We spent the first 8 nights on the Big Island.  We first stayed 6 nights in a condo on the west side in Kona.   Then we went to Volcano Village and stayed 2 nights in a cottage in the rain forest at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.. 

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We can't complain about the nice view from our condo in Kona

Sea Village View

South of Kona is Pu'uhonua 0 Honaunau (Place of Refuge) National Park.   This is an excellent place to view an ancient Hawaiian settlement.   Good snorkeling too.

Place of Refuge

Southpoint is the the southern most, and maybe windiest!, location in the United States


One of many nice Hawaiian sunsets we feasted our eyes on.

Kona Sunset

We went and checked out Mauna Kea which is a huge dormant volcano on the north side of the island.  It is a 13796 ft peak and is snow covered in the winter months.  We snorkeled in the morning and then drove up to the top to catch the sunset.  Brrrr!

Mauna Kea

The summit of the peak has a surreal feel to it.  Here we are looking south at 13677 ft Mauna Loa on the horizon.  We saw lots of people skiing and sleding up here.  There were also many locals with pickup trucks loading up a bunch of snow to take down to town for parties.

Snow Volcano

The sunset from up there was sensational!


Mauna Kea Sunset

Some of the best telescopes in the world are on top of Mauna Kea.   Here are a few of them.  The air up there is among the clearest in the world due to the vast distance from mainland pollution and the high elevation.  We stayed up there after sundown and saw BILLIONS of stars.  

Space Balls

We had a jeep for our exploring and did a fair amount of 4WD excursions.  Below was on our foray to a remote beach north of Kona


Makalawena Beach is among the best of the best in all the islands.   Via jeep we found it almost deserted.  The sand was amazingly soft and soothing for the feet.

Makalawena Beach

Here is the rugged north shore of the big island. 

North Shore

Near Hilo, on the east side of the island, we visited a tropical botanical garden.  There were lots of orchids for Sharon to gawk at.

Botanic Garden

We stayed in a cabin in Volcano Village set in the thick rain forest. It was a very peaceful place to kick back and relax. Volcano Village is on the rim of Kilauea Crater which is an active volcano!

Oma's Cabin

This is out on the coastal section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where a 1995 lava flow crossed the road.

End of the Road

Here is the ever evolving southern coast of the big island.  You can see steam rising from the lava entering the sea.

Lava Coast

There is a GREAT place to go watch the lava flow into the ocean.  You have to hike about 30 minutes out to it.  We went at night and the views were awesome.  The picture truly doesn't do this spectical any  justice.  We also could see the lave flowing way up on the side of the mountain and it gave of a very eerie glow over the area. 

Hot Lava

Click here to see the Maui webpage

Click here to check out the snorkeling underwater views

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