Hawai'i, The Big Island

The Orchid Isle

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Big Island is the largest and most volcanically active of the Hawaiian islands. Within Volcanoes National Park, there are 2 active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.  Its diverse terrain spans barren volcanic peaks, lush rainforests and multi-colored colored-sand beaches.  

The eastern coast is the drier and more developed area. The western coast is rugged and volcanic. Highways skirt the edges.

 

Kailua-Kona is the hub of the island. Alii Drive along Kailua Bay is designated as a scenic byway and features historic sites associated with the last of the Hawaiian royalty.

In Kailua Bay lies Ahu'ena Heiau, a temple of peace and prosperity, built by King Kamehameha I in 1813 to honor Lono, the god of fertility.

Located at Honaunau Bay in South Kona, Puuhonua o Honaunau is a180-acre national historic park which  was once the home of royal grounds and a place of refuge for Hawaiians who broke a kapu law.

 Hulihe`e Palace was the vacation residence of Hawaiian royalty.

The St. Benedict Catholic church, also called the painted church, in the south Kona district (Hōnaunau) was built in 1842 in Kapalelua. 

At the Puako petroglyphs (kii pohaku)  there are thousands of preserved images which include paddlers, marchers, dancers and family groups, as well as sails, dogs, chickens, turtle and deity symbols.

Lapakahi State Historical Park is a large area of ruins from an ancient Hawaiian fishing village.

The Christmas decorations feature Hawaiian themes.

Kailua is the start and end point of the famous Ironman triathon.

Kailua Bay is a protected natural area.

 

La'alo Bay Park is one of the popular beach areas.

There is a strong revival of Hawaiian traditions and language. Often tourist resorts will sponsor a hula school.  

 

Ahaeho'omalu Beach, protected by an offshore reef, features a long white-sand beach, several tide pools, fishponds and a large  grove of coconut palms.

From the fishpond at Ahaeho'omalu, the best sunsets can be viewed.

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This site was last updated 01/05/19