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Old Aug 26, 06, 3:58 pm   #1
 
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Is Kailua-Kona a good sightseeing area along the roadway? I am to fly to ito next month and want to fill my time slot with the must-see areas. Thx.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 27, 06 at 5:48 pm. Reason: Removed quoted message to prepare for thread-split.
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Old Aug 26, 06, 4:04 pm   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzyzx
Is Kailua-Kona a good sightseeing area along the roadway? I am to fly to ito next month and want to fill my time slot with the must-see areas. Thx.
You can see the ocean... and perhaps a few warehouses. Would you be coming from the airport at Keahole (KOA) or driving in from Hilo? I'm not sure if I understand your question.
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Old Aug 26, 06, 4:08 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slippahs
... I'm not sure if I understand your question.
Ditto.

Are you talking about what you'll see on approach to KOA via the air? Or what's along the Queen K (Hwy 19) Highway between Kailua-Kona town and the Kohala resorts, or ???
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Old Aug 27, 06, 5:15 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slippahs
You can see the ocean... and perhaps a few warehouses. Would you be coming from the airport at Keahole (KOA) or driving in from Hilo? I'm not sure if I understand your question.

Yes, I was talking about driving from Hilo airport where I am to arrive at. Is it worth driving from Hilo to Kona? If yes, which route offers the best scenery? And how long it normally takes?

Also, if any it is possible to spot the vocano activities where the 'Go' plane approaches the Hilo airport?
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Old Aug 27, 06, 5:27 pm   #5
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I'm going to split this very good question from a thread in the Hawaii-based Airlines Forum so others can help this poster and offer their suggestions.

Mahalo,

FlyinHawaiian
Hawaii-based Airlines Co-Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzyzx
Yes, I was talking about driving from Hilo airport where I am to arrive at. Is it worth driving from Hilo to Kona? If yes, which route offers the best scenery? And how long it normally takes?
The drive from Hilo to Kailua-Kona takes about 2.5 hours without stopping if you drive counterclockwise along the coast. It's a very scenic drive up the Hamakua Coastline, just North of Hilo. I'd make a point to stop and visit Akaka Falls on the way if I had time.

You might want to try some searches of the FT archives on any of the following terms for more information: "Hamakua", "Tex", "Akaka", "Waipio", "Kamuela", and "Waimea"

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzyzx
Also, if any it is possible to spot the vocano activities where the 'Go' plane approaches the Hilo airport?
Not really.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 27, 06 at 5:55 pm.
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Old Aug 27, 06, 6:17 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian
...You might want to try some searches of the FT archives on any of the following terms..."Waipio"...
I vote for a stop in Waipio Valley.

http://www.naturalhighs.net/waterfal...pio_valley.htm

And if it's available, the Cliff House:

http://www.cliffhousehawaii.com/index.html
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Old Aug 27, 06, 7:26 pm   #7
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You might find some ideas here:

where to stay for one night on the big island?
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Old Sep 3, 06, 10:02 pm   #8
 
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Trip advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaisd
You might find some ideas here:

where to stay for one night on the big island?
1)Arrive at Hilo on a Sat. around 9am, and pick up rental car. (30minutes)
2)Go to farmer's market, and buy some goodies.(1 hour)
3)Drive to see Waipio Valley overlook and hiking down/up ( 1.5 hour?)
4)Drive back to see Akaka Falls.(1 hour? )
5)Drive to Vocano NP( 1 hour?)
6)See and do some hiking in the Vocano NP(2 hour?)
7)Drive back to Hilo to catch airplane back to HNL (30 minutes?)
8)Airport check in(30 minutes?)

Is this do-able? Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 3, 06, 10:13 pm   #9
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1)Arrive at Hilo on a Sat. around 9am, and pick up rental car. (30minutes)

OK.

2)Go to farmer's market, and buy some goodies.(1 hour)

OK.

