As my wife walked along Ali'i Drive, we came upon the Hulihe'e Palace. This was the former vacation home of Hawaiian Royalty and is now a museum open to the public.
Inside the house is furniture, dishes, paintings, rugs and clothing used and worn by the family of the Hawaiian Monarchs who used this house. The house is situated on a beautiful parcel of land with a sea view. The grounds are very lush and green with many palm trees, fruit trees and flowers.
My wife and I enjoyed the beautiful ocan views from the grounds as well as the breeze off the water.
Pe'epe'e Falls is about a mile up the road from Rainbow Falls. Most people visit Rainbow Falls so it is a no brainer to continue on to see these falls. I fist visited these falls many years ago and recently returned with my wife in 2013.
Pe'epe'e Falls is not as impressive as Akaka or Rainbow Falls but if you appreciate waterfalls it is worth a look. The falls are surrounded by black lava rock and lush green vegetation. The falls themselves are around 80 feet high and plunge into some smaller pools of water below. The smaller pools of water are called Boiling Pots because of the appearance of bubbles on the surface due to the lava tubes.
There is a trail that leads to the Boiling Pots but our guide discouraged us from walking it due to the recent heavy rain making the area unstable for walking.
Kona was one of our two stops on the Big Island. We had the pleasure of enjoying a day in Kailua.Our morning began with a breakfast at Splasher's Grill followed by some sightseeing, drinks and shopping along Aliʻi Drive. We had a fun day with great weather.
Kailua-Kona has primarily been a fishing town but in recent years land development and tourism has boomed in the area. Kona is also known for its events such as:the annual Ironman World Championship triathlon, the annual Kona Coffee Festival, and the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.
Kona Coffee is well known world wide and is one of the more expensive types in the world. Only coffee grown on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa of the Big Island can be called "Kona Coffee". My wife and I are not coffee drinkers so this is lost on us but we do find it makes a great gift for coffee lovers back home.
King Kamehameha I chose Kailua to be his seat of government when he was chief of Kona. It later became the capital of the unified Kingdom of Hawaii and then was moved to Honolulu.
During our explorations we came upon the Kamakahonu royal residence, Ahuʻena Heiau and Huliheʻe Palace are attractions of the former Hawaiian Monarchy. We also explored the first church of Hawaii, Mokuaikaua Church as well.
This area is very beautiful with nice views of the ocean. I can see why royalty chose this spot as their home
Umauma Falls is a beautiful three-tiered waterfall, it's about 300 feet in total height. This waterfall was the last of many on our tour of Hilo and the surrounding area. We were fortunate to have had several days of rain in Hilo before we visited so this waterfall was in its full flow when we viewed it.
This waterfall is on private property and requires a fee of $6 but was included in our tour price. This was the site of our BBQ lunch as well. It was incredible to have a tasty lunch overlooking the waterfall and hearing the gush of the water as we ate.
with a cumulative height of about 300 feet (90 m). This waterfall used to be accessible via the World Botanical Gardens, but there was a change of management at World Botanical Gardens and in 2008, the Umauma Falls lookout point and its surrounding 90 acres were sold to Umauma Experience, a company that also operates a zip-line. So now the waterfall is accessible only through the Umauma Experience (admission cost to view the waterfall is $6).
Onomea Bay is considered to be the prettiest stretch of the Big Island Coastline and I can agree with that statement. I have driven this scenic road before and have appreciated the beautiful view of the bay and the lush greenery. My most recent visit to Onomea Bay was in February 2013. We were on a tour and one of the stops was the secenic lookout along the Mamalahoa Highway.
The Bay is beautiful to look out but the water below is definitely hazzardous with crashing waves and sharp rocks. There are many warning signs posted to watch for rock slides and not to swim in the waters.
Traditional Hawaiians marked the boundaries between kingdoms on the Island of Hawaii with petroglyph fields such as this. It's not clear if the Petroglyphs were simply markers of the boundary, the bored doodling of the border guards or thought to have some magical powers. The Petroglyphs date from the 16th century on to 19th as evidenced by the use of Romanized characters and written words in later petroglyphs.
The Kaloko NHP preserves the remains of a traditional Hawaiian village, temple (heiau) and fishponds. It also has an excellent beach although swimming is discouraged as the waters are considered sacred to native Hawaiians. Most of the sites are quite a hike away from the visitor's center and parking lot across Volcanic rock so bring good shoes and water. The beach is a great place to spot sea turtles.
This point on the southern side of the Island is the southern most point of the Hawaiian islands and the US. It is also most likely site of the landing of the first Polynesians on the island. Today the area is a popular local camping and fishing site.
I had previously visited Rainbow Falls during a trip to the Big Island many years ago. In 2013, my wife and I visited Hilo and took a local tour which brought us to Rainbow Falls.
