Hawaii’s Big Island 101 – Get Started Here
John C. Derrick for Hawaii Guide on planning for your Big Island vacation. Join us to see the island in our luxurious Mercedes vans. Sit back, relax with our excellent guides and leave the driving to us as you learn of the culture and see the beauty of the Big Island.
Aloha and welcome to the ‘Orchid Isle’ or simply The ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii! The Big Island of Hawaii is an island of incredible diversity and is twice the size of all the other islands in the Hawaiian chain. The Big Island really is just that… BIG!
You’ll hear the name “Big Island” because many people are easily confused by the fact that the Big Island of Hawaii actually has the same name as the state itself – “Hawaii.” For that reason, we always refer to the island as the ‘Big Island’ to help avoid confusion. The beauty of the island and its eclectic nature are only surpassed by the fact that this island is actually still growing by the day, adding some 570+ new acres to its landmass since 1983. Kilauea, on the southeastern coast, remains one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting continuously from 1984-2018.
Big Island – Top Things to Know
- The Big Island of Hawaii seems determined to break the stereotype of the average tropical island. Here you’ll find the ongoing battle between green forests, black lava fields, the ocean, and the rain almost incomprehensible; the diversity is simply stunning. You may find yourself wondering, is this an ancient landscape or a future one? On the Big Island, it’s always best to expect the unexpected. Even the beaches don’t follow the rules. It’s almost easier to find a black sand beach than a white one, and if you’re adventurous enough, you can even sink your toes into one of the world’s few green sand beaches.
- For travelers looking for exciting activities, the Big Island won’t disappoint. Big Island of Hawaii Tours are plentiful, from ATV riding to horseback tours, and from snorkeling to hiking adventures. Golfers will also be pleased with the fact that the Big Island is loaded with a variety of golf courses – making it the best island in the state to play a round or two.
- The island is also home to the largest privately-owned ranch in the United States – Parker Ranch.You’ll enjoy an abundant selection of Big Island Accommodations, from luxury resorts along the Gold Kohala coast to quaint inns in Volcano town. No matter what you’re looking for on your vacation, you’re sure to find it somewhere on the Big Island of Hawaii; the island’s diversity and beauty are unmatched in the Islands.
- Weather on the Big Island also changes dramatically depending on your location. Temperatures usually range from the mid-70s in the winter, to the mid-80s in the summer. As you head mauka (inland) and to higher elevations, the temperature can become much colder very quickly. Even Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, at around 4,000ft., can be quite nippy some mornings. Atop Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, freezing temperatures are not uncommon. Hilo is the wettest city in the entire United States, while Kailua-Kona, on the opposite side of the island, is one of the driest. Be prepared for the diversity in weather when you visit the island.
- Here are a few numbers that may surprise you: The Big Island of Hawaii actually contains most of the world’s incredibly diverse climate zones, all on an island that’s just a tad over 4,000 square miles (and growing). The Big Island of Hawaii- composed of five major volcanoes- makes up an incredible 60+% of the state’s total landmass! While it may be a balmy 78 degrees on the coast during the winter, you can often find snow on the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, making the Big Island one of the only places in the world you can surf and snowboard in the same day. Considered the most ecologically diverse of all the major islands, the Big Island of Hawaii contains an incredibly vast range of natural environments just waiting to be explored. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the most popular visitor attractions on the south-western part of the island