Hawai`i - Big Island

Hawai`i (Big Island)

Lava Tree State Park off of HI Route 132. The lava moved in so quickly that the trees didn't have time to either get knocked down or vaporized. Instead, as the wood burned from the outside in, the minerals of the lava replaced the wood. Instant petrification on a large scale led to scattered tree formations throughout the park, interspersed with healthily growing grass and trees. Since Hawai`i is the only actively erupting island, it has a great variety of life from the bottom up. You'll see ferns growing out of cracks everywhere in seemingly barren lava fields, and fully-grown mature patches of forest surrounded by those same lava fields due to the flow pattern. Even here in the lava trees you can see mosses starting to reclaim their patch of Nature.

Coconut Island, otherwise commercial Hilo Bay's main swimming hole.

The top half of `Akaka Falls off of HI Route 220. It was deep within a park and the trails were under construction, so this is all I could get.

Rainbow Falls, one of the more famous photo spots in the state, within Hilo on Waianuenue Ave.

The Boiling Pots in the first photo are just downstream of the immaculately named Pe`epe`e Falls, saved only by the mild `okina. There is one street sign missing it, on the Big Islands Roads page linked at bottom. Pe`epe`e is up the Wailuku River from Rainbow.

Kaumana Caves on Kaumana Drive, County/HI Route 200 (no way of knowing if Hawai`i Department of Transportation has taken over yet). The direction toward Hilo, in the second photo, is dark but walkable for half a mile with a flashlight. You're not supposed to head away from Hilo under Kaumana Drive as in the first photo, because the roof could cave in and make a new entrance on your head.

Northbound on HI Route 250, Kohala Mountain Road, apparently voted the most scenic drive in the world by Travel Magazine. I heard that from Hawai`i tourism, but couldn't verify it on this side of the Pacific. What you see above the clouds in the second photo is Haleakala, 20 miles distant on Maui. That's right, 20 miles away it still dominates the entire sky - because it's a volcanic dome, the slopes are much gentler than on most (tectonically formed) mountains, so it spreads for miles and miles from its 10,023-foot summit. The cloud line is around a mile high, and I'll let you do your own math on how many miles of Haleakala you see here.

I only saw two wind farms on Hawai`i - one on Maui and this one by Upolu Airport at the northernmost point on the Big Island.

Past the scraggly underbrush from HI Route 270 stand the remnants of one of the Big Island's five volcanoes, the Kohala Range.

The original King Kamehameha statue in Kapa`au on HI Route 270. It was commissioned in 1878 by King David Kalakaua, but the ship carrying it sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Insurance money paid for a replica, which was brought to the Hawai`i Legislature (the body that elected kings upon the death of an heirless monarch) and Supreme Court building opposite `Iolani Palace (also commissioned by King Kalakaua). Somehow, the old statue made its way to the Falkland Islands, reclaimed from the sea, and even more miraculously it was discovered there, purchased, and brought to Hawai`i. Since the replica was already up and looking quite handsome, the original statue was brought to King Kamehameha's birthplace in Kapa`au. Of the three statues (a third was brought to Washington, D.C. in the 20th century), this is the only one with red and yellow painted feathers, the traditional coat of Hawaiian royalty. The other Hawai`i one is on my Honolulu page.

Kilauea Caldera
Chain of Craters Road
Kalapana Lava Flow
Malama Petroglyphs, Puako
Waipi`o Valley on HI Route 240
Big Island Roads
Back to Hawai`i main page
Back to Non-Roads main page