View Full Version : Preparing for my trip to the big island, a few questions
November 16th, 2011, 09:12 PM
Does anyone have any recommendations for top side activities? I will probably only dive one or two days (manta dive for sure).
Also I haven't picked a dive shop yet, so if anyone has experience/reviews with the following I would appreciate it:
-Kona diving company
-Big Island Divers
-Coral reef snorkel adventures (so my non-diving half can partake) I've heard he also does the manta ray dive.Th
Thanks a lot
November 16th, 2011, 11:49 PM
I highly recommend the pelagic magic dive with Jack's Diving Locker if you like night dives. Deep water night dive with the crazy deep stuff coming up to feed. Search for 'pelagic magic' on YouTube....
The Kona Brewery has good food and beer, growlers available. Hugo's on the Rocks for sunsets and great food.
Driving down to South Point is nice, be prepared for a hike if you want to hit the green sand beach while you are there. Hit the Punalu'u Bake Shop on the way. http://www.bakeshophawaii.com/
Driving to the volcano can be hit or miss. Good photo ops sometimes but a bust others. Good hiking most times. Looong drive from Kona, sometimes hellish traffic.
There are some petroglyphs north of town Past the airport. Nice walking trail -- can't remember where exactly we went.
November 17th, 2011, 01:40 AM
It's a little off the beaten track and requires about a 30-45 minute hike each way, but the beach at Makalawena is my favorite on the island. If you don't have any allergies, try the macadamia nut mud pie at Hugo's (on the rocks or restaurant both serve it I believe). If you've never been to one, a luau (King Kam hotel does a decent one) is a bit expensive, but fun. If you check maps online for drive times anywhere, double it, you're on island time :)
November 17th, 2011, 01:48 AM
Call Aaron's Dive Shop, ask for Larry, for some good diving. Luau at Paradise Cove Paradise Cove Luau - Hawaii's Best Luau (http://www.paradisecovehawaii.com/) for a good evening's entertainment.
November 17th, 2011, 04:42 PM
Aaron's and Paradise Cove Luau are on another island. There are a couple of decent luaus on the Big Island, I'm not really into them personally so I can't recommend a favorite. Makalawena beach was mentioned, another favorite of mine that's not so touristy is Ho'okena beach, it's easy to spend an afternoon there and you can drive in readily. If you like hiking at all, without spending all day at it, I like the hike down to the beach at Pololu Valley up north of Hawi (there's a couple of cute towns to explore on the way as well). It's a 800-900 foot elevation change so it can be a bit of a workout for some people, but it's fairly quick. There's good snorkeling at Kahalu'u beach park, and great snorkeling with easy access at 2 step at the Place of Refuge. I'd recommend a day to the volcano if you've never done it, there's plenty of things to see even if the volcano isn't giving a show at the time.
There's LOTS to do here. You'll keep busy.
November 17th, 2011, 05:05 PM
I would recommend Wanna Dive (from recommendations I've seen, and continued support of this site), or Kona Diving Company. When I did the manta dive with KDC they had a couple snorklers and a snorkel guide for them. As for Topside, I recommend eating outside at Bubba Gumps with the ocean view at sunset.
November 18th, 2011, 04:14 AM
Viewing the lava is only worthwhile IMO if you can get right up to it, after dark, which isn't often possible. The tidepools at Kapoho are really interesting snorkeling, and there's a nice saltwater 'warm-pool' in a park nearby. These are down in the SE corner, just past the volcano. The drive down from Kailua to South Point is very pretty, with some nice coastline vistas from the mountainside highway. The drive up over Waimea and down the east side of the island is also beautiful, with a few waterfalls that are easy to visit. Kayaking Kealekekua Bay is fun, fairly protected, and you may see dolphins. Plane or helo flight over the island is fun, at the south end you get some interesting views of sub-surface lava flow. The Kailua Xmas parade is not to be missed, if you're there mid-December.
I like the Big Island crew, never had a complaint about their dive op. It's been 6 divers or so when I've gone with them on day dives. With anyone, it pays to ask if you have any concerns or particular intentions.
November 18th, 2011, 07:44 AM
I'd recommend Wanna Dive as well: small boat, friendly captain and divemasters, great dives. We did a number of dives with them last year and spent the greatest Christmas eve ever: 13 manta rays doing acrobatics around us...
November 19th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Looks like I'll be trying to squeeze in a lot. Hugos on the rocks I'll be going to since it appears to be right near where I am staying the first 3 days (Royal kona resort). The tidepools, south point and a couple of the beaches that you hike to mentioned in the thread will definitely be on my list. In addition I was thinking of doing the following, any reviews are appreciated:
Makalawena/Pu'u Ali'i, Manini'owali Beach (Kua Bay), rainbow falls, Punaluu black sand beach
I'll have to pick my dive days accordingly if I decide to fit in a helicopter tour.