30th April 2007 to 4th May 2007
Hilo is the capital of the Island of Hawaii and is less tourist centred than the other side of the island. It also tends to rain more, hence the water falls (the others side has no rivers). We stayed 4 nights at the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel but liked Hilo so much we returned for several day visits.
Richard cools his feet in the Wailuku River just above the Rainbow falls (if only he had his kayak). Photo by Lauri.
The Rainbow Falls on the Wailuku River, one of the reasons kayaking isn’t such a good idea. Below the falls is a large lava tube.
A racing waka ana comes ashore in Hilo Bay.
We went for a couple of outrigger rides on Hilo Bay with Glenn Okuma which we both really enjoyed. It was great to sail (or paddle when necessary) and listen to Glenn recounting Hawaiian history.
The Helicopter ride with Tropical Helicopters was amazing as it gave us our first view of the volcano and its molten lava. We opted for the “Feel the Heat and waterfalls” flight, which meant there were no doors on the helicopter. Unfortunately Lauri ended up crammed between the pilot and me, meaning she missed out on the feeling that you could fall out of the helicopter at any time.
Us with the helicopter and pilot.
Pu’u O’o Crater from the air.
Various volcanic vents near Pu’u O’o.
Lava flows into the sea, forming a bench and a black sand beach. A couple of weeks later, we were standing on this beach watching the lava flow into the sea from about 15 metres away.
We took an Arnott’s Lodge trip up to the top of Mauna Kea (4205 metres), the highest point on Hawaii.
Lauri on top of the World.
Lauri (on the left) by a heiau (shrine or sacred place) and Richard (on the right) at the highest point of Hawaii, it may be Hawaii but we certainly needed our hats, jackets and gloves (we are probably part of small group of people that take their long johns to tropical islands).
The high altitude and clear air means that Mauna Kea is home to a large number of astronomical observatories,
these were just a few of them.
Numerous scoria cones are also scattered around
the summit of Mauna Kea.
Lauri admires the Akaka Falls north of Hilo.