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Slideshow

Hawaii Maui & Big Island Trip Pictures (Page 2 of 2) from Dec. 15 to 31, 2011

Our clear favourite of the Hawaiian Islands was the Big Island. This page covers the Big Island of Hawaii.  
To return to the Hawaii Maui Pictures.

Our Route around the BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII.

Dec. 23, 2011. We arrive from Maui via plane on the Big Island and stay in Kailua-Kona.

Dec. 24, 2011. We set off to discover the South Kona Coast...

...with our first stop at the St. Benedict's Painted Church.

A little chapel with floor...

...to ceiling paintings created by Father John Berchmans Velghe.

Further down the coast we enter the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park or also called the Place of Refuge.

Mike tries his luck at the game of Konane which consists of a huge, flat-top rock game board usually near the water. Black and white rocks are used to play.

The park is made up of the royal grounds, which is a little village...

... where Kona Ali'i and their warriors lived. Ponds are scattered about with huge Palm trees reflecting in them.

Reconstructed thatched shelters are part of the village.

Statues (also called Ki'i)...

...are carved out of Ohia trees.

Some are up to 3m high.

A cluster of statues...

...with different facial expections.

Another thatched shelter...

...and another Konane, the ancient Hawaiian game.

Hand carved koa canoe...

...are on display, with this one having an interesting repair done on the side of the haul.

Similar fishing boats are still used today.

Fish nets.

Just north of Kailua-Kona lays the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, which...

...includes the Honokohau Beach made up of a mix of black lava, white coral and shells. The bay is sheltered by the 'Ai'opio Fishtrap Wall.

Fisherman...

...already made a few lucky catches.

Instead of hanging out at the beach we check out the park. Interesting enough the first thing we stumble on is another Konane carved in lava rock.

The historial park is best explored using the Ala Hele Ike Trail, which ...

... has a few petrogyphs scattered along the trail...

...a rather rocky pathway...

...and lots of evidence of lava flow and the harsh environment.

The park has a good architectural example of a Hawaiian fishpond. This is the Kaloko Fishpond.

In Kailua-Kona we stay at the Uncle Billy's Kona Bay Hotel...

...and to end the perfect day we enjoy a bottle of what else "Volcano Wines"...

...and a beautiful sunset.

Dec. 25, 2011. We start with the Puako Petroglyph Archaelogical District located north of Kailua-Kona.

The reserve has over 3000 petroglyphs or as the locals call them ki'i pohaku...

...lava rock carvings.

It is one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in Hawaii and...

...covers an area of 233-acre.

The carvings consists of dancers, family groups, animals and symbols.

A well signed path leads to large areas...

...of these lava carvings.

Even along the path are petroglyphs hidden under dirt.

The quality is excellent and access very easy.

From Puako we head across to the other side of the Island...

...to Waipi'o Valley and its black sand beach.

From our lookout we have a good view of the Hi'ilawe Falls.

Along the Hamakua Coast we enter the Akaka Fall State Park ...

...which has a beautiful half-mile loop trail through...

...the rainforest, which include banyan trees...

...fauna and creeks...

...and more banyan trees.

89 Percent of the native plants found on Hawaii are endemic. This is a Alpinia zerumbet - Shell Ginger...

...the Barleria repens - Coral Creeper...

...the Alpinia purpurata - Red Ginger...

...fruit from the Archontophoenix alexandrae - Alexandra Palm...

...Heliconia latispatha - Expanded Lobster Claw...

At the end of the loop is the impressive Akaka Falls...

...with its 120m vertical drop.

A smaller waterfall hidden by the dense rainforest.

A view of Onomea Bay.

Rainbow Falls close to Hilo.

In Hilo we had prebooked a helicoper ride with Blue Hawaiian Helicopers.

First thing we see when we take off is the President's Plane parked at the airport in Hilo.

We have arranged for the Circle of Fire Tour and it takes us first over the Macademia plantation...

...and onwards to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

We fly toward the cinder cones.

Gases and lava are escaping.

Earlier in the month Pu'u'O'o showed significant activities.

Hot red lava is still escaping the volcano.

Recent eruptions continue to eat up private property.

Through the cracks hot red lava can be seen.

The lava flow has come very close to this private home.

Roads are being swallowed up by the new lava.

Small green islands remain and...

...are spared devastation.

There is active ocean entries.

Water evaporates into steam as the hot lave enters the ocean.

Lava entering the sea builds lava deltas...

...which frequently colapse...

...producing large local waves.

The slow moving pahoehoe flows...

...to the southeast through the abondoned Royal Gardens subdivision..

...and to the ocean within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A view of the waterfalls around Hilo...

...and Hilo the town itself.

Dec. 26, 2011. We stop at Mauna Kea Beach first for a walk...

...and then visited the Pu'ukoholda Heiau National Historic Site and its temple.

The temple on the Whale hill was built during the Kamehameha the Great period.

Site of submerged temple.

The peacefull Spencer Beach Park is...

... deserted making it a nice relaxing spot.

Continued onwards on the Akoni Pule Hwy to Kamehameha the Great Statue.

The road ends at Pololu Lookout...

