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6 Bucket-Listing Worthy Issues to do on Hawaii’s Massive Island with Children


In case you are in search of an genuine Hawaiian expertise, begin with a visit to Hawai’i, or the “Massive Island” as it’s referred to as. There are many issues to do on the Massive Island with children, together with family-friendly actions like water parks, snorkeling with Manta Rays, and dolphin encounters at among the huge motels.  

Since we had been staying on the (quickly to be reopened as a Rosewood Lodge) Kona Village Resort and renting a automotive to discover the island, we centered on actually epic issues to do on Hawai’i with children.

Mom and child in front of tiki on beach at sunrise

Why Select to Go to the Massive Island of Hawai’i

The primary query that you must ask when planning a visit to Hawaii is, what islands do I wish to go to? The Hawaiian Islands are made up of eight main islands — Hawai’i, Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Ni’ihau, and Kaho’alowe.  Nevertheless, when most individuals speak about going to Hawaii, they’re usually considering of the island of Oahu, probably the most populated island of the Hawaiian archipelago.

To reply the query of which islands to go to, you first want to determine three issues: 1) how lengthy do you must go to; 2) what do you wish to see or do; and three) what’s your funds (learn how a lot a journey to Hawaii prices.)

We selected to go to the Massive Island of Hawai’i as a result of we knew we solely had 12 days of trip time together with journey from the East Coast. Given the time constraints, we actually may solely see two islands on this journey. When you’ve got extra time, you should use this Massive Island 7 day Hawaii itinerary.

When you’ve got extra trip time, or you’re flying from the West Coast or a metropolis that provides direct flights to Maui, you might need extra choices. Subsequent in our decision-making course of got here our checklist of bucket checklist actions. The primary factor that every one of us wished to do was see a dwell volcano.  And there is just one place within the Hawaiian Islands to see a dwell volcano and that’s on the island of Hawai’i, or The Massive Island, as it’s in any other case referred to as.

6 Superb Issues to do on the Massive Island with Children

1. Take a day journey to Volcanoes Nationwide Park

Girl making a silly face in front of a steaming crater in Volcanos National Park

Volcanoes Nationwide Park is the one place in Hawai’i the place you’re going to see a dwell volcano (or at the least the steam from one.) However keep in mind, this isn’t a man-made attraction so there are not any ensures. You’ll want to verify the U.S. Geological Survey web site earlier than you go to see what the latest exercise is like.  

The park is giant, and except you want rain, in all probability on the alternative facet of the island from the place you’re staying so be ready for an extended day journey. (It took about 2.5-3 hours to drive from Kona.) Additionally, remember the fact that it’s a lot cooler right here than on the opposite facet of the island so you’ll need to carry a sweatshirt/raincoat and durable footwear. Hilo, simply north of Volcanoes Nationwide Park is likely one of the wettest cities in the USA with over 200 inches of rain per 12 months.

There’s a lot to do inside Volcanoes Nationwide Park so when you haven’t gotten a picnic lunch, you in all probability wish to get one thing to eat earlier than coming into the park.  

Girl by steam vent in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Your first cease upon coming into the park must be the Kilauea Customer Middle to get the lay of the land and put collectively your plan on what sights you wish to see. Relying on the age of your children and their bodily health, there are a number of hikes and actions to select from. The Volcanoes Nationwide Park Issues to Do web page additionally provides you a good suggestion of what sights to see relying on how lengthy you wish to spend within the park.

We did the Crater Rim Drive tour, which brings you previous most of the foremost websites and a bit of the caldera. From the Kilauea Overlook you will get some wonderful views of the steaming caldera. Subsequent up had been the steam vents and sulfur banks. Standing close to the steam vents was like getting a facial, however the toddler wasn’t so certain she appreciated it.

Somewhat additional down the street, we stopped to discover the Thurston Lava Tube.  We had been amazed by the vegetation.  You go from such a desolate panorama to a lush rainforest.  After a 20-minute stroll, we reached the lava tube.  Whereas lit for a portion of the tube, it was nonetheless a bit darkish so that you must watch out the place you stroll.

Following the Lava Tube, we went from lush to dry with a 1/2 mile hike (every approach) alongside the Devastation Path.  Alongside the way in which, we stored our eyes out for Nene, a goose that’s the official state hen of Hawai’i. From Devastation Path, we took a hike to see the Keanakako’i Crater.

See extra issues to do in Volcanoes Nationwide Park.

2.  Go for a helicopter trip

Blue Hawaiian helicopter with a family in front

In all probability the very best (or at the least the best) solution to see the volcano, and the superb Waipio waterfalls is from the air.  A helicopter trip is a little bit of a splurge, however let’s face it, so is a visit to Hawai’i so getting a greater peek on the volcano you got here to see might be price it.  

We took the Volcanoes and Waterfalls tour with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. I did get a little bit of vertigo, particularly sitting up entrance (they distribute you in keeping with weight), particularly zooming across the waterfalls, but it surely was a once-in-a-lifetime expertise I’d not have wished to overlook.

3. Take a hike to Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls in Hawaii

If you wish to stand up near waterfalls and the fauna of Hawai’i, you may wish to take a hike to Akaka Falls. Situated simply north of Hilo, you will see that the attractive Akaka Falls.

With only a brief hike into the park, you will note bamboo forests and all forms of vegetation, in addition to get a close-up view of the falls. The tour will solely take about an hour, so it’s a good solution to high off a go to to Volcanoes Nationwide Park or a day journey to Hilo.

4.  Go Star Gazing

Mauna Kea observatories at the top of the mountain

Mauna Kea, the best peak in Hawai’i, is definitely twice the scale of Mt. Everest if measured from the ocean ground.  As you may think about, a peak of that peak affords some superb star gazing however getting there’s a huge dedication.  

First off, the observatories are at 13,000 toes so it’s not suggested for kids below 13. Our would-be astronomer was disenchanted by this information. Nevertheless, even younger astronomers can go to the Customer Info Middle for the nightly star-gazing program or go to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Middle in Hilo (presently restricted to Hawaiian residents).  

In case you are touring to the highest, be ready by studying what that you must do to go to the summit and convey heat garments! Simply driving by this huge volcano is inspiring. I can nonetheless keep in mind the mantra our daughter made after viewing Mauna Kea out the automotive window because it haunted us all through the journey, “Mauna Kea, Mauna Kea, Mauna Kea growth growth.”

5. Go horseback using with Hawaiian cowboys

That’s proper, cowboys, in Hawai’i. To see them, journey as much as the Waimea space and study the paniolo traditions or possibly take a horseback trip. Our go to to Waimea was at nighttime touring again from Akaka Falls and capped off by an incredible meal at Merriman’s (most of which was raised or grown on the ranches close by).

Nevertheless, if we went again now, my daughter would have insisted on doing a little horseback using at Dahana Ranch or Parker Ranch the place we could have gotten to see a few of these waterfalls we spied within the Waipi’o Valley by helicopter up shut.

6. Attend a Luau

Luau dancers at the Island Breeze Luau

If the Massive Island is the one Hawaiian island you’re visiting, you’ll want to ensure you squeeze in a luau. We had a good time on the King Kamehameha’s Kona Seashore Lodge’s Island Breeze Luau. Simply remember the fact that every luau solely runs on sure nights so be sure you plan your journey itinerary to accommodate at the least one luau throughout your keep in Hawai’i.

Different Advisable Locations to Eat

Flying out and in of Oahu? You’ll want to take a look at these must-dos in Oahu in your approach. Want extra concepts, my good friend Karilyn has 13 must-try issues to do on the Massive Island.

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