Big Island is big in all sorts of thrilling ways. It's incredibly diverse, with terrain offering everything from strange green and black sand beaches to deep, lush rainforests and two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa (Kilauea has been erupting continuously for the past three decades). Hapuna Beach and Kahaluu Beach Park, both to the west of the island, are fabulous for snorkelling and water sports.
Love art? The art galleries of Holualoa, a coffee town turned creative art centre, are fabulous.
Visit the NOAA's Mokupapapa Discovery Center. And lose yourself in the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, the perfect place to find out about the state's famous volcanoes.
Enjoy the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii
Relax on splendid sandy beaches on the Hamakua Coast, Hilo, Kau, Kohala, Kona and North Kohalam, each with its own unique island vibe
Find enlightenment at Kalani, a non-profit educational retreat centre and eco-community in the colourful Puna District
The island's famous paniolo, AKA cowboys, have a powerful influence on the island's culture. Explore breathtaking places like Waimea on horseback with a paniolo guide.
The Golden Hula From £1599.00 (inc flights and hotels)
Immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan vibes of LA and party till dawn on Sunset Strip before retreating to the island of Maui with its dramatic vistas and sun-drenched beaches. Top off your trip with a stay in San Francisco and soak up the city’s eclectic culture and ico...
The tiny Happy Face Spider lives here, and you'll see it everywhere with its bright sunshine yellow body and distinctive smiley face on its abdomen. They're completely harmless.
Take a guided tour of Mauna Kea late in the day to see the remarkable sunset and the incredibly big, bright stars, with a rest stop at an historic ranch for a hot picnic dinner
Treat yourself to a night time snorkel on the magnificent Kona Coast where the enormous, elegant Manta Ray is king
Visit the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Add the lands of Keauhou, with their restored temples and burial grounds commemorating the mighty Kuamoo Battle, and you'll feel you're getting to grips with the spirit of this unique island paradise.
33,500 feet high Mauna Kea is 4,500 feet higher than Mount Everest, but only 13,500 feet of it show above the water. The rest sits is underwater.
Akaka Falls are to die for. Kailua Village is one of the busiest places on the glorious Kona Coast, with plenty of historical significance. It's where you'll find the lovely Hulihee Palace, Hawaiian royalty's summer home. There's also pretty Mokuaikaua Church, the state's first Christian church dating back to 1820, and Ahuena Heiau, a temple built by King Kamehameha 1st, dedicated to Lono, the Hawaiian God of peace, agriculture and prosperity. From home just outside Middlesbrough in the north east of England to exotic Kealakekua Bay... this is where Captain James Cook first set foot on Hawaii Big Island. Just a year later Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay. You'll see a white obelisk marking his death at Kealakekua Bay.
You'll never feel the same about snorkelling after experiencing the electrifying, colourful coral gardens, sea life and plunging underwater cliff at Kaʻawaloa Cove. As Lonely Planet says, it's “stellar”. Join the locals at Kanaka Kava, a 'cash only' grass-shack hangout where you can drink Kava until the cows come home. Drink what? It's a slightly-sedative Hawaiian treat made from ʻawa plant juice. They also sell organic Indian Mulberry juice and unusual snacks like squid luau and ahi poke. And prepare for a musical evening – like all the Hawaiian islands, Big Island is big on music.
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