Hawaii – Part 3, The Big Island, Hilo and Kona

Day 3 of our cruise on the Pride of America was at Hilo on the eastern side of the big island, Hawaii.  Hawaii is THE volcano island with 6 volcanoes and a 7th just offshore.  Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes rise almost 14,000 feet above sea level.  Considering the depths of the sea where they rise, the overall height of these volcanos is around 50,000 feet, dwarfing Mt Everest. Volcanoes National Park is a must see on the island.  We went on a ranger led hike to view Kilauea crater and the affects of a relatively recent earthquake. Kilauea is not real active right now, so we did not see any flowing lava.  We were told the crater does glow at night but we had to get back to the ship. (Gotta come back for that one.)  We also took a hike thru a huge lava tube nearby with a valley filled with beautiful tree ferns.  Hilo is known for tremendous rainfall, over 400 inches per year.  We were lucky with a virtually cloudless blue sky.  Hilo has been devastated by 2 tsunamis in recent history and had to move part of the town.  We were also lucky there were no earthquakes in the Pacific during our visit.

Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Iki crater

Kilauea Iki crater

Entering lava tube

Entering lava tube

Beautiful tree ferns

Beautiful tree ferns

Tree fern fiddlehead

Tree fern fiddlehead

Another must see was the Wailua Falls aka Rainbow Falls.

Rainbow Falls

Hilo is a busy port city and home to the majority of Hawaii’s tropical plant nurseries.  We saw huge stock fields of plants we were familiar with during our years in the Florida tropical plant business.  The scenic Onomea drive took us to many interesting areas we would like to re-visit.

View from Onomea drive

View from Onomea drive

Akaka falls

Akaka falls

So far, Hilo is our favorite destination in Hawaii.  It is very tropical with active volcanoes and interesting towns.  Of course, we were there on a relatively dry day with no tsinami threat.

Our second stop on the Big Island, Hawaii, was Kona on the west side.  It was the only stop where we anchored offshore and tendered into port.

Pride of America, anchored off Kona

Pride of America, anchored off Kona

In Kona we walked the town and snorkled off the pier.  We saw sea turtles and lots of bright tropical fishes in the clear water.  Kona was the most laid back port we visited on the cruise.

Kona waterfront

Kona waterfront

Snorkle beach next to the pier

Snorkle beach next to the pier

Beautiful tropical fruits and vegies

Beautiful tropical fruits and vegies

Kona completes the Big Island story for us this time. We thought the big island had much of what interests us. Visiting the 2 towns was a great sampler tour that encourages us to come back.  

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5 Responses to Hawaii – Part 3, The Big Island, Hilo and Kona

  1. Judi says:

    Beautiful pics. Glad you’re enjoying your great trip.

    Like

  2. lynnsarda says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your enjoyment. Happy New Year!

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  3. Kings On the Road says:

    Thanks for the comments. Reliving our trip with friends helps us enjoy it once more.

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  4. Great photos! The cruise sampler of places seemed to work out really well for you two. Always wondered how one could see the different islands Hawaii has to offer on one trip. Most just focus on one or two.

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  5. Kings On the Road says:

    Thanks for your comment. We find cruises to be a good way to discover new places to explore. For example, we took a cruise in 2013 which stopped at Cabo San Lucas. Now this year we are traveling there in our motorhome for a visit. During our Hawai’i cruise we found we loved the big island the best. Hope to return there someday..

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