Hawaii, The BIG Island Photo Essay

Hawaii,  The BIG Island Photo Essay

They say a picture is worth one thousand words…and so it is. We had the wonderful pleasure this summer to visit the BIG island of Hawaii and stay at the lovely Hilton Waikaloa Village resort.

There is SO much to say about this wonderful island, the youngest one in the chain of the Hawaiian islands. What do you think of when you think of Hawaii?

Hawaii, the BIG island – Climate Zones

You can see 8 out of the world’s 13 climate zones on this ONE island – not just the lush one we think of when we think of Hawaii!

Lush foliage in Hawaii, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – South Point

The southernmost point of the United States in NOT in Florida (that is the southernmost point of the continuous states), but on this island.

Hawaiin

Pose for a photo or, if you are brave enough, jump off into the water! (P. S. We were not brave enough to jump off, though the 10 year old begged. 😉

The Educational Tourist and family at Southpoint, Hawaii, the big island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hawaii, the BIG island – Waipio Valley Lookout

View this iconic spot from the top or hike down. Wear bug spray…this is a very buggy spot.

Waipio Valley Lookout, Hawaii, the big island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hawaii, the BIG island – Lava Tube

This cool feature forms when the outside of the cave cools while the inside continues to flow. Think of a straw – the outside is ‘hard’ and the inside flows. Cool!

Lava Tube, Hawaii, the big island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

You can safely hike inside the Thurston Lava Tube in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Thurston lava tube in Hawaii Volcano National park, Hawaii, the BIG island. www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hawaii, the BIG island – Cocoa

Yes, chocolate grows on trees! Well, sort of.  (Does that make chocolate a vegetable???) Seeing the process from start to finish is a neat experience at the Original Chocolate Factory. 

Cocao pods, Hawaii, the big island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hawaii, the BIG island – Hiking

There are so many places to hike! This photo is taken from the top of  Kipuka Pu’u huluhulu which is across the road from Mauna Kea. The name cracks me up – look at all those vowels!

Hike near Mauna Kea - Kipuka Pu'u huluhulu, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Water

The water really is an amazing shade of blue…different colors of blue depending on the depth of the water. Postcard perfect views everywhere you turn.

beach at Hilton's Waikaloa Village, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Petroglyphs

These ancient rock carvings are scattered across the island. No one knows for sure their origin. We really enjoyed trying to interpret!

Petroglyphs, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Sunsets

Every night the sun sinks warmly behind the horizon and is such a wonderful sight. Just try to feel stressed while sitting on the beach with the warm wind blowing your hair, waves lapping at your toes, and this vision to admire. I dare you. 😉 This is especially hard if you have a drink with a little umbrella in it.

Hawaiian sunset, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island  – Bananas

Even though we see bananas at the store all the time, there is something really cool about seeing them right on the tree. Kids, especially, enjoy this!

Bananas on tree, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Orchids

Ka Lae Coffee is the southernmost coffee shop (and orchid farm) in the United States. This cool place has a play area for kids, too! You’ll drive right by it on your way to Southpoint. Be sure to stop in and sit a spell.

White orchids, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Beaches

The word ‘beach’ means soft sand to most, but on this Hawaiian island, which is the youngest island in the chain of islands, some of the beaches are still rocky. Visit several and see different stages of beach development.

Hawaiian beach, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Flowers

The climate is perfect for so many pretty flowers. If you love daydreaming about Hawaiian flowers, you’ll enjoy the photo essay about Hawaiian flowers.

hot pink bougainvillea, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Family

The relaxed atmosphere in Hawaii is perfect for quality family time. Relax and enjoy each other! Things in Hawaii move slower than on the main land. Take a deep breath and enjoy!

The Educational Tourist family, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Luau

A Hawaiian vacation would not be complete without a laua! Enjoy the music, the dancing, and the food at this wonderful and uniquely Hawaiian celebration.

Luau, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Waves

The sound of waves crashing on the beach is both powerful and very relaxing. It is also incredibly windy at some points.

Waves in Hawaii, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

If you have long hair like mine it will be swirling above your head like tornado time! Bring hair ties! This is the one photo without one. LOL!

The Educational Tourist windy hair, Hawaii, the BIG island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

 

Hawaii, the BIG island – Coral

So many of the beaches in Hawaii are made of coral.  The white, small grain sand on Hawaiian beaches is made of coral, which, is actually an animal. The parrot fish, helps take coral from the large original form and breaks it into the small, fine, beach sand form – by eating it and pooping out sand. We actually saw this fish pooping sand in person while snorkeling and my 10 year old boy thought it was absolutely amazing. And I agree. 😉

Coral in Hawaii, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island – Koi

Koi fish are quite popular in Hawaii and have a rich history of symbolism. These were so used to humans feeding them that you could walk back and forth on the edge of the water and they follow you. This was really fun and we imagined being the Pied Piper or that we were saying magical spells to get them to follow us before feeding them.

Koi in Hawaii, Hawaii, the BIG island Hawaii, the BIG island

Hawaii, the BIG island is a fantastic destination. If your travels take you there  – enjoy!

The Educational Tourist with lei, Hawaii, the BIG island, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Hau’oli Ho’omahanahana (Happy Travels)

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo

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