Planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii? See the list of ideas, excursions and top things to do, see and experience while you are on the Big Island. If you want to book your tailor-made holiday in Hawaii, call us on +44 20 7148 1778 or send us an enquiry.
TOP THINGS TO DO AND EXPERIENCE ON THE BIG ISLAND HAWAII
The volcano has been erupting every day for over 30 years! Fly from the heat of the volcano to the coolness of the spectacular waterfalls, which are some of the tallest in the world. This 1 hr 45 min helicopter tour gives you the full spectrum of the Big Island’s amazing scenery. Land at a private cliff-side location, where a delicious boxed lunch is served overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, where black sand beaches can be seen below. Once you finish lunch, take a short hike with your guide to refreshing waterfalls. Take a dip in the cool fresh water pools or keep hiking the trail for more beautiful views! When you’re ready to head back, your helicopter will pick you up and take you back to the hotel to enjoy the rest of the evening. This is an experience never forgotten!
CATAMARAN SNORKEL SAIL
Fun and adventure are yours to enjoy as you venture out to sea on your luxury catamaran. Keep an eye out for dolphins, and maybe even whales (during the winter season) as you sail through clear, blue Pacific waters. You’ll have the feeling of complete freedom as you slice through the turquoise ocean. Sail to Kealakekua Bay and enjoy the scenic & historic Kona coastline. Snorkel Kealakekua’s underwater marine sanctuary, in view of the Captain Cook Monument!
HONEY BEES, COFFEE & KONA BREWING TOUR
Here, on the southernmost Hawaiian Island, on the hillside overlooking Kealakekua Bay, is a family owned, fourth-generation beekeepers farm and headquarters of Big Island Bee Company. This farm is home of the single blossom, raw, natural, organic Hawaiian honey where the focus is on quality and purity, so you can enjoy the finest artisan raw honey available. Learn about bees and honey through text, poems and pictures. See antique and modern tools used to bring honey from the hives to the table. Your next stop takes you to the lush farmlands where the famous Kona Coffee is grown. Visit Kona Joe Coffee, where 100% pure Kona coffee is grown on a trellis using the same techniques as the world’s finest vineyards. Kona Joe Coffee 20 acre estate farm is the world’s first trellised coffee plantation, and has the patent to prove it. See where the coffee beans are grown, processed and roasted to perfection on property. Enjoy a cup of this roasted brew, good enough to be served at the White House! Lunch will be enjoyed at one of Kailua Kona’s favorite restaurants - the Kona Brewing Company. A bit of shopping time in this quaint village rounds out your Taste of Hawai‘i Tour.
HELI HORSEBACK & PICNIC LUNCH
Rise above rainbows and let your spirits soar as you hop in your helicopter and jet off to Pāhoa for a paniolo adventure. The starting point of your horseback journey is a quaint ranch in the heart of Pahoa. Mount up and ride through through the lush and beautiful tropical Jungle of Kapoho. An unforgettable experience on the Big Island! Travel back in time and experience “real” Hawai‘i, like you’ve never seen it before, on horseback! Expert guides will make you feel comfortable and safe on well kept, well trained horses, while providing you with lasting memories. You will meander through the jungle, smelling the sweet aromas of tropical flowers and ripening fruit, spotting colorful birds and wildlife along the way. The trail is a well maintained and safe path taking you on the adventure of a lifetime! The scenery is incredible, so make sure to take it in and bring your camera! Gather together after your rides for a Hawaiian Style BBQ Luncheon before getting in the helicopters to fly back to Kona.
GO WITH THE FLOW
This tour allows you to explore the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hilo’s waterfalls in flight and on foot. This adventure departs from the Kona International Airport in an executive style Bell 407 helicopter. En route to the Volcano area, you will overfly the world famous Kona coffee district and skirt three of Hawaii’s towering volcanoes: Hualalai, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Upon arrival to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, your pilot will search out the day’s activity - sometimes a burning forest fire, a stream or lake of glowing lava, or an entry into the ocean - often only accessible by air. After the first part of your "air" experience, you will land at the Ka’u Coffee Mill, where you will be met by your expert guide. After your coffee farm tour and tasting, travel through the remote and rugged landscape of Ka - home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Discover how the powerful forces of nature have shaped the people and landscape of this dynamic region, Hawaii’s largest land district. The perfect blend of nature and culture led by an expert guide, this tour reveals what it’s like to live on two active volcanoes. Lunch on Volcano House Restaurant is served during your adventure before you are met by your helicopter at a nearby ranch, and take to the skies again, for your return flight to Kona.
