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49 Black Sand Beach at Honoka'ope Bay is quiet and scenic, one of the only black sand beaches on the Big Island's Kona coast.
In ancient Hawaii, solar evaporation was a convenient method of procuring sea salt from ocean waves that washed up on the shore, settling in lava rock salt-pans. As you walk along the coast of the Big Island, keep an eye out for recesses in the rocks that might have made good natural salt pans.
The Red-masked Parakeet has an emerald-green body, red mask and long tail feathers. Native to coastal areas of Ecuador and Peru, this parrot is often seen flying through the trees near Kailua-Kona. It isn't exactly clear how they came to reside on the Big Island. This particular one was squawking in the kiawe tree outside our home in Kailua.
Commonly confused with the Canada Goose, Nene is the official Hawaii State Bird. Because they do not migrate, Nene is found nowhere else on earth (endemic to Hawaii), making it the world's rarest goose. Approximately 500 Nene live on the Big Island, so consider yourself fortunate if you happen to spot one of these shy birds!
Hawaii student travel adventures, teen tours and Big Island day camp. Fun and educational Big Island adventures for middle and high school students.
Hike to Mauna Ulu in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for an up close look at the aftermath of one of Kilauea Volcano’s longest rift zone eruptions.
A handful of small taro farms and various livestock help sustain the few locals still residing in Waipi'o Valley. Once the home of Hawaiian royalty, the area flourished with thousands of residents prior to the 1946 tsunami that devastated the area.
The multi-hued bark of the Rainbow Eucalyptus (eucalyptus deglupta) is brilliant! As the bark peels, the rich green inner bark is revealed, which eventually darkens with shades of blue, purple, grey, orange and streaks of red.
Also known as Mindanao gum tree or rainbow gum, the Rainbow Eucalyptus can reach heights of up to 250 feet in its native habitat. It thrives in tropical climates, though smaller versions are found in southern parts of Florida, California and Texas.
There has been dramatic activity at the Kilauea Volcano of late, including increased flow along the slopes from the Pu'u 'O'o vent, active ocean entry at Kamokuna, and a geyser of lava spouting in the Halema'uma'u Crater. Visit this page for new images and video!
Argiope Appensa, known in Hawaii as the Hawaiian Garden Spider, is easily identified by its black/yellow stripes and pentagon-shaped body. This non-poisonous arachnid spins an ornate web, then sits head down in the center waiting for prey to become tangled in the fine silk. Females can reach a body length up to 7cm. and are much more colorful than their drab male counterparts. Click on the image for a larger view.
The manta ray night snorkel is one of the top attractions on the Big Island. Swim with one of the ocean's largest and most graceful fish.
Yes, the sand really is GREEN! If you walk the 2.5 miles to Papakolea Green Sand Beach, stay close to the shoreline. Pockets of shimmering green olivine crystals are often hidden among the rocks near the tide line. Olivine is a green mineral that is deposited during certain volcanic eruptions.
A Hawaii helicopter tour is a thrilling way to see the best sights on the Big Island, with many spectacular vistas only visible from the air.
Enjoy a beautiful drive along the Hamakua coast! The Hamakua Heritage Corridor is a 50 mile (80km) scenic drive beginning in Hilo, ending at the Waipi'o Valley overlook. Enjoy this memorable tour along sea cliffs with rainforest waterfalls and colorful byways. Of course, all roads on the Big Island lead to new adventures. We'll help you find what you're looking for.
Whether it's white snow or white sand you prefer, you can take advantage of both on the Big Island, on the same day! And while I'm not going to vouch for the quality of the snow for skiing or boarding, I can promise you'll love the soft white sand at the beach. If you do decide to carry your boards up on Mauna Kea, use extreme caution. With the sharp a'a lava beneath the snow, one fall can ruin your day. Whatever form of recreation you choose, have fun out there!
We enjoy hanging out at Magic Sands Beach (or Disappearing Sands if you prefer) pretty much any time of year, with or without snow! This is my favorite beach close to downtown Kailua-Kona, a good place to swim or just relax in the sand.
Mauna Loa Volcano on Hawaii Island is the most massive mountain on earth. Erupting on average every 5-6 years, it is also the largest active volcano.
Join the delicious fun at the 2016 Big Island Chocolate Festival! This year's theme is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park”. Headquartered at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, the festival runs from Friday, May 13 through Saturday, May 14 and includes a tour the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, cacao farm workshops, chocolate culinary demonstrations, live entertainment and more. It's sure to be a fun, tasty and entertaining weekend! Follow the link below for tickets and information.
The best Hilo beach parks run south along Kalanianaole Street in Hilo. These oceanfront parks are great for swimming, tidepooling, and picnics.
Mauna Kea Observatory on Hawaii’s Big Island is ideally situated for the study of deep space, atop Mauna Kea Volcano and miles from artificial light.