The largest island in the Hawaiian Islands is so large, in comparison to its neighboring islands, that the entire state of Hawaii inherits its name from it. This comparatively massive island is ever so simply named “Hawaii”, yet almost everyone in the Hawaiian Islands calls it by another name: “The Big Island” (or even more commonly and colloquially “The Big I”). Such a name is seemingly appropriate for the large island and is obviously a less confusing name to use. It also eases the surprising irony of the group of islands inheriting their collective namesake from their youngest member.
The island is famously home to an amazing amount of volcanic activity, which attracts both tourists and geologists year after year. It is considered to be one of the few places in the world where one can witness the formation of land itself as the molten lava from the volcano meets the blue ocean in a steamy dance of creation. Should a visitor to the Big Island of Hawaii want to take a closer look at this amazing phenomenon, there is a special location dedicated to just that kind of ecological adventure. Volcano National Park is the place to be for a good view of nature sculpting the landscape of the island itself and tour guides are available to make the adventure a little more comfortable for a novice in volcanic hiking.
The island of Hawaii is also well known for its highest mountain, called Mauna Kea. Mount Mauna Kea is documented as being the world’s tallest mountain, from its base below sea level to its peak above the clouds. It is actually taller than Mount Everest by this measure, while Everest is considered to be the tallest mountain in the world from sea level to its peak. The peak of Mauna Kea is a wonderful place for an astronomical observatory, considering its location in the clean air high above the world’s most remote landmass (the Hawaiian Islands). As such, it is home to what is considered to be the world’s largest astronomical observatory. Astronomers from eleven nations are said to operate the various telescopes positioned around the peak of Mauna Kea. There are also tours available for those with a less professional interest in a visit to the mountain observatory.
The peak at Mauna Kea is also notably the only place where snowboarding is generally possible in Hawaii, although the snow is rarely abundant enough for such activities. Still, a morning of snowboarding and an afternoon of surfing sounds like a fun island adventure waiting to happen on the right day. Another fun adventure waiting at Mauna Kea is a day of biking down the scenic mountain road. There are companies which provide transportation to a high altitude and bike rental for the day. While biking is the general term for such a joyride, the actual experience is likely to be primarily coasting down the gorgeous mountain rather than having much of a workout.
Another wonderful attraction that is a popular feature of the Big Island is the many black sand beaches. These are generally the result of lava meeting the ocean and new black sand beaches are said to appear regularly. Such beaches can be truly wonderful as they are an island treat. Just make sure to play it safe and only go in the ocean at popular swimming spots, unless you are sure you know what you are doing.
Enjoy the amazing Big Island of Hawaii and its many spectacular locations.