THE BIG ISLAND
The Island of Hawaii is known as 'the Big Island', its the largest island in the Hawaiian Islands chain. The Big Island has a connection to Australia because both were 'discovered' by Captain Cook, there is even a town on the Big Island named after the explorer.
The Big Island is known for its active volcano's, home to Mauna Loa, the worlds largest Volcano, and Kilauea, its younger cousin which is the worlds most active volcano as well as Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano which, when measured from its base under the ocean, is the tallest mountain in the world. Mauna Kea is also home to many scientific observatories that watch the night sky.
Waikoloa is home to a massive group of hotels and resorts with the most popular being the Hilton Waikoloa Village.
Located on the West side of the island, Waikoloa is known for its beautiful weather, almost year round. Most of the hotels are beachfront although many dont have an actual beach, being an island with recently active volcanos, much of the waterfront is volcanic rock.
That's not to say there arent some spectacular beaches to be found. The Big Island is known for its black sand beaches and there are plenty of hidden gems to be found. Anaeho'omalu Beach, known as A-bay, is located right within Waikoloa Village and offers beach activities, an oceanside restaurant, the Lava Lava Beach Club, as well as bathrooms and free parking.
Kailua, referred to as Kailua-Kona by locals, is a sunny beach town located in the heart of the Kona district on the western coast of the Big Island. Within this part of the island you’ll find everything from coffee farms to historic Hawaiian landmarks.
Home to shops, restaurants and bars, Kailua-Kona is the where you will find some of the best places to eat on the Big Island. Kailua-Kona is also home to a small group of shops perfect for grabbing a Hawaiian keepsake or gift.
Shielded by Mauna Loa, Kona’s calm and clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, diving, sailing and spotting dolphins and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles). You can even snorkel or scuba dive with manta rays.
The Big Island is known for the smooth Hawaiian coffee and there are plenty of coffee farms in the local area to explore.
Hilo is the capital of the Big Island and is located on the East (Windward) side of the Island. Hilo is known for being rainy, rainfall here averages over 3500mm of rain annually but this make Hilo beautifully tropical and lush. The surrounding (rain)forests are full of colorful flowers and waterfalls.
Rainbow falls (pictured) is located a short drive away from town and marks the start of a trail you can drive to see some of the most breathtaking scenery the island has to offer.
Hilo is also located close to Volcano National Park and has its own airport where you can take a helicopter ride over active lava.