3)Drive to see Waipio Valley overlook and hiking down/up ( 1.5 hour?)

It will take you a minimum of an hour (and probably 1 hour 15 minutes) to drive Hilo to the overlook. If you hike down into the valley it might take you 20 minutes; hiking back up could take an hour.

So if you're committed to hiking down/back, add 1.5 hours to your itin.


4)Drive back to see Akaka Falls.(1 hour? )

OK

5)Drive to Vocano NP( 1 hour?)

OK, although could be more


6)See and do some hiking in the Vocano NP(2 hour?)

One could spend 2-3 days at VNP, but for the brief tour, mostly by car with some hiking to the attractions near the loop this will work.


7)Drive back to Hilo to catch airplane back to HNL (30 minutes?)

Generally ok.

8)Airport check in(30 minutes?)

Should be fine.

Is this do-able? Thanks in advance

I'd probably lose the Waipio hike and simply take in the view from the overlook.

It will be a rush-rush day though.

Maybe other Big Island kama'aina can comment on your itinerary, and have different ideas though......

I'm always happy to consult by PM too, if there is something that wouldn't benefit everyone by being posted here
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Old Sep 4, 06, 3:59 am   #10
 
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I'm doing something fairly similar shortly.

Arrive at Hilo at 10:40am.
Pick up rental car.
Day of driving and sightseeing.
(mainly have VNP/ Hilo / maybe the journey to Kona and back in mind)
Drop off rental car around 7pm.
Catch 8:40 plane back to HNL.

This thread has given me some good ideas! (Not too worried about the rushed day, I've had worse! If I love the place, I'll be back... actually already thinking of coming back to go to the astronomy areas.)
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Old Sep 6, 06, 9:10 pm   #11
 
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Very nice info

I may modify the plan a little bit per advice by cblaisd and Aus_Mal


1)Arrive at Hilo on a Sat. around 9am, and pick up rental car. (30minutes)
2)Go to farmer's market, and buy some goodies.(1 hour)

Stick above two, at the same time, may see Rainbow Falls also.

3)Drive to see Waipio Valley overlook and hiking down/up ( 1.5 hour?)

May skip this, since there is too rush to do a hike. Probably save time to spend in the VNP and other places.

4)Drive back to see Akaka Falls.(0.5 hour? )
5)Drive to Vocano NP( 0.75 hour?)
6)See and do some hiking in the Vocano NP(4 hour?)
Is it possible to see the Black Sand Beach in an hour(drive there from VNP and back? Anybody know if one can drive the rental car to the South Point and see the Green Sand Beach?

7)Drive back to Hilo to catch airplane back to HNL (30 minutes?)
8)Airport check in(30 minutes?)

Thanks in again
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Old Sep 6, 06, 11:47 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzyzx
4)Drive back to see Akaka Falls.(0.5 hour? )
The fastest you could drive from the overlook to Akaka Fall, ime, would be 60-70 minutes -- and that is not counting any slow trucks.

And, as far as I'm concerned if you're driving that way and don't make the short side trip to Laupahoehoe Point you have missed one of the most dramatic (and sadly historic -- the memorial to the 1946 tsunami where 2 dozen+ teachers and students were swept away. Families still maintain the memorial. Very moving) spots on the whole island.


Quote:
5)Drive to Vocano NP( 0.75 hour?)
Plan on an hour. You *might* make it from Akaka Falls to VNP in an 3/4 hour but I never have.

Quote:
6) Is it possible to see the Black Sand Beach in an hour(drive there from VNP and back?
No. And even if you could come close, if you're only allotting yourself an hour all you'll have time to do is speed through the parking lot and wave at the turtles and get a quick glance at the black sand.

My sense, brah, is that you would be better served to pick either south/west from Hilo (VNP, Black Sand Beach, Hilo town) or north from Hilo (Waipio overlook, Laupahoehoe Point, Akaka Falls, Hilo town) than to try to do both.

