What to do on the Big Island, Hawaii


Volcanoes National Park, Big Island HawaiiVolcanoes National Park – Image courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

Things to do on the Big Island

Hawaii’s Big Island offers a range of outdoor pursuits for active honeymoon couples, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking as well as watching whales, dolphins and endangered sea turtles.

Snorkelling – For some of the best snorkelling head to the protected bays off the west coast at Honaunau Bay, the big beach at Hapuna Beach State Park and Kahaluu Beach Park to see a huge variety of colourful reef fish and sea turtles.

Don’t miss a snorkel boat tour to the underwater marine sanctuary at Kealakekua Bay (the location of the Captain Cook Monument) to swim with dolphins, sea turtles and other colourful marine life.

Scuba diving – The best locations for diving are found off the Kona coastline along the south-west part of the island, an area particularly rich in marine life and steep drop-offs. Protected from winds and with mostly clear skies, visibility is seldom less than 30m.

Expect walls, archways, lava tubes and abundant marine life that includes spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins, manta rays and, during the winter months, humpback and pilot whales. Dive Honounou or the City of Refuge, which has more than 150 different species of fish: see turtles, colourful picasso trigger fish and frog fish as well as dolphins and manta rays.

Game fishing – Hawai’i game fishing is best on the Big Island. Hook up a charter at the picturesque Honokohau Marina just outside the seaside town of Kailua on the west coast of the Big Island and go after blue marlin, or billfish as they are called here. Conditions here are excellent with deep yet calm waters protected from the trade winds by the towering Mauna Lea Mountain.

Hiking – Choose from hundreds of easy or strenuous hiking trails that crisscross the Big Island, from the remote and forbidding lava fields in Volcanoes National Park to the rocky coastal trail along the stunning South Kohala coastline that passes numerous secluded sandy beaches.

Don’t miss the famous Parker Ranch with its beautiful verdant green pastures and lush valleys or the trails through the Waipio Valley, passing traditional farming plantations, breathtaking waterfalls and through lush tropical rainforest with abundant flowers. Here you will find small native towns on the coastal roads. Explore the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve or hike to the summit of the 4000m Mauna Kea.

Horseback riding – Saddle up and discover spectacular waterfalls, lush jungle trails and panoramic views of the coastline. Ride through stream and waterfall trails in the tropical Waipio Valley, the open green spaces of Parker Ranch at sunset, the upcountry pastures of Kahua Ranch or the southern reaches of an historic trail to Kealakekua Bay – complete with swimming and snorkelling.

Don’t miss the Pololu Valley Lookout, with the scenic end-of-the-road view of the vertical jade-green cliffs of the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast and offshore islets.

Golf – The Big Island offers 14 magnificent courses, some of which are crafted by the biggest names in golf course design. Discover courses along the golden Kohala coastline and play among the striking contrasts of lush green fairways, pure white bunkers, jet-black lava flows and turquoise Pacific waters.

Don’t miss the Kona Country Club, a challenging mountain course overlooking the ocean. Or you may wish to try the Robert Trent Jones designed Mauna Kea Golf Course, offering beautiful panoramic views from nearly every hole and regarded as one of Hawaii’s most unique golf challenges.

Latest update on this honeymoon destination: 15 February, 2017
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