...and it provides another view of the steep cliffs of the North Kohala Coastline...

...and its black sand beaches.

We continue seeing a wide range of flowers...

...Alpinia zerumbet - Shell Ginger...

...the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - Chinese Hibiscus...

...a yellow Hibiscus...

...the Alpinia purpurata - Red Ginger...

...another pink Hibiscus.

Dec. 27, 2011. We take the Hawaii Belt Road and turned south on the South Point Road.

...heading to no other point...

...then the southernmost spot in the USA, where Ruby is almost blown away.

The Kaulana boat ramp located at Ka Lae (South Point)

These dilapidated windmills...

...are the leftovers from the older Kama'oa wind farm...

...which were replaced with 14 new ones.

Back on the road we enter the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park...

...and the Thurston Lava Tube.

Lava tubes are formed when active low-viscosity lava flow develops a continuous and hard crust,...

...which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream.

The lava tube is in the midst of the rainforest.

At the Pu'u Pua'i Overlook we get a good viewpoint of the Kilauea Iki Crater...

...and in the distance the steaming Halema'uma'u Crater closed to the public.

The Kilauea Iki Crater is a 1.6km wide.

From the Crater Rim Drive we turn on the Chain of Crater Road. The location of the Lava flow in 1973 (Ruby's birth year)

Not much survives these conditions.

We descended the Chain of Crater Road and look back at the lava flow from 1972.

The Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs...

...are the largest concentration of ancient petroglyphs...

...more than 20,000 drawings were carved into the lava rock.

A wooden boardwalk makes for easy access to site.

There are clusters of carvings...

...depicting the day to day life of early Hawaiians.

This petroglyph clearly shows a family.

The Chain of Craters Road ends at the Holei Sea Arch...

...and for good reason as the road has been swollowed up by lava.

The ropey texture of a pahoehoe flow.

It is late afternoon and we gear up for a hike to the still active lava field.

After a few miles we come upon the slow moving lava.

It is quite amazing (scary) when close up to the action.

We reach the puna coast line and where lava currently spills into the sea.

This is of course not something most tourists do for understandable reasons.

Officially this area is closed due to the eruption activities, but we get some great picture opportunities.

Pahoehoe lava flow has a smooth surface.

Lava continuously slowly creeps forward...

...and in the process revealing the red hot lava.

A rainbow emerges.

We stay and watch as it gets dark outside.

The lava brightens in the growing darkness.

We are able to see the entire hillside glowing.

This is as close as Ruby would get...

...the heat the lava radiates is significant.

Along the coastline the molden lava flows into the sea...

...and the water evaporates into steam.

The lava flow activity seems to increase and we decide...

...to hike back in the darkness, which took us 4hours.

Dec. 28, 2011. The day before we did not return to Kailua-Kona until very late...

...therefore we decided to take it easy and tour a Kona Coffee Planation.

The Mountain Thunder Plantation is close to Kailua-Kona. It takes us step...

...by step through the production of the coffee beans.

The previous pictures show the coffee plant, flower and finally the fruit, which when opened reveals the wet bean.

It is a organic Coffee farm...

...and we are shown that great care is taken by hand weeding...

...pruning, composting, and hand-picking the beans.

We are shown the dry milling and grading...

...and finally quality roasting.

We are not coffee drinkers, but did end up buying a few beans for our coffee drinking friends.

In the evening we end up at a coastal restaurant...

...and enjoy the sunset.

Dec. 29, 2011. The clear blue waters of Hawaii...

...are a treat for snorkling or diving.

In the morning we snorkel at Kahalu'u Beach Park.

The bay is protected by an ancient breakwater called Paokamenehune.

It is also the best spot to see honu...

...the green sea turtle.

The water is super clear...

...and we are both able to get close.

The green sea turtles are protected as they are on the verge of extinction.

It definitely was a highlight to be able to swim with them.

In the afternoon we went to Keauhou Bay...

...and rented a kayak to explore along the coast.

A perfect spot for the locals to cliff dive...

...and for us to seakayak.

Dec. 30, 2011. We head for Kealakekua Bay and rent a kayak for the day.

Equipped with our snorkel gear we head across the bay to Ka'awaloa Cove.

Just looking down from the kayak we can see hunderds of Yellow Tang.

Once in the water another spectacular world opens up.

Not a perfect picture of the moray eel,...

...but we got some good video footage of it scaring Ruby.

The coral is beautiful.

We see many colorful species of fish, like this Moorish Idol...

...and the Parrot fish...

...with more Yellow Tang fish...

...and even a Spotted Boxfish.

We get back into the kayak...

... to get a closer look at the Captain Cook Monument...

...and then head back.

Before leaving Hawaii we have to try the famous Spam Musubi,...

...which is a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori dried seaweed.

Dec. 31, 2011. Another Hawaiian tradition is the Lei, which Mike got one for Ruby.

It is our last day on the Island and Ruby returns the Dendrobium Orchids to the earth.

A Lei should never we thrown away as it represents love.

Hawaii was a nice break and gave us lots of energy to tackle the next chapter of our life, relocating to Germany.

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