Part ofthe attractiveness of Hawaii is what happens when you are not on a tight schedule -- walking the black sand beach, particularly the trail north where few tourists go, stopping in Pahala on the way back from the beach for malasadas at Tex Drive In, stopping at the Verna's (and -- note for other locals: Verna's has a new slogan!) on the Keaau-Volcano highway and talking story. Or being at Laupahoehoe Point and talking with a man whose brother was swept away in the 1946 tsunami, or seeing across the way a memorial service for a local who died too young and being invited to join in the lunch after the service; or walking the shops in Honomu on the way to/from Akaka Falls and talking with some of the "characters" there (or doing the same in Honoka'a after the Waipio overlook); walking Kamehameha Avenue on Hilo's bayfront, etc., etc. So slow down, do less, and experience more is my un-asked for counsel

(And, in any case, whether you end up agreeing or not, do not in your travel planning use the mainland mile-a-minute calculation. It's half that.

Last edited by cblaisd; Sep 7, 06 at 1:01 am.
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Old Sep 7, 06, 12:13 pm   #13
 
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It's been few years since I've done this sort of driving on the Big Island. We had roughly the same amount of time that you do, though for different logistical reasons. We did not find north-from-Hilo and south-from-Hilo to be do-able together. Fortunately, we had that amount of time two consecutive days.

Based on that experience, I'd take much of the advice above and focus on trying to soak in the feeling rather than trying to zip around to the maximum number of attractions.

Were it me, I'd have walking the trail in Akaka Falls and exploring the loop area of Volcanos National Park on my must-do list, and everything else on my do-if-time-and-circumstance-permits list. I'd go to VNP first, then come back to Akaka Falls, because from the latter it's not very far to Laupahoehoe Point.

The northward drive all the way from Hilo to Waipio is wonderful, with more along the way than Akaka Falls and Laupahoehoe Point. But it can become very slow. And driving anywhere in Hawaii, you must keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel. When you want to look at something, please stop.

Oh, and I'd hit a convenience store rather than spending an hour on the farmers market.
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Old Sep 7, 06, 12:52 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeppoX
Were it me, I'd have walking the trail in Akaka Falls and exploring the loop area of Volcanos National Park on my must-do list, and everything else on my do-if-time-and-circumstance-permits list. I'd go to VNP first, then come back to Akaka Falls, because from the latter it's not very far to Laupahoehoe Point.
Another thought: Kolekole Park is 1/2 mile north of the Akaka Falls turnoff. It too is a pretty dramatic spot.

And I agree: You can do Hilo-Akaka/Honomu-VNP-Hilo in one day, but you will still be moving briskly

Quote:
The northward drive all the way from Hilo to Waipio is wonderful, with more along the way than Akaka Falls and Laupahoehoe Point. But it can become very slow. And driving anywhere in Hawaii, you must keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel. When you want to look at something, please stop.
Agree on all counts. There are portions of the "old" highway at spots -- Papaikou to Pepekeeo and at Ookala come to mind -- that are simply lovely and will take you back to "old Hawaii"

Quote:
Oh, and I'd hit a convenience store rather than spending an hour on the farmers market.
I agree, or I think 30 minutes would be plenty. Don't make the mistake of buying more fruit than you can consume before heading back to the mainland.
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Old Sep 7, 06, 1:07 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaisd
Another thought: Kolekole Park is 1/2 mile north of the Akaka Falls turnoff. It too is a pretty dramatic spot.
Continuing the festival of agreement, the Kolekole suggestion raises another valuable point: state and local parks are good. Looking back on our various driving tours, including those on Oahu and Big Island, the quiet little wonders stand out. Maybe there is a state/local park in Hawaii that is not worth at least a brief stop. If so, I must have missed it. Next time I drive in Hawaii, don't follow too closely, because I brake for signs that say "park" and "overlook."
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Last edited by ZeppoX; Sep 7, 06 at 1:14 pm.
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