A truly inimitable destination
If I had to choose a place in the world to settle down, The Big Island of Hawai’i wins hands down. In June 2016 Andy and I explored this beautiful island from top to bottom, from the peaks of active volcanos to the underwater marine life in Kona. We rented a house through airbnb next to volcano village as our base for this trip. From here we go holoholo (cruising around at leisure) over the Big Island.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa
On the first day we explored the National Park which holds 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rainforests as well as a museum, petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube (Nahuku) and two active volcanoes. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanos on earth. It has been erupting since January 3rd, 1983 and may last another 100 years or stop tomorrow. Mauna Loa is the largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume (75,000 km3) and last erupted in 1984.
Papakōlea Green Sand Beach
There are only 2 green sand beaches in the entire world! Olivine (aka Hawaiian Diamond) is the name of the glassy crystals responsible for the sands distinct colouration. The hike to and from green sand beach is 5 mile round trip – make sure to bring appropriate footwear and lots of water. It is possible to get a quad bike taxi but the hike is part of the fun and the beach is a beautiful reward.
Punalu’u Black sand beach
The black sand is created almost instantly when the hot lava reaches the ocean and shatters into tiny lava fragments. The sand retains heat which is why sea turtles prioritise these beaches for laying their eggs.
Swimming with Dolphins at Two-step
This beautiful site is part of Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. We only planed to stay here for a little while before heading to Kona until we spotted a pod of spinner dolphins from the rocky shore which left us no choice but to go and get our snorkel gear from the car. The water is roughly 3 to 30 m deep and clear enough to see to the bottom. I was impressed but the coral health and diversity in this area and we did not have to swim far to reach the pod. When we did, we were overwhelmed that it was possible to get this close to these beautiful creatures in the wild. Wait until you see video footage!!
Manta Night Diving
I will admit that these are not the best quality of images but wait until I put a video together! We shared this experience with knowledgeable and friendly crew Jacks Diving Locker situated on Kona coast. I understand why this dive/snorkel is on most peoples bucket lists, you are almost 100% guaranteed to see these beautiful creatures.
To strive for perfection in sharing Hawaii’s underwater world, with a focus on friendship, a spirit of adventure, and a commitment to safety, the environment and our community.
Hāpuna White Sand Beach
After an exhausting day swimming with mantas and dolphins and sleeping in our car, we decided that today was going to be our true Hawaii beach day. We went snorkelling and fell asleep in the sun before heading the long way north, back to volcano village.
Waterfalls (Wailele) at ‘Akaka Falls State Park
So much green! A short drive along the Hamakua Heritage Corridor from Hilo and you will be completely embedded into tropical jungle life. With a beautiful circular route past the famous ‘Akaka Falls, which plummets 442 ft into a lush emerald basin and Kahuna Falls, a smaller waterfall (100 ft) somewhat obscured by the rainforest.
Honolulu – International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS)
After exploring the Big Island of Hawai’i, we headed back to Oahu to join the world’s coral reef scientists at ICRS in Honolulu.
Outside of the conference we spent most of our time on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.
Coral Disease Symposium at Windward Community College, Kaneohe, HI with Dr Mike Sweet, Thierry Work and Esther Peters.
I wish we could have seen more of this beautiful city.