MANTA NIGHT SNORKEL
Ever dreamt of observing these gentle giants while they feed on plankton? It is an awesome experience! The Kona Coast is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with manta rays. Their huge 12’ wingspans and agile movements are truly mesmerizing. With no teeth and no stinger, they are quite harmless. Just after sunset you will go out on the water for the experience of a lifetime. At night is when the mantas feed on their favorite foods. The vessel has safe lights which attract the plankton and the mantas to feed on it.
BIG ISLAND SPECTACULAR WITH WATERFALL LANDING
Let your sprits soar as you experience this two-hour deluxe tour of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The rugged beauty of the Kohala Mountains is reflected in its inaccessible valleys and severe coastline. Venture into mysterious Waipi‘o Valley, the Valley of the Kings, once home to a thriving population of native Hawaiian farmers and fisherman. Gaze at the 1,200-foot splendor of Hi‘ilawe, a cascading waterfall hidden in the Kohala wilderness. Next into focus is the lush coastline of Hāmākua, where waterfalls gush into the sea from the snowy summit of Mauna Kea. The site of island creation looms ahead, as you enter the fiery world of the Volcano’s National Park. Home to Kīlauea Crater and its rivers of lava. Madame Pele, Goddess of volcanic fire resides in the steamy environs of this alien world. Black sand beaches stretch for miles along isolated coasts. This is a once-in-a-lifetime-experience, surely never to be forgotten. To make this experience even more unforgettable, land at the exclusive landing spot at beautiful 1200-ft. Punalulu Falls on the Kohala Coast, which gives you a one- of-a-kind photo and video opportunity during 15 minutes on the ground. Get up close and personal with the real Hawaii: unspoiled, untouched, magnificent.
MAUNA KEA SUNRISE EXPERIENCE
Witness the beginning of a gorgeous Hawaiian day like never before... from the top of the tallest highest volcano in the North Pacific. The summit of Mauna Kea is renowned as the world’s greatest astronomical observing site. This journey begins early in the morning while the rest of the island sleeps. After a brief stop at the Visitors Information Station to acclimate you head to the summit to watch the first rays of dawn crawl across the landscape. On the way down, learn about the remarkable evolution and changes this island’s
natural world has experienced. Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast with us at a historic ranch outpost, featuring fresh island produce and baked goods.
TWILIGHT VOLCANO ADVENTURE
Witness the magic of Kilauea as we explore the island’s incredible range of ecosystems and climate zones before experiencing first hand the phenomena that makes it possible - an erupting volcano. Working your way across the island, you’ll take in sites along the Saddle Road, home to some of the rarest ecosystems in the world. Upon arriving at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, you’ll explore the natural wonders of this World Heritage site. The summit caldera, steam vents, cinder fields, and native rainforests are all on the “must see” list. In addition, you'll have stops at the Jaggar Museum, the Visitor Center and Kilauea Iki. As conditions change daily, your experience will be tailor-made to the current eruptive events. After exploring the natural wonders of this World Heritage site, you’ll find out the current conditions to see where the best possible viewing of the eruption site is most active. The choice may require you to leave the park to locate possible breakout flows from the Pu’u O’o Vent or the Halemaumau Crater which contains a hidden lake of molten rock that glows after dark.
HULA: THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEART
Hula is considered the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people, the keeper of their legends, history and genealogy. Hula tells stories with the melody and poetry of a song and grace and the beauty of the dance. Experience not just a Hula Lesson, but Hula Immersion Experience. Learning to move your hands and hips a certain way is easy, but to understand what the movements mean, the story you are telling with your hands and body, feel the emotion of the music, and bring the song and story to life - it connects you to the culture of Hawaii. Your Kumu Hula (teacher), Cathy Tachibana, has studied Hula for many years under five different Hula masters, allowing her to reach the title of Kumu.
Upon entrance, you will be greeted with a traditional Hawaiian 'Oli (greeting) to ask for permission to enter the Hula School and to accept you into the school. Once entering class, you'll first learn the story, background, and hula dance to the song you will be learning. After learning basic steps such as Kaholo, 'Uwehe, Ami, and Hela to the beat of an Ipu, you'll then put these steps together to create the dance.
Lei is very important to a dancer; each dancer must create their own lei. Sewing your own lei is just as important to the dancer as learning all of their steps correctly. And wearing your creation which you have sewed your energy into makes you proud. Each student will learn to sew two types of lei, wristlets, and anklets. One consisting of real flowers to wear for your performance that evening, and one of Kukui nuts to be taken home with you as a memory of what you learned. Once you are feeling like a Hawaiian Princess, you are now ready to put on your hand sewn Hula costumers, have your make-up done, and have your flowers pinned in your hair - you are ready for your big performance!
