Most people have seen a fiery eruption or red hot lava flow from at least Kilauea, even if just on The Weather Channel, but Volcanoes National Park actually features two of the world’s most active volcanoes Kilauea and Maunaloa. Within the 500 square mile park visitors can see the process of volcanoes over the last 70 million years,calderas, pit craters,cinder cones,dried lava lakes,sulfurous cracks and fissures,lava tubes (Thurston being the most famous). Home to the legendary Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Visitors will enjoy their visit to the park so much more if they take time to visit the Visitor’s Center first for a quick course in geology, natural history, park layout and safety.You will want to also visit the Observatory, Jaggar Museum perched on Kilauea Crater, and the Thurston Lava Tube, all located on the 11 mile Crater Rim Drive. The park is so big you’ll want to drive but be sure and get out along the way and hike some of the 150 miles of marked trails — Park rangers will also advise you if any active lava flows are accessible during your visit. For the latest eruption updates and general park info www.nps.gov/havo or call (808) 985-6000.
Aquaculture and agriculture have always been an important part in the live of native Hawaiians, especially ancient Hawaiian Fishponds such as those at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Kaloko Honokohau National Park and the recently renovated Keauhou Resort Heiau project are great examples of fishponds. There are also several land-based farms that are so interesting such as Hawaii Vanilla, Kona Coffee Farms,Hamakua Mushrooms and the festive Hilo Farmers Market is one of the best open markets in Hawai’i where you can sample and purchase wonderful fresh local produce, fresh flowers for your room during your visit, have a fresh fruit smoothie or purchase hand crafted items. Hawai’i AgVentures operated by the Big Island Farm Bureau offers a variety of family farm tours. If you are into Renewable Energy Resources you might want to visit Kahua Ranch in North Kahala in addition to other tours they also provide their own power with wind turbines or you can contact them (808) 882-4646. Being blessed with lots of sunshine and strong trade winds Hawaii Island has the potential to be an international showcase for alternative renewable energy resource exploration.
Polynesians used the stars to guide their voyages around the Pacific and ultimately to discover the Hawaiian Islands, so how fitting that Astronomy would also be such an important part of the opportunities of discovery available on Hawai’i Island. Located 13,796 feet high on the summit of Maunakea, you will find 13 astronomical observatories and is considered the world’s best observing site. Beginning with the first telescope in 1968, several groundbreaking discoveries have been made from the various telescopes, there are are more in the plans to be added in the future,making this the home of some of the largest telescopes in the world. For sure a visit to the summit would be a highlight of your visit to Hawai’i Island – I suggest you take a tour such as Mauna Kea Summit Adventures or Hawai’i Forest & Trail as the weather conditions can be unpredictable and severe. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i in Hilo is another wonderful opportunity to learn about the 13 observatories located on Maunakea plus a full-dome, state of the art planetarium, plus 3-D presentations of data collected from the Subaru Telescope – plus several unique experiences that tie Native Hawaiian Culture and lanuguage to today’s astronomical discoveries. Located at the University of Hawai’i Hilo Science and Technology Park www.imiloahawaii.org contact them (808) 969-9700 , also a wonderful cafe and gift shop.
For more information on booking your Hawai’i Island Vacation or any of the tours mentioned in this blog post:
Contact Linda Dancer Hawaii Master Destination Specialist Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 est 331
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