Cruise Diva Goes
Ashore in Hawaii
to see & things to do
The Big Island--Kailua-Kona
Big Island of Hawaii is the largest island in the Pacific and is
growing daily, thanks to Kilauea’s volcanic activity.
With snow capped mountains, lava strewn deserts, rain
forests, waterfalls, meadows, lakes, and multi-colored beaches, this
is simply one of the most smashing places on earth.
The Big Island is also a spiritual center to Hawaiians with
numerous sacred heiaus, or ancient temples, and a pervading
sense of “mana.”
ashore to Kailua Pier, passengers find themselves in the heart of
excursion buses and vans meet arrivals, automobile rentals are
available, and independent tours can be arranged in advance.
Helicopter tours are particularly popular, especially those
that fly over Kilauea
and the Volcanoes National Park.
Only steps from the pier are two of the village’s major
sights. To the right is
Hulihee Palace, an improbable New England style mansion filled with
memorabilia, which was the favorite summer residence of Hawaiian
royalty since its construction in 1838.
Follow the street to the left and pass the King Kamehameha
Kona Beach Hotel to reach Ahuena Heiau. This is the sacred ground
established by King Kamehameha in 1812 after he conquered and united
the islands and is where he died in 1819.
the South Kona district, primary attractions are the Painted Church
(the interior of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church is entirely
painted in biblical scenes illustrating creation) and Puuhonua O
Honaunau National Historic Park, a forbidding place also known as
the Place of Refuge where defeated warriors and taboo violators
found a haven. The
archaeological site includes idols, canoes, and reconstructed huts.
north of Kona, the Kohala Coast offers more sites important to
Hawaiian history and culture. Aquaculture
was practiced in Hawaii, as it was in Polynesia, and ancient
Hawaiian fishponds can be viewed in the area of the Mauna Lani and
Royal Waikoloan resorts. Near
Kawaihae Harbor is Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, the
seaside temple and amphitheater built by King Kamehameha I in 1790.
Further north, the road ends just past Kapaau where the
original King Kamehameha statue stands.
a side trip back to Kona on the Kohala Mountain Road through Waimea.
This region is the home of the famous Parker Ranch and paniolos
(Hawaii’s cowboys). On
Highway 190 the Visitor’s Center houses the Parker Ranch Museum
and two of the ranch’s historic homes are open for tours.
many, Kona means coffee and sport fishing.
Self-guided and organized tours of coffee growing country are
popular and professional captains offer half day and full day big
game fishing charters for a maximum of six fishermen.
Golf and a variety of soft adventure activities can be
arranged with advance planning.
really don’t have to look hard for opportunities to spend money.
Galleries, boutiques, and shops are everywhere.
Look for locally made ceramics, fine art, posters,
photographs, wood carvings, and Niihau shells in the galleries.
You'll find aloha wear, jewelry, and gifts everywhere else.
Don’t forget to pick up some Kona coffee to take home;
it’s pricey but exquisite.
Big Island doesn’t have many great beaches; instead it has a
variety of unique ones. Many
are new black sand beaches, unusual green sand beaches, and a rare
white sand beach that routinely “disappears” during high tide
and after storms.
Kailua-Kona, the small beach in front of the King Kamehameha Kona
Beach Hotel is within walking distance of the pier.
Head south for White Sands Beach (also called Disappearing
Beach) and Kahaluu Beach Park—with protected lagoons it’s the
most popular family beach on the Kona Coast.
Both beaches offer great snorkeling.
the very southern tip of the Big Island is Papakolea Beach, or Green
Sand Beach—very difficult to get to and possibly even treacherous.
swimming and sunning, venture north of Kona to the Kohala Coast and
Kaunaoa Beach, Hapuna Beach, and Anaehoomalu Bay.
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