Rainbow Falls is a large waterfall; about 80 feet high and 100 feet in diameter. The name Rainbow Falls comes from the Hawaiian word for the falls which is Waiânuenue ; translated as Rainbow Water(rainbows often appear here in the mist). When we visited the Falls; the water was in full gush due to so many days of rain the days prior to our visit. The Wailuku River feeds the water off the edge down into a pool below. Above the pool of water is a lava cave where the Hawaiian Goddess Hina lives.
We viewed the Falls from a number of platforms; each giving a different view. I was glad to re-visit the falls and bring my wife to see such a beautiful natural wonder.
Akaka Falls state park has numerous waterfalls to view, the 2 main ones are kahuna and Akaka Falls. Kahuna is dramatic cliffside falls but you can only get a distant view. Akaka Falls is the most dramatic and most visited waterfall on the island and is well worth a visit.
If you are encircling the island, going north from the Kona Coast on the main road, you will come upon a sign for Akaka Falls (760 ft.)and Kahuna Falls (899 ft). You will have to drive quite a few more miles and follow the signs to reach them, but you will come upon a circle trail where both falls can be seen and there is no admission. Though not a sunny time of day when we were there, I believe it is worth the walk around to see them, though I'm not sure that I would consider this a well-kept park area.
While at this "park" we also spotted a mongoose and several feral cats. Apparently Hawaii has a problem with these poor animals who now must fend for themselves all over the island.
When walking the circle trail to Akaka and Kahuna Falls, you can't help but notice the contrast of landscape here. The northwestern part of the Big Island hosts its own lush, verdant rainforest versus the southwestern coast where seemingly endless lava flows of past eruptions cover miles of ground. Of course roads have been cut into both areas making these geographical landscape wonders available for all of us to see.
Notice in the accompanying picture the stand of bamboo and the enormous size of the bamboo trunks that cradle a waterfall. As beautiful as both large falls were, the vegetation and many small, rocky waterfalls were amazing sights too.
A SAUNA Feeling? Theoritically speaking it feels as if the Steam that comes out from the grounds has this sauna feeling. As if you bath in a cloud of Steam. But what causes the Steam on the grounds?
As the lava that flow on the undergrounds happen to meet certain amounts of water maybe from the streams or from the heavy rainfall that sinks through the ground and these water is warmed by the glowing hot lava rocks or magma causing the water to boil and condense producing steam. The steam finds its way out because of its humidity producing cracks or fissures on the grounds. The steam that is emitted varies everyday depending on the temperature and on the humidity of the atmosphere. Some are fun of to expose themselves right on where the Steam go as if they have the feeling to do a steam bathing.
Gardens are mostly described to be green colorful and full of life. Every one is attracted and fascinated to come and enjoy its beauty. This garden I am discribing is too different from the usual gardens i saw. It is this Volcano National Park. Almost everything i see around is black to dark brown colored grounds that has spread over acres of land to the Big Islands´s southern shores.produced by the most active Volcano Kilauea. It is one of the most visited part of the big island. The flöwing lava being erupted changes from time to time and day by day producing different sizes and forms from big and small attractive stones and rock formations. Which for me with a little visual fantasy it is like a vast "Gardens of Lava."
Here we spend time to make lots of pictures about the activities of Lava as they crushed together with the salty water on the shore.
Lava Rock Souvenir??? The Legend says: Don`t! I respect the Culture and their belief.
It is told that Kilauea lava has been continously flowing for more than 20 yrs and will still conitnue to flow for another 100 years.
If you plan to visit Hawaii don´t miss this unique opportunity.
Don´t miss these highlights too:
Thurston Lava Tube,
Volcano House and
the Halema'uma'u Crater.
Try to bring with you raincoats or an extra T-shirt or pants because on my visit there it rained too hard that I have to buy from the expensive Tourist shop a new T-shirt to replace my wet one. Then of course wear a stable shoes with thicker sole because the Lava stones can damage your feet. The weather was not hot but it was humid and it is advisable to drink, drink, drink. :-)
Waterfalls of the Big Island which is popularly known is the scenic beautiful Akaka Waterfalls. I like the way it is arranged by the Nature because it is surrounded by Greens. All around it are wild trees and plants growing high and you will have absolutely tropical rain forest feeling. Everything you can see is Natural green. If you have chance to stay a while to observe the waterfalls during misty weather touch by the rays of the sunlight creating beautiful rainbow colors, then you are a lucky guy. It was a pity that I was not able to capture this wonderful moment when the Rainbows appear besides it.
From the parking area it is accessible to go by feet to see this wonderful highlight From the sides of the waterfalls they provided stable steps and pathways so that you can watch and observe the wild plants and birds around the rainforest. Dönt miss this opportunity. It is worth it.
The hotel room I had, had a balcony. When I looked to the right, I had a view to the ocean.more
We stayed at Arnott's Lodge since there really isn't much in the way of lodging in Hilo, but we were...more
When we were here, this hotel was closed for remodeling. It might have needed it - my sister visited...more