Falls end of the road.
Akaka Falls = mosquito repellent.

Do not eat green coconuts or way too much coconut juice etc anything. It’s called “Kamehameha s Revenge” for good reason.

j🌺
Thanks for adding that color commentary! :happy
Mosquitos must not like me, as I never have problems here. Happy for that!
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
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