May 6, 2013

Hawaii- More from Big Island!


Hawaii Big Island attractions

Big Island of Hawaii is popular for its most active volcano Kilauea. But, there are many other places one could enjoy this island's volcanic beauty. As any other island it has numerous beaches on the western coast and waterfalls on the wind and rain swept eastern coast. If you take a drive along the perimeter of the island numerous viewpoints await you.

Hawaii Big Island Punaluu Black sand beach honu green turtle

My first stop on such a drive was at Punalu'u black sand beach. It was one amazing sight to see the dark sand with coconut trees lining the shores and volcanic rocks etched with flow patterns of lava. Located on Kau coast this beach is one of the popular black sand beaches in Hawaii. And most exciting was to sight this dear friend from the deep ocean. This Hawaiian green sea turtle was basking in the hot sun. This threatened species doesn't look quite green when dry but when wet yes! looks dark green. It has a cute name honu in Hawaiian. 

Hawaii Big Island attractions Akaka Falls
Akaka Falls State Park near (11miles north) Hilo on Hamakua coast is home for two tall waterfalls. A short half mile hike on a paved trail through lush rain forest takes you to the viewpoint. the Kolekole stream plunges down into a deep gorge. When I was there it was raining heavily and I used my poncho as shelter to get this long exposure shot of this 442ft tall Akaka Falls. I could not see the bottom and the pool as the thundering flow was creating a cloud of mist all around it. It is one of the most popular and easily accessible falls of Hawaii. There is another 400ft tall Kahuna Falls on the way. The viewpoint for Kahuna falls is a bit odd place where one cannot have a great view, hence not so popular as its neighbor. The rainforest around is full of wild orchids and interesting looking ferns. Colorful gingers were all around. If not the rainstorm I could spend easily two hours just shooting these flowers. For the first time I saw the Hawaiian Cup of Gold- a huge flower. This must-see attraction has an entry fee of $5 per car for non-Hawaii visitors.

When around Hilo you will know what is it to be in third wettest city in United States. Around 100 inches of rain in the city and up to 200 inches around the city. That is a lot of rain, good enough to feed the streams of these beautiful waterfalls. That's why I talk a lot about rain. 

Hawaii Big island wailuku river state park Rainbow Falls
Wailuku River State Park is another park nearby Hilo. It is home for a beautiful 80ft punchbowl- Rainbow Falls. On sunny mornings one can see rainbows in the mist created by the waterfalls. The ancient-natural lava cave behind the waterflow is believed to be the home of Hina- the mother of demigod Maui. It seems the Wailuku river is 18miles long and is the longest river in Hawaii!

I did say "rain rain go away" ... but rain didn't take my request at all! In a hurry I took some pictures hiding under the poncho. It is possible to see the falls from above by climbing a series of slippery steps. Couple of miles upriver it seems there are boiling pots which I was unable to see :(

Hawaii Big Island Pololu Valley Lookout
Pololu Valley lookout is in North Kohala and I reached there late in the afternoon. It was already looking like late evening due to overcast sky. It was a spectacular scene and I am sure on clearer days it could be an unforgettable view of the dramatic northeastern coastline. I went half-way down on the steep trail towards the black sand beach in the valley floor. And returned as the rainstorm arrived! I ran back steep uphill to save my camera and was so tired. I had to be happy with this view and I am. That is why when I think of Hawaii, first thing comes to my mind is live volcano, then the lush rain forests, and then the rain!

Hawaii Big Island attractions waipio valley
Waipio valley lookout is located on the northern Hamakua coast. Waipio valley is sacred to the Hawaiians and is called Valley of the Kings. I wanted to hike down to the valley but, for some valid reason I didn't- I regret! I missed the spectacular sight of that 1,450ft tall Hiilawi waterfalls plummeting down into the valley!

The sunny Kona coast stretches about 60 miles and is home for many historic parks. I spent some time on the beach but, it was too hot for my liking. I wondered how this woman was coping up with the heat. She was enjoying the sun and was building a sand sculpture! I felt as if I was getting heat stroke. I was there because my travel companion wanted to be there. After taking few pictures I returned back to the car and switched on the AC while I waited for my companion. Really, it was very hot!

Hawaii Big Island attractions Kona Coast
Well, Hawaiian islands have innumerable attractions to explore.  One needs to have enough time and interest to explore. I wish to be there again with a lot of time to spend. The Big Island is youngest and biggest among the Hawaiian islands, and is still growing! That means every visit will have something new to explore! 

The most interesting visitor attraction is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park- home for one of the world's most active volcanoes called Kilauea.

Hawaii, the name itself is exciting, romantic, adventurous and dynamic! A visit to this land of volcanoes could be indeed an unforgettable experience! 
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Related article- Hawaii Attractions.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

32 comments:

  1. incredible. wish to see hi someday too.

    amazing how you can remember details of the trips from past years. your memory is good or did you take down notes before>

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    1. Yes, you must visit Hawaii! These are reports of late-past-year not so long ago. And I have visited most of these places many times!

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  2. Beautiful images as always. The northeastern part of the island was the only part we didn't get to go to:( although I'd have loved to see Rainbow Falls. Thank you for the sights, Kusum.

    And wow! look at that sand artist. :)

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    1. Thank you Divya! Rainbow Falls is very easy to access, easier than even Akaka Falls. Yeah, sand artist was brave like numerous tourists there! That heat is something too much for me!

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  3. Hi Kusum, your images are so so stunning I wish you posted them bigger. Love love those waterfall shots. Make me want to return to Hawaii soon.

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    1. Thank you Marisol! I loved your blog and the posts on Cambodia :)

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  4. I always love your pics of waterfalls...

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  5. I was fortunate enough to visit the beautiful heavenly islands of Hawaii. Beautiful.

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  6. Amazing shots of this beautiful place!

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  7. You make me dream of going there. :)

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    1. Glad I make you dream and some day you will be there!

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  8. I will have to go back and see more sights one day. I missed some of those.

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  9. I LOVE the sand-sculpture, that really takes some skill and dedication

    Mollyxxx

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  10. Some day I hope to visit Hawaii.
    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Steve and Vickie. Glad you have Hawaii in your bucket-list :)

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  11. Beautiful and interesting account of Hawaiian Islands....which so far, I thought was all about honeymoon and beaches.The waterfalls are kind of showstoppers!

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    1. Oh! NO! Hawaii is not only what I have mentioned here there is a lot more adventure. Some day I hope to go back and venture out other islands and experience every bit of adventure there! Yeah, you will find many there on honeymoon!

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  12. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  13. Makes me want to go again and explore all the islands! Wonderful images and nice explanations!

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  14. Wonderful! Definitely a place I want to visit someday! :)

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    1. Thanks Melody. Should be in the must-list!

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  15. Your Hawaii photos are beautiful. The waterfalls brought back memories of my trip there. Love the turtle and the sand sculpture. Have a happy day!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! Glad my post makes you re-relay your memories from Hawaii! Have a great week ahead!

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  16. A place I would love to visit... Love the turtle on that unique sand beach... Michelle from nature notes

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    1. Yes, that 'honu' is cute! Thanks Michelle :)

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