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Hawaii trip suggestions?

Started by mhansen, 12/02/2003 07:31PM
Posted 12/02/2003 07:31PM Opening Post
Looking for travel tips or ideas for visiting Hawaii. I had in mind possibly a guided tour with a small group of other like-minded tourists. Hoping to see Mauna Kea, volcanoes, waterfalls, tropical areas, etc. My wife and I are not the kind to hang out poolside at a luxurious hotel for a week and miss all rest.

Also, what is the best time of year to go to the islands?

Thanks,
Mark

Mark Hansen
http://public.fotki.com/mhansen/
Posted 12/02/2003 10:13PM #1
Mark,
Any day is a good time to go to Hawaii. The whales arrive the last week of Dec. and are around through March. The Best whale watching is on Maui, (my opinion), but the whales seem to prefer to calve in the vicinity of the lava outfall into the ocean on the Big Island, seems they like the extra warm water. A must see is the Volcano National Park. Figure on spending at least a day there. I would also highly recommend the drive down to the area in the park where the lava flows into the ocean. Arriving at dusk is best, you will probably see some whales, perhaps talk to one of the resident volcanologists returning from a research hike and get to see the newest land on Earth. The lava flow is best viewed after dark so you should take a flashlight.The lava flow is variable so the quality of viewing will vary.

The trip up Mauna Kea is not difficult if you are comfortable with mountain driving. Be forwarned, rental cars are not covered by the rental insurance on the Saddle Back Road and the Mauna Kea Road. If you wreck your rental car, you or your own insurance company will be paying. I did drive a rental up to the summit and found the road better than expected but realize this is a rural high altitude mountain road that goes from pavement to gravel back to pavement. The summit does get snowed in at times and high winds also might shut the summit down. There is a rest stop and telescope area at 10,000 ft., close to the lodge where the scope farm staff stays. It is recomended that you stay there for at least 45 min. to allow your body to get acclimated to the elevation before going on to the summit. There is a guided tour (free) in the afternoons by a local club.

One final caution about the summit, you are at a very high altitude and in somewhat remote area, though more than likely there will always be people around. If you develop any health problems, you and or your party will have to get themselves down the mountain. The elevation is to high for helicopter rescues and an ambulance is several hours away.

I can go on and on about the Hawaiin Islands. Hope you have a good trip.
Ron Zick
Posted 12/04/2003 12:25PM #2
Mark,

Be sure to go here, especially on a day when the lava is flowing and the seeing is good.

Alex
(with apologies for taking up bandwidth if you have seen this picture posted before.)

Attached Image:

Alex McConahay's attachment for post 73768