Up Comming Trip to the Big Island

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Hey all, I just booked my flight to Kona, Hawaii! I'm planning on staying in Hilo for 7 days, I've been to the big island once before, but my interests were totally different then... I'm hoping that the palm community can give me some suggestions on neat things to see and great places to see plants! I'm also hoping to eventually relocate here so, might be spotting out homes, and offices... Hoping I can make that work! :)

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Very cool! Why the big island? I could see myself eventually moving to Hawaii too, but I think it would have to be Oahu. I don't think I'd enjoy living in a town smaller than Honolulu. 

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Its affordable! and I could conceivable keep my Tampa Bay residence. To move to Ohahu I'd have to sell my house here.

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Remember, the grass is not always greener... wait, what am I saying?  ;) Enjoy your trip!

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Have a wonderful trip!

So many nice palms and nice people live there....

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1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

Remember, the grass is not always greener... wait, what am I saying?  ;) Enjoy your trip!

hehehehe, I'm not super excited for the cost of general stuff once I'm there :P  I had a blast when I went in 2008. Course this time I'll be on the other side of the island.
picture taken from behind the condo we used to own in Kona

IMG_3254.JPG

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Just now, Chatta said:

hehehehe, I'm not super excited for the cost of general stuff once I'm there :P  I had a blast when I went in 2008. Course this time I'll be on the other side of the island.
picture taken from behind the condo we used to own in Kona

That is one gorgeous view, my friend!

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You're more than welcome to stop by my place when you are here. Although I've only been here for 6 months so my garden is nothing compared to the others here. But I'm always happy to have Palm people stop by. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Hilo Jason said:

You're more than welcome to stop by my place when you are here. Although I've only been here for 6 months so my garden is nothing compared to the others here. But I'm always happy to have Palm people stop by. 

 

I would still be very honored to come see your garden! I'm hoping to get to see as much as i can in the botanical gardens and in friends yards either on here or on another forum I'm coordinating some friends house visits with.
 

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Hawaii tropical botanical garden is a must!  I'm going to be there in early April... staying in the greater tourist area of Waikoloa with the family.  I'll pay attention here for other palmy suggestions as well =)

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The Hilo zoo is also a great place to see plants (and animals). Admission is free / donation based and it's never very crowded. It's not real large so you can spend an hour there walking around and see most all of it. 

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Cool! I came up with a list of stuff so far...

Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens at the Univ of Hilo
World Botanical Gardens
Liliuokalani Gardens
Pua Mau Botanical Gardens
Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden (This is a focus of mine so definitly want to see this)
Nani Mau Botanical Gardens
Liliuokalani Park
Akatsuka Orchid 
Kalopa State Rec Area Arboretum
Akaka Falls State Park
Imiloa Astronomy Center
Rainbow Falls
Coconut Island Beach
Carlsmith Beach
Reeds Bay Beach Park
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

My girlfriend wants to go hiking, ziplining, and see the volcano. I think the best way was to see it via helicopter but it was pretty expensive... Its pretty intense a hike i imagine to see the lava...

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Hiking out to the active lava flow used to be an "intense" hike, often involving 7-8 hours over extremely uneven lava, and with the return trip always being in the dark. These days, and for last two years or so, it's a completely different experience and certainly not "intense". When the lava threatened to cut off all of lower Puna in August 2014 the County of Hawaii built two "emergency roads" and one of these runs along the coast, from Kalapana and out towards the current lava flow. It's a gravel road and from where you park to where the lava flows into the ocean is about four miles. You can either walk it or rent bikes right there. Flash lights are important since the best time to see the lava is after dark. A good plan involves walking (or biking) and getting there 15 minutes or so before sunset. Then spend an hour or so until well after sunset in order to get the full effect of the lava cascading into the ocean at darkness. And then head back to the parking lot. There are NO lights on this gravel road so being able to see ahead AND be seen by those behind you is important. There is no vehicle traffic.

