Hawaii adventures - suggestions?

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,034
33
Seattle
I'm heading to the big island for about a week. Splitting my time roughly 50/50 between Kona and Puna. After doing some homework I've made a list of things I want to do:

  • sea kayaking/snorkeling with the dolphins near Capt Cook monument
  • night swim with the manta rays
  • mountain biking
  • exploring southern end by green sand beach
  • snorkeling at Honaunau
  • volcanoes national park
  • checking out some waterfalls
This is a pretty full schedule but I'm open to other suggestions in case there is anything really spectacular that I should try to work into the mix. Specifically: any particular waterfalls worth visiting - preferably involving some hiking to get to? Places to eat in Kona? Best way to see either of Mauna Loa/Mauna Kea?

I'm renting an X-Terra so I'll be able to access more remote areas.
 

pinkytoe69

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2012
1,114
13
minnesota
Wish I could be more helpful, but a lot our meager big island time was spent trekking to and playing all the golf courses on the westside 😁 (FWIW Makalei may be the coolest course I've ever played)

Waimea is a neat little relaxed old school paniolo town that could be worth a drive through.

Honestly, the big island is so big and has so many different climate zones, it's hard to go wrong just driving around and exploring.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,034
33
Seattle
The trip was fantastic. My wife and I spent the first half at a coffee plantation in the hills above Kona. We kayaked to Captain Cook monument and went snorkeling, I saw a couple black-tipped reef sharks. We did the night swim with the mantas, I've never experienced anything like that - it was surreal. We took our rental X-terra off-roading to get to Makalawena beach, we snorkeled at Honaunau, ate at Da Poke Shack, snorkeled at Honomalino beach, drove the X-terra to the green sand beach which was gorgeous, jumped off the cliff at south point, and ate at Holuakoa Gardens.

Then we drove around the north side and down to Pohoa. Conditions were not good for mountain biking near Waimea, so we drove down into Waipi'o Valley (using the Nissan equivalent of hill descent control), strolled around the botanic gardens near Papaikou, and stayed a few nights by Isaac Hale state park. From here we hiked across the fresh lava field to the newest beach in the world, swam in the tide pools, walked around the lava forest, and spent a day at Kiluea.

I can't wait to go back, the big island is so far a contender for the best of the 4 I've visited. I'll give a heads up if we plan to return. There is much more I want to see.