Aloha from Hawaii
As much as we enjoyed Oahu, I had a pretty good feeling that the Big Island would be even better. For us, anyway. Upon landing at the open-air airport, and driving for just a few miles, my suspicions were confirmed. The island of Hawaii feels almost rural in comparison to Oahu. Slower, more quiet, and definitely more of the island vibe I was expecting on this trip.
It’s really difficult to limit the number of caches I mention from the Big Island, but I’ll try:
Honaunau Bay – Two Step Beach Cache: Site of what was probably our favorite snorkeling experience of the vacation. The beach’s name describes how many steps you’ll need to get into the water. It’s just beautiful here, and this EarthCache is a nice way to learn about the area.
Maunakea – The Land of Fire and Ice: Perhaps the best thing about this trip was getting a chance to see an old high school classmate. Matt lives in Waimea, the same town where we based ourselves for our Big Island stay. He was kind enough to haul us up to the top of Mauna Kea in his 4wd truck.
The top of this volcano is the highest point in Hawaii. In fact, when measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is more than 33,000 feet tall, making it taller than Mount Everest. If you visit Hawaii, do everything you can to visit Mauna Kea!
Hawaii Volcanoes N.P. – Rain Forest & Lava Tube: Also, do everything you can to visit this National Park! As with most NPs, physical geocaches are not permitted here. However, you’ll find multiple EarthCaches that offer wonderful insights into the area.
Not the Green Sand Beach: There are only two green sand beaches on Earth. One is on Guam. The other is here. From the parking area, it’s a five-mile roundtrip hike. Or $15 each way if you avail yourself of the services of the locals who shuttle people back and forth in off-road vehicles. Either way, it’s a gorgeous place. To get here, you’ll pass South Point, the southernmost point of the Big Island and of the 50 United States.
Cave Hole Cache: I could mention the caches we found in Kona or Hilo, or the cache that led us to a beach where we saw whales breaching way out in the ocean. But I’m choosing to finish with this cave cache. From the cave opening, you’ve got about a quarter-mile hike through a lava tube to the cache location. It was a very memorable find, and one of the last ones on our last day on Hawaii.
I often tell people that geocaching is like a TripAdvisor for me. The game never fails to lead me to places I would never find in a guidebook. Such was the case in Hawaii. You can’t help but find beautiful things almost everywhere you look. But with geocaching as your guide, you’ll end up seeing so many gems that you may never have learned about otherwise.