Big Island Sights

Nicknamed "The Big Island," Hawaii Island is a microcosm of Hawaii the state. From long white-sand beaches and crystal-clear bays to rain forests, waterfalls, valleys, exotic flowers, and birds, all things quintessentially Hawaii are well represented here.

An assortment of happy surprises also distinguishes the Big Island from the rest of Hawaii—an active volcano (Kilauea) oozing red lava

and creating new earth every day, the clearest place in the world to view stars in the night sky (Mauna Kea), and some seriously good coffee from the famous Kona district, and also from neighboring Kau.

Home to 8 of the world’s 13 sub-climate zones, this is the land of fire (thanks to active Kilauea volcano) and ice (compliments of not-so-active Mauna Kea, topped with snow and expensive telescopes). At just under a million years old, Hawaii is the youngest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Three of its five volcanoes are considered active: Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Kilauea. The Southeast Rift Zone of Kilauea has been spewing lava regularly since January 3, 1983; another eruption began at Kilauea's summit caldera in March 2008, the first since 1982. Back in 1984, Mauna Loa's eruptions crept almost to Hilo, and it could fire up again any minute—or not for years. Hualalai last erupted in 1801, and geologists say it will definitely do so again within 100 years. Mauna Kea is currently considered dormant but may very well erupt again. Kohala, which last erupted some 120,000 years ago, is inactive, but on volatile Hawaii Island, you can never be sure.

Most of the more than 2,200 plant species found in the Hawaiian Islands are not native to Hawaii. The red-and-green lobster claw is originally from South America.

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Hilo 26

The Kona Coast 22

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North Kona 3

South Kona and Kealakekua Bay 19

The Kohala Coast 16

Kailua-Kona 14

The Hamakua Coast 13

Puna 9

Kau and Ka Lae 8

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Vicinity 6

Waimea 5

Mauna Kea 3

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Big Island Sights

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Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority

  • Tour–Sight

Just south of Kona International Airport, a large mysterious group of buildings with an equally large and mysterious photovoltaic (solar)...

World Botanical Gardens & Zip Line

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Just off the highway, this garden park is on more than 300 acres of former sugarcane land. With wide views of the countryside and the...

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