Big Island, Food, Hawaii, Scuba Diving, Travel, Volcanoes National Park

A Big Island Surprise

While researching the Big Island, also known as the Island of Hawaii, the one description that I read over and over again was that the island was BIG. In fact, all of the other Hawaiian islands could fit within the boundaries of the Big Island–with room to spare. It is large enough that it encompasses 11 out of the 13 climatic zones in the world, and large enough that even after reading about how big it was, I was still shocked at its size while driving around the island.

Big Island Map

Thanks to Big Island Revealed for the above photo.

When you visit the Big Island, you can almost see it all. From an active lava flow, to black, white, and even GREEN sand beaches, from lush rain forests to vast deserts, and even SNOW on the summit of Mauna Kea (yes, I said snow… even in Hawaii). Each area of the Big Island is so different from the next that you never quite know what’s going to be over the hill or just around the corner. And in case you were wondering, you can even spot a zebra while driving down Mamalahoa Highway.

Is that a Zebra or a Donkey??!

With close to four full days to explore, I knew that we would not see it all. In fact, I’m convinced that even with a month to explore we would still not come close to seeing all that the Big Island has to offer. So while planning our trip, I figured that the easiest way to conquer the Big Island was to explore it in regions, which is precisely what we did.

Big Island Map


Day 1: A Relaxing afternoon/evening in Kona

Day 2: Exploring Hilo & Puna: a Helicopter Toura VOLCANO, a dip in Ahalanui, a hike through Lava Tree State Park, and getting Loco!

Day 3: Kona: A beach day and a Scuba Diving Adventure

Day 4: Road Trip! Stops at the Place of Refuge, The Southern Most Point in the US, and a Black Sand Beach

Day 5: Morning in Kona and then a flight to Kauai!

When we traveled East and South we were in the car forever! for a good four hours roundtrip each day. We knew that we would do a lot of driving, but our expectations were blown out of the water. And not in a good way. In fact, on our late night drive back from Hilo, we turned to quizzing each other on times tables and having dance parties in the car (Mr. Ro-bot-to, anyone?) just to stay awake pass the time.

Lots of driving and all, the Big Island did exactly what we expected it to do: satiate our thirst to return. And hopefully, we will return VERY SOON.

Big Island Collage

Kona Airport-1
Loved that the Kona Airport was outdoors
As a side note: Pictures and Plane Tickets does not condone drowsy driving. If you’re tired, pull over! 🙂

15 thoughts on “A Big Island Surprise”

          1. on Mt Haleakala!! But this island is so small ~ it’s all like one place – except for NAHIKU and Hana! haha. Kahana, Kahului or pretty much anywhere else is doable 🙂

          1. Planning on heading up to Monterey Bay during Christmas 🙂 Maui should be wonderful! Cannot wait to read your posts 🙂

  1. There never seems to be enough time to see everything when you are on a vacation. We are traveling to Vermont soon and will be there for a week. I have been planning this trip since January (something to help me survive our deep, dark winter) and quickly realized there is no way to see and do all that we want to!

    I look forward to reading more when you return to Hawaii! 🙂

    1. Hi there! You are right. There’s always so much more to see and do. I’ve always had that feeling on vacation but more than ever on the Big Island.

      I’m excited to read about your trip to Vermont. I’ve never been there!

  2. Hawaii island is out of this world, I remember being shocked (in a good way) at how climate changes on the island while driving through this incredible land. We spent 9 days here and it wasn’t enough, I could have stayed there for much longer 🙂 it’s huge comparing it to the other islands, especially coming there from tiny Kauai 🙂

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