Island of Hawaiʻi
Island of Inspiration
Welcome to Island of Hawaiʻi
Take a road trip into the great wide open on the youngest and largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, the island of Hawaiʻi’s vast, isolated expanses are awe-inspiring. You can see some of the most pivotal sites in Native Hawaiian history and visit a volcano, while traveling through all but four of the world’s different climate zones. From the crystal blue waters of Kona and Kohala Coast to the black sands of Punaluʻu to the lush botanical gardens and waterfalls of the Hamakua Heritage corridor. There is a world of diversity to experience on this rich, storied island that invites exploration, adventure and restoration.
ʻAkaka Falls State Park: Along the lush, verdant Hamakua Coast, the streams of water coming down the slopes of Maunakea shape the land. See two of the most dramatic waterfalls, ʻAkaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet), on this scenic self-guided walk.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park: Two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, make up Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like the island around it, the park is constantly changing. Its vast 323,431 acres include many opportunities for sightseeing and exploration, giving visitors glimpses of dramatic landscapes and historic places.
Huliheʻe Palace: A former summer home for Hawaiian royalty, Huliheʻe Palace is at the center of Historic Kailua Village. Across Kailua Bay lies Kamakahonu and Ahuʻena Heiau, the royal residence of King Kamehameha. And across Aliʻi Drive you can see Mokuʻaikaua Church, Hawaiʻi’s first Christian church.
Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park: Preserving Hawaiian culture, the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park encompasses two ahupuaʻa (land divisions), protecting archaeological sites such as fishponds, heiau (temples) and house sites, where visitors can see first-hand what life in ancient Hawaiʻi was like.
Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park: Kealakekua Bay is the site of a heiau (temple) to Lono, and also the site one of Hawaiʻi’s most significant historical turning points – Captain James Cook first landed on the island here in 1779. The largest sheltered bay on the island of Hawaiʻi, Kealakekua Bay is also a marine life conservation district.
Lapakahi State Historical Park: On the Kohala Coast, a 600-year-old Hawaiian fishing village is being preserved in archaeological sites that make up Lapakahi State Historical Park. Visitors can take a self-guided hike on the park’s interpretive trail.
Lyman Mission House and Museum: Built in 1839 for Christian missionaries David and Sarah Lyman, the historic Lyman Mission House offers tours to give visitors a feel for early missionary life in the Islands. Next door, the Lyman Museum, established in 1931, has artifacts and natural history exhibits on view.
Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park: A Native Hawaiian puʻuhonua (place of refuge for lawbreakers) and royal village, the South Kona national park includes heiau (temples) with carved wooden kiʻi (statues), fishponds, and other archaeological sites.
Puʻukohola Heiau National Historic Site: Thousands of people built Puʻukohola Heiau by hand in 1791 for Kamehameha the Great, who dedicated it to the war god Kūkāʻilimoku. The temple was part of a prophecy that was fulfilled when Kamehameha successfully united the Hawaiian islands.
There are numerous ways to learn about the local ecosystem and experience the unique beauty of the island of Hawaii. At the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center’s Hoʻopūlama Science and Discovery Center you can learn about efforts to protect and rehabilitate native bird species and other wildlife. At the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority campus there are a variety of tours focused on renewable energy, sustainability and emerging technology
You’ll find a superb array of resort and public courses on the island of Hawaiʻi. Lush, cliffside fairways that slope through prehistoric lava fields make these courses both uniquely challenging and visually stunning. The world-renowned Kohala Coast resorts of Waikoloa, Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea feature courses that will linger in your memory long after the game.