Hawaii: Big Island Adventures

Apr 08, 2011 Avatar Dan Ilves Dan Ilves

Hawaii vacations have always been a favorite — and I’ve visited the islands over 30 times by now. While the beaches and snorkeling are always great, there’s always some new land-based activity to discover, and some part of each island to explore one hasn’t seen before.

On a recent visit to The Big Island of Hawaii, we took advantage of two adventures operated by Hawaii Forest and Trail, because both offered unique adventures on private land a visitor could not otherwise experience.

The Holoholo Hualalai trek took us from the Kona area near sea-level up to the top of Hualalai’s dormant volcano at 6,500-feet elevation. The mode of transport was the Pinzgauer, an Austrian-built troop carrier seating ten in the back, built to ramble over the rocky lava slopes and uneven terrain at the top of Hualalai. Here one takes in a surreal scene of dryland native forest. We drove about the mountain viewing craters and fissures, and clambering thru a lava tube that first required a descent by rope. The knowledgeable guides add much value to the excursion.

On the Kohala Water Adventure we headed to the north tip of the Big Island, just past the quaint and gallery-filled Hawi town, to the heard of Kohala. Once filled with sugar plantations and now largely pasture land, we drove offroad to a trailhead where we enjoyed a loop trail. While not too long a hike, the trail passes a variety of interesting sights, including seven waterfalls, two streams, ancient Hawaiian terraces and flumes along the famous Kohala Ditch, which will flow again this year. the highlight was having time to jump into a mountain stream below a cascading fall!

Hawaii Forest and Trail’s office, and point of departure on some excursions, is just above Kona, between town and the airport. There are a couple of stores to pick up a snack or coffee, and the office has a restroom and retail store. Some excursions depart from the resort area of Waikoloa. So be sure to know where to meet.

When booking your Hawaii vacation packages, ask our Hawaii travel agent about the excursions we can arrange in advance for you as an added convenience. Planning some of your activities in advance will provide you more time to enjoy wonderful Hawaii when you are there, and not have to shop around for what you may wish to do to enhance your visit!