|Subject: seeking hawaii info|
You say you are going to Hawaii, but do not say which island. I
believe you are talking about the island and county of Hawaii,
affectionately know as the Big Island. Only Hilton Waikaloan I know of is
on the west shore of the Big Island. There are several beautiful resorts in
that area, about 50 miles north of the town of Kailua-Kona (Kona Town).
You will need to rent a car to escape the luxury resort areas, because
they kind of try to keep you in that general area.
Between the resort areas and Kailua Town there really is nothing
except volcanic fields, with only grass growing at this point in time. There
are a few other resorts being built along the coast, but you will barely see
them from the highway which goes south into Town.
Don't forget, Hawaii Island is over twice as big as all the other
islands combined. You do not drive around its coastal perimeter in half a
day, like you can Oahu or Kauai. Maui doesn't really have a belt road. But
while the Big Island is large, it is not heavily populated. Most of the
200,000 inhabitants are about equally divided between the Kona area and the
Hilo area, which is on the south east part of the island. It is very wet
there, and is a much older area.
I think you should absolutely see Waipio Valley. To do so, first
rent a jeep. You need a four wheel drive to enter and leave the Waipio
Valley area. Head north and then east on the coast road. Look for the signs,
then go all the way to the east coast of the island. When you get there, a
sign will direct you to the left, along the coast, heading south, now. You
will end at the lookout above the Waipio Valley. Take the time to look down
into the valley from th lookout area. See is you don't sense the thousand of
sould who lost their lives to several tsunamis years ago.
There is a paved road down into the valley. Put your car into four
wheel drive before you go down. Go very slowly and give way to any cars
coming uphill, as they have absolute right of way. At the bottom of the
hill, make an immediate right hand turn. Drive along the road in the creek
bed east, until you reach the palms and black powder sand beach. Stay off
the beach itself, but you can drive among the trees on visible trails.
This area is gorgeous. Yes, I said black powder sand beach. You will
see a few surfers and camping sites, but the only regular inhabitants on the
beach are a couple of horses and a mule (very friendly). Take a picnic
lunch, take a swim, walk across the stream in the middle of the beach and
explore the jungle area. You will go back in time, to the peaceful ways of
the old Hawaii.
When you leave, retrace your steps and use low gears to go all the
way up the hill, nonstop. It is steep, but no one has died driving the road
for many years. It is quite safe, if a bit for the adventuresome.
Turn off your four wheel drive after you are at the top. You can
also hire a trip down into the valley, but they will not be able to take you
to the beach, since it is off limits to commercialization. You will have a
tour through the valley areas, where Poi is grown. There is even a couple of
B &Bs down there.
The Volcano National Park is a must. We take friends down to see the
lava flow in the evenings. Take a flashlight, a warm wind breaker and good
walking boots. You can get close enough to put a stick in the flowing lava,
if you are of such a mind. It is a good 5 hour drive from where you will be
in the Hilton. So figure 10 plus hours round trip driving if you do it on
one day. But you could rent a cabin in the Volcano Park, or at the lodge
there itself. Not cheap, and double rent, so you must decide which way to
You should spend at least one relaxing day exploring Kona Town, but
1-2 days to see the Big Island is impossible. Even the full five days you
have will not be enough. So, I recommend you do the two big tours I mention,
and you will have definitely seen a couple of the many blessings of the Big
We could send you up to snow capped mountain of Mauna Kea, which you
can see from your resort area, but save that for another trip. It is only
snow in the middle of a desolute mountain top, after all, whereas an active
volcano is a wonder of the world. And Waipio, well let us just say, it is
like no where else on earth!
Marghe and Marty Gladstone