Things To Do on The Big Island, Hawaii | Activities on the Big Island |

big island hawaii

The Big Island, Hawaii is definitely a place that you need to spend some time. Not only is it home to beautiful nature, but also an atmosphere that you really cannot find anywhere else on the planet. Naturally, the first thing to do is to seek out one of the amazing Big Island vacation rentals. If you can afford it, definitely get something on the beach. Now it is time to explore, so read on to find out more about just some of the things that you can do here.

Akaka Falls State Park, Big Island Hawaii

akaka falls, big island hawaiiThis is one of the nicest hikes in Hawaii, it definitely isn’t long, but for what it lacks in terms of length, it makes up for with its beauty. The highlight is the twin waterfalls, which the park is named after. The falls are easy to hike to with the great walking paths there and you can enjoy the sights of the water gushing from the high rock face directly down into a pool of the clearest blue water. They really are worth a visit, even though there is not so much else in the park.

Also check out : How to Drive around Big Island in one day.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The biggest and best part of the Big Island is definitely this amazing national park. If you were to visit the Big Island and ask people what they want to see, this is definitely at the top of the list, especially if you are looking for things to do in Hilo at night. The two active volcanoes on the island are a pretty incredible sight, especially Kilauea, which is over 1000 metres high and the larger of the two.

Seeing the lava flow into the sea is a sight that you must seek out and see. Many people come with this intention, but don’t actually find what they are looking for. So be sure to ask some of the friendly locals or travelers exactly where you can see this amazing sight.

Mount Loa is also not as big or as impressive, but it certainly is a beautiful thing to see nonetheless. This is the perfect place to enjoy an experience that is much more calm and relaxed, and it is great as less people seem to visit this volcano and opt for Kilauea instead. I would say that doing both would be ideal as well. There is so much to enjoy such as hiking, forests, sweepings views of the island and much more.

One of the most interesting parts of the volcanic landscape is the fact that the two volcanoes here have constantly been adding landmass to the Big Island (ever so slowly) over the last 25 or so years.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
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On the west coast of the Big Island lies an interesting park, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. That was once a place where Hawaiians could avoid the death penalty by exiling themselves to this place.

Also Read:  20 Fun Things To Do in Honolulu at Night | Food & Nightlife In Honolulu

Not only does it have a very interesting place in Hawaiian history, but the scenery is extremely beautiful too. Some of the best parts are the beautiful temples and wood carvings, that are called ki’i and these somewhat resemble totem poles of native American Indians.

Snorkeling and diving are also among the wonderful things to do in the Big Island, Hawaii, Especially given the various marine life and crystal clear waters of the area. If you are lucky you will see some Honu too, which are the Green Sea Turtles that are native to Hawaii. The park closes at sunset and this is always a great way to finish the day in the beautiful nature, so don’t forget that too when planning your outing. You can also take a road trip to hana.

Waipio Valley

waipio valley big island hawaii
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This is an interesting place that has always been a significant place for the native people of Hawaii. At one point it was one of the most fertile places on the island and was home to many of the great kings of Hawaii. In fact, it is often known as the “Valley of the Kings”.

The nature is pretty stunning with the valley being enclosed by cliffs on each side. This makes for a very unique landscape that is just waiting for you to explore it. I loved hiking down into the valley, which is definitely a challenge, but this is also possible on horseback if you want an easier way.

If you are looking for an interesting site, there is a black volcanic sand beach nearby that is sure to make you look twice. It isn’t the best place to swim, but the sight alone is worth it.

Kaunaoa Beach

There is nothing quite like a busy beach on the Big Island to make you appreciate why so many people flock to this beautiful place. Kaunaoa is one of my favourite places to do this. It is always a good idea to get here early, especially because you are competing with many others for a spot on one of the best beaches in the Big Island, Hawaii.

I loved snorkelling here at Kaunaoa Beach, especially near the rocks where the marine life loves to shelter from the sun and make their homes. Whatever it is that you decide to do here, you will not be disappointed, there really is something for everyone, from sport to swimming to relaxation.

Papakolea Beach

big island green sand beach papakoleaWhen you think of beaches, you naturally think about swimming and beautiful sand. Papakolea Beach is not a good place to swim and is hard to reach. But this place is extremely interesting and should be a part of your Hawaii Itinerary because the colour of the sand here is actually green!

To give you some perspective the beach looks like somebody put basil pesto over the sand, it really is green. The colour actually comes from the eroded stone (called olivine) that comes from the cinder cone (a form of volcano). It really is a unique sight to see and is worth the trip for the sand alone!


  1. We were in between visiting Oahu and the Big Island in a few months and this is such a great list for the island of Hawaii! Thank you for sharing this, I am bookmarking this for the future.

  2. I’ve been to a couple of the Hawaiian islands but never to the big island. There’s a lot to see and do there and I’d really like to see the volcanoes.

  3. I have heard so much about Hawaii and finally I have a post that curates all the must visit places in one place! Waipio Valley looks amazing and i would love to add it to my bucket list.


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