Day trips from Kona or move around BI

Jul 15th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,802
Day trips from Kona or move around BI

Aloha, all. I really need your input.

We are flying into Kona and we are planning to spend 5 days on the BI, then on to Oahu for a couple of days before coming home. Our plan was to stay 5 days somewhere in the Kona area. During that time we would do a day trip to the Volcanos, then another day trip to the Hilo area, mainly to see Akaka Falls and the Hawaiin Botanical Gardens just outside Hilo. The remaining time was to be spent snorkeling in the Kona coast area.

Please tell me--is it realistic to stay in Kona and do these day trips, or should we move around, perhaps spending 2 nights in Kona, 1 at VNP, 1 in Hilo, then the last night in Kona again, as we have an early morning flight to HNL?

Mahalo for any advice you can offer.
P_M is online now  
Jul 15th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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You need to move around. The Big Island is...BIG!! Seriously. To get from Kona to VNP, it is about a 2.5 to 3 HOUR drive, EACH way. Hilo is also about a 2-hour drive. It will be a LOT more realxing for you to stay somewhere near VNP/Hilo when you will be seeing that side of the island.
ChristieP is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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stay in Kona for the snorkeling/sun and do the day trips, they're not bad and the scenery is beautiful. if you want to see the red lava from the bottom of the hill(not guaranteed), i'd suggest overnighting in Volcano, but if you just want to enjoy the park during the day you'll have plenty of time from Kona. A day trip from Kona to Hilo will also be a nice drive and can be done with no rushing on your part. No sense packing, unpacking, moving for such a short time, enjoy the water and sun in Kona and drive around.
matnikstym is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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We had a condo in Kona. We did some day trips from there, but when we went to the Volcano, we spent the night at Volcano House and then the next day drove all the way around the Island, going down to the coast to see the lava flowing into the ocean, stopping in Hilo for a little while, then up and around, through the Parker Ranch, and checking out the propereies north of Kona and back to the condo. We also, one day, took a guided tour which included a coffee plantation and the place where sea turtles nest.

I believe the condo was in a property called Kona Reef. Our apartment was ocean front.
jtrandolph is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for all of the input so far. Where exactly can you see lava flowing into the ocean? That sounds too cool!!
P_M is online now  
Jul 15th, 2006, 04:47 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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to see the lava flowing, you have to drive all the way down to the bottom of the hill, then hike 2-3 hours out on rough lava. it is worth it IF the lava is flowing on the surface, as it is this week. Soon it will crust over and nothing will be visible from the bottom, though if you hike out you can see the streams of lava going into the ocean. it's a rough hike, bring water, flashlight and good shoes. Call the HVNP hotline while you're in Kona and see what the flow is doing. It's not worth the drive down and hike during the day, but there's plenty to do in the park
matnikstym is offline  
Jul 15th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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If you're staying 5 days on BI then one night on the Hilo side at the beginning or end of your stay would reduce your drive time considerably.

The first time we went to Hawaii we booked 11 nights in Waikoloa and ended up staying overnight in Hilo anyway as we wanted to see more of that side of the island.

Last year we split our stay with 2 nights in Pahoa (Hilo side of the island) and 6 nights in Waikoloa.

I guess it depends on how much driving you'd like to do. It sounds like your plan is to make two verrry long daytrips. Save the gas, drive time and hassle and stay overnight!
highflyer is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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BayouGal is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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We spent 7 nights in Waikoloa at the Hilton and took a couple of day trips. We drove down to the Kona area twice. (Once to go to a beach and another time to go on a snorkel tour.) We did one day drive to the volcano. We started going on the north side of the island and saw Akaka falls and another Falls area. We had lunch in Hilo.
I found staying in one place easier than moving the family every few days. Besides the resort was huge and had lots to offer our family.

A lot depends on how into the volcano thing you are. I found it to be miles and miles of black rock. It is neat to see, but not really my thing. I realized a helicopter ride would have taken care of the visit in a short time AND I might have seen lava. The day we went, we arrived at the area where you walk to see the lava. It was 4pm and HOT. I decided that I had seen enough black rocks for my lifetime.

We loved the Big Island because it is such a unique looking place and the snorkeling is fabulous. I especially liked the giant turtles that would swim right by you. That is what we liked to do there.

girlonthego is offline  
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