The island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island in the Hawaii archipelago, is loaded with some of the most incredible natural wonders and historic sites. There is so much to see and cover that one remains spoilt for choices. In particular, there are endless options here for spending time outside with nature. Mixx remains the best for boosting your social media.
One can enjoy the land, the ocean or explore the mountains and volcanoes. There is no other island like the Big Island that offers you the option of swimming with manta rays, whale watching and horseback riding on the same day, before returning to your choice of Big Island vacation rentals. It is here where you get to see those fiery volcanoes, lovely black-sand beaches, and lofty waterfalls.
Add these six Big Island adventures to your Hawaii bucket list!
Note: Unfortunately, most of these adventures are not dog-friendly.
1. Explore the Wonders of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Lava tubes in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The UNESCO-listed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is at the top of the list of things to see and explore on the Big Island. Situated about 45 miles southwest of Hilo, the park is home to one of the most active volcanoes on earth, Kilauea. Maunaloa is the other active volcano. Do not miss the chance to witness the primitive process of creation and destruction.
The Park is spread over 333,000 acres and is filled with hiking trails through smoking volcanic craters, rainforests and deserts. There is a walk-in lava tube, petroglyphs as well as an excellent museum. The most spectacular sight occurs when the molten lava flows enter the sea, with the best viewing opportunities just before dawn and nighttime.
2. Your Pick of Water Activities
Big Island Adventures: Water Activities
One of the many pristine beaches on the Big Island
Enjoy swimming, kayaking, surfing or parasailing on the miles and miles of coastline of the Big Island. The beaches are just perfect, and the coastline is a haven for marine life. The calm and clear waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Explore the abundant marine life and get to see the deep-sea game fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and the Kohala whales. There are other varieties of whales such as sperm whales, false killer whale, and pygmies.
When exploring the ocean environment, keep in mind the fragility of the underwater world as more than a quarter of the sea life found in Hawaii is not present elsewhere in the world. Avoid touching them as they are endangered species. Keep a distance and respect the marine life.
If you are in no mood for surfing or kayaking, you can simply relax on beautiful beaches of the island. Just dip your toes in the sparkling water and enjoy the experience. Either way, don’t miss the tasty cheap eats available on Hawaii to keep up your energy levels.
3. Take A Helicopter Tour
Nothing could be better than looking at the striking environmental contrasts of the Big Island from above. Take one of the ever popular helicopter tours to gaze at the sprawling tropical valleys, secluded beaches, and cascading waterfalls, plus the mountain summits. Grab the chance to get an unprecedented view of the lava flows in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is no wonder so many tourists and locals select to do a helicopter tour.
4. Go Horseback Riding In Waipio Valley
The remote Waipio Valley
Waipio Valley, or the Valley of the Kings, is known for its isolation and tall soaring cliffs. The only way to explore the area is on your feet or a horseback ride. Enjoy horseback rides that will take you deep into the rain forest, reaching the most remote waterfalls and pools. This is the perfect option for a romantic, yet adventurous, getaway. Along the way you’ll come across some of the most scenic viewpoints and spectacular views in this magical valley.
5. Go Manta Ray Night Diving
The thrill of the ocean doubles when you dive at night and is taken to an even higher level when you get to see the corps de ballet of Pacific Manta Rays. Many tourists prefer to dive at night, with the objective of watching these manta rays with massive wing spans and javelin-like tails. You will never forget the experience of diving with these majestic yet graceful creatures of the ocean. Alternatively, go snorkelling, also with the chance of getting up close to them, illuminated by the light of your own dive light. The experience is simply unforgettable!
6. Hiking or Biking
The Big Island of Hawaii is a heaven for hikers of all levels, whether beginners or advanced. One can look for a challenging trail or for short, scenic hikes that will take you through the historic sites. Most hiking adventures begin from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as the park is filled with more than 150 miles of trails. You can hike for the whole day across the volcanic fields and along Chain of Craters Road, or take a shorter walk across a smoking volcanic crater or through a lava tube.
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is another of the famous hikes that weaves through hundreds of cultural sites. If you’re looking for other alternatives, or wanting to bike instead, head to Polulu Valley, which boasts of amazing hikes and biking trails. Bike Kulani Trails are also very popular among the tourists and locals for both hiking and biking.
The majestic Akaka Falls
The island of Hawaii is unique as it offers so many varying environments as well as so many cultural treasures. It is no wonder to see the island famous as the “Hawaiian Island of Adventure”. The fantastically diverse island is filled with modern mega resorts and age-old fishing villages and carries an epic history. The dramatic terrain continues to lure you and surprise you every time you come here.