DEEP SEA FISHING
In the world of deep sea fishing there is Kailua-Kona, and then there is everyplace else. The waters off of Kailua-Kona are considered to be some of the finest deep sea fishing grounds in the world. Unique physical features, combined with almost perfect year-round weather and successful wildlife management techniques provide a natural arena that may hold a potential new world record. Nutrient rich upwelling currents from the great inshore ocean depths – 1,000 fathoms deep only 3-4 miles from shore – provide an abundance of food for the smaller bait fish and squid, thus allowing the preferred game fish an ample food supply. The great volcanic mountains of Mauna Loa and Hualālai allow the fishing to be done in the calm, wind-protected lee of the island. Well known “flag fish” like mahimahi (dorado), ono (wahoo), and ‘ahi (yellowfin tuna) are all found and caught on a regular basis. However, the goal for most anglers is to land the Au or Pacific Blue Marlin. When these great fish weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds they are called granders and are every fisherman’s trophy dream. From the earliest of times the Hawaiian people have fished the Pacific to provide food for their families. Today you pursue these magnificent game fish for challenge and sport. A fleet of sleek sport fishing boats will allow a maximum of six fishermen per boat the chance to seek a world record or provide a fantastic memory. If you’re a fisherman, this is the place to be.
ULTIMATE BIG ISLAND ADVENTURE
Your journey starts with a private helicopter flight and tour over to Hilo that gives you the full spectrum of the Big Island’s amazing scenery. Land at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill for an exclusive farm tour and then head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for a grand tour of this World Heritage site. The adventure continues with an air tour of the North Kohala Valleys and Waterfalls where you will land at a private cliff-side location and enjoy a late afternoon lunch that is served overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Black sand beaches can be seen below as you listen to the sounds of the soothing roll of the ocean from above. Once you have finished lunch, take a short hike with your guide to a refreshing waterfall. Take a dip in the cool fresh water pools, or keep hiking the trail for more beautiful views. Board your private helicopter from the trailhead and enjoy your return flight; this epic adventure is a once in a lifetime experience, surely never to be forgotten!
KOHALA CANOPY ZIPLINE ADVENTURE
Join for a canopy experience like no other. Perched amongst the trees of Halawa, Kohala Zipline features swinging suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms and thrilling ziplines. From the moment you enter the aerial trekking course, you’ll be enthralled in the magic of Kohala. View towering trees swaying overhead in the gentle trade winds while a stream meanders below through ancient taro fields. As you maneuver along progressively longer lines, zipping from tree to tree, your complete safety is foremost. With redundant attachment points and professionally Certified Guides you can relax, knowing your safety is their top priority. Exclusive twin WhisperLines ensure you hear the sounds of the forest, not the whine of metal on metal. Your journey ends as you rappel from the trees back onto terra firma. Your aerial trek is over, but your mind and heart are still racing from the thrill. This extreme sport adventure is definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up to the task and ready for the challenge … this one-of-a-kind event will bring home memories of an experience that will last a lifetime.
PLANT YOUR LEGACY
Today’s adventure begins with a door-less helicopter ride to the northeastern side of the Big Island. Here, the guests will find the Hawaiian Legacy Forest, which offers dramatic and romantic landscape of a koa tree forest. These trees, whose name means brave, bold, and fearless in Hawaiian, are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and do not grow anywhere else in the world. After a privately guided tour of what was once King Kamehameha the Great’s personal koa forest, the guests will have the opportunity to plant their a native, Hawaiian tree with their own hands. Guests are welcome and encouraged to plant their trees as memorials or dedications to create a personal, deeply meaningful planting experience. Next, the Vanilla Farm awaits the group’s arrival for an exclusive tour and lunch, full of gourmet vanilla recipes developed right in their own kitchen. Beginning at their mill site, lunch is served first and then followed by a Vanilla 101 presentation.
RAFTING & WILD DOLPHIN SWIM
Imagine your first sighting of a pod of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. They swim effortlessly along in large groups called “pods”. A raft approaches cautiously and then suddenly there they are, amazingly close, right next to the raft. Your Captain, careful not to disturb them, follows along as they circle their resting area. You suit up into mask and fins and then gently slip over the side. Having been briefed on proper protocol, you gently float in the vicinity of the dolphin pod, hoping they will approach. Then it happens, the pod moves closer and you see them gliding along beneath you. You see a “keiki”, young baby dolphin keeping close to its mother. You hear the “clicks” of their sonar and it seems like they are looking right at you! The Wild Dolphin Encounter is a unique experience. Hawai‘i’s spinner dolphins are a close knit family unit. Pods of dolphins frequent the Kona coast waters taking time to rest during the day before their nocturnal feeding schedule.
The information provided by our partners in Hawaii - Luxe Travel Hawaii.
Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash