Top 10 Things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kiholo Bay On the Big Island of Hawaii

Best things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kihilo Bay On the Big Island of Hawaii

We travelled to the Big Island of Hawaii for 10 days and it was paradise!! The beaches on this Hawaiian Island are super unique and there are more turtles than I have seen anywhere else in the world. If you are looking for activities to help with your Big Island of Hawaii itinerary, then check out my list. There are so many things to do on the Big Island rhat it is hard to pick, but this list shows the best activities on the Big Island. Number 10 was my favourite spot!!!

On the Big Island of Hawaii
Lava tube on the Big Island

1. Volcanoes National Park

Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: This park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You can hike through lava fields, visit the Jaggar Museum, and even witness volcanic activity if conditions allow. There was not any volcanic activity when we were there, so you are essentially looking at craters and hiking, which is still pretty cool.

2. Akaka Falls

Visit Akaka Falls State Park: Akaka Falls is a stunning 442-foot waterfall surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. There’s a short, paved hike that takes you to a viewpoint overlooking the falls. It costs $5 a person to enter the falls.

Akaka Falls On the Big Island of Hawaii
Akaka Falls

3. Captain Cook Monument

Snorkelling Captain Cook Point On the Big Island of Hawaii
Snorkelling at Captain Cook

Make sure to snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument. This bay is known for its large coral reef and vibrant marine life. It’s a great spot for snorkeling, but do try to get here either early morning or late afternoon to avoid tour boats!

4. Waipio Valley Lookout

Waipio Valley On the Big Island of Hawaii
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Go to the Waipio Valley lookout and hike if you can: Known as the “Valley of the Kings,” Waipio Valley is a lush, steep-sided valley with black sand beaches, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Currently you can only hike if you join a tour, so we opted for a different hike in the area.

5. Stargazing at Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is one of the world’s premier stargazing locations due to its high elevation and clear skies. Several observatories offer public stargazing programs. It was $250 each but it was sold out when we were there. I thought you could drive there yourself but you have to have a 4×4 to do it!

6. Relax on the beaches

Sea Turtles Big Island Beaches
Near the Fairmont Beach on the Big Island

The Big Island has many beautiful beaches, including Hapuna Beach, Manini Beach, Kauna’oa Beach, and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. It even has a green sand beach. Each offers a unique experience, from sunbathing to turtle-watching. You can even enjoy beaches at the main resorts, as there are public parking spots at the resorts. The Four Seasons and the Fairmont were some of my favourites.

Manini Beach On the Big Island of Hawaii
Manini Beach on the Big Island

7. Hike the Pololu Valley

Polol? valley is at the most northern part of the island and it is a beautiful viewpoint and hike!The hike down the side of the cliff to the valley floor is short but steep: ~420 ft in 0.6 miles (126 meters in 1.0 kilometers) and takes about 20 to 25 minutes for the average hiker.

Polulu Lookout On the Big Island of Hawaii
Pololu Valley Hike

8. Night Time Snorkel with Manta Rays

Manta Snorkeling On the Big Island of Hawaii
Manta Ray

Snorkel with manta rays: At night, you can go on a guided snorkeling tour to watch manta rays feeding near the surface. It’s a unique and thrilling experience. We really liked our tour, you can book the same one here. Pro trip if you are a cold swimmer the wetsuit is worth it. The currents are far colder offshore

Manta Snorkeling On the Big Island of Hawaii
Snorkelling platform with the Manta Rays

9. Visit Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is a must visit on the Big Island. it is known for its stunning beauty, especially in the morning when the sunlight creates rainbows in the mist rising from the waterfall. The sight of rainbows arching across the falls is really beautiful. It is a short walk and can get busy, so go early if you can.

Beautiful Rainbow Falls On the Big Island of Hawaii
Rainbow Falls

10. Hang out at Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay On the Big Island of Hawaii
Tide pool in Kiholo Bay

This Bay was so beautiful and was one of my favourite things to do on the Big Island. We cam here twice because we saw so many turtles swimming in the Bay and it was just so beautiful. There were barely any other people there and it was just heaven.

Kiholo Bay On the Big Island of Hawaii
Aerial of Kiholo Bay

Other Optional Activities

Take a helicopter tour: Taking a helicopter tour over the Big Island allows you to witness its diverse landscapes, including waterfalls, volcanic craters, and lush valleys. This again, was quite expensive- $350 + so we opted out, but Pat went on the Kohala coast one in the past and he said it was unbelievable.

Waikoloa Village On the Big Island of Hawaii
Waikoloa – the area we stayed

If your looking for the best way to spend your time check out our 7 day ultimate big island Hawaii itinerary.


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