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Thanks! Last time I was there was about 10 years ago, my how things change. This was right after the ski lodge was destroyed. This was as close as I got last time ;)
 

pIMG_3454.jpg

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16 hours ago, bgl said:

Hiking out to the active lava flow used to be an "intense" hike, often involving 7-8 hours over extremely uneven lava, and with the return trip always being in the dark. These days, and for last two years or so, it's a completely different experience and certainly not "intense". When the lava threatened to cut off all of lower Puna in August 2014 the County of Hawaii built two "emergency roads" and one of these runs along the coast, from Kalapana and out towards the current lava flow. It's a gravel road and from where you park to where the lava flows into the ocean is about four miles. You can either walk it or rent bikes right there. Flash lights are important since the best time to see the lava is after dark. A good plan involves walking (or biking) and getting there 15 minutes or so before sunset. Then spend an hour or so until well after sunset in order to get the full effect of the lava cascading into the ocean at darkness. And then head back to the parking lot. There are NO lights on this gravel road so being able to see ahead AND be seen by those behind you is important. There is no vehicle traffic.

Bo, do you know if the flow is active once again into the ocean?  A few months ago when we went out there, it had stopped flowing into the ocean.  So we rode our bikes about 3 of the 4 miles on the gravel road and then started hiking towards the smoke we could see on the hill. It was about an hour and a half hike to get to where the lava was. Took about 2 hours walking back in the pitch black. Really good flashlights are a must! 

 

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The helicopter experience is unique but nothing compares to actually being right next to the active lava flow. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Sometimes the park rangers will restrict access, all depending on the circumtances. There have been times when a 10 or 20 acre chunk of lava simply broke off and disappeared into the ocean. That would not be a good time to be standing on it! :o Photo was taken in August 2016.

DSC_0128.JPG

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Chatta - there is zip lining at world botanical gardens. My sister was in town recently and we went there for her to zip line there and see the gardens. Admission to the gardens is included with the zip lining ticket and you can usually find a groupon for the zip line tickets there's or they offer coupon deals directly (buy one get one free type deals). So look for those online. There are other zip lining opportunities but I have not seen those in person. My sister liked the one at World. The gardens there are nice. Not nearly as nice as the hawaii tropical botanical garden, but still a very nice place to spend part of your day. 

Liliuokolani gardens / coconut island / reeds bay is a great place for a morning or evening walk. 

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You will have a fantastic time on the Big Island! So much to see and do.

About the lava, conditions change frequently. Right now there is no ocean entry of the flow, but that can change. Use the link Jason offered to stay up to date. 

Please, no matter how tempting, do not get in the river above Rainbow Falls. Enjoy the beaches instead. 

I visited HTBG last week and fell in love with it all over again — very inspiring. 

About buying a place — great if you can keep your current home too. I go back and forth from San Diego to Leilani Estates, and it works for me. Good luck and enjoy your adventure. 

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Jason,

Sorry, I missed your question yesterday. Apparently we posted right about the same time, but the question has of course since been answered. Over the past 25 years I have probably been out to the active lava flow some fifty times, and all I can say is that each time is different. Once, a number of years ago, when my sister and her husband were visiting from Sweden, we hiked out there twice within 48 hours. On our second hike out to the ocean entry it had changed dramatically - in just 48 hours. Hopefully (and presumably) it will make its way to the ocean again.:)

Bo-Göran

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Well this is quite exciting, I really can't wait. Thank you for all your suggestions. I can't wait to see some gardens and beautiful landscapes. 

I just felt like shootin in the dark and applied for a job in Honolulu, probably wont get it, or be able to but hey I thought it was worth the dream shot.

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13 hours ago, Chatta said:

Well this is quite exciting, I really can't wait. Thank you for all your suggestions. I can't wait to see some gardens and beautiful landscapes. 

I just felt like shootin in the dark and applied for a job in Honolulu, probably wont get it, or be able to but hey I thought it was worth the dream shot.

Its a fun city but Oahu is quite a bit different than the huge lush gardens you see on the Big Island. Every island has its own charm.

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