These are the 4 things that we think are the Big Island essentials. Don’t visit the Big Island without at least seriously considering them!Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Spend the night in the enchanting rainforests of Volcano Village, see the active volcano in the Hawaii volcanoes national park, and try to see the flowing lava.Manta ray night dive Dive or snorkel with these gentle giants in the open ocean during the night. This is one of the most memorable activities on the Big Island.Stargazing The Big Island is home to some of the best telescopes in the world. Don’t miss your chance to see them at the summit of MaunaKea.Farmers markets You will find the tastiest local Hawaiian snacks in local shops and farmers markets. Support the Big Island community: buy local!It's always great to be back on the Big Island. This time was no exception... and a rather different experience. Instead of flopping around on the white sand beaches, we were tromping around high up in the rain forests and cattle fields of Ponoholo Ranch.
I spent one day knee deep in mud collecting giant ferns from the rainforest for wedding decorations, it was truly an adventure. Some of the fern were the full size of the back of a pick-up truck.
Many visit Hawaii Island on a day trip from Oahu. We recommend spending at least five days on the Big Island, even longer if you can! I don’t feel the Big Island of Hawaii is the place for a beach vacation. I think Maui and Oahu have more stunning beaches that are better for swimming and relaxing.
For Oahu tips, see our post 20 things to do in Oahu Hawaii. The Big Island for me is about volcanoes and incredible adventures.
Here are a few photos from the time up on the mountain and a few from down in the lava fields.