Outdoor Adventure on The Island of Hawaii

Published on April 19, 2024


When your nickname is “the Big Island”, you better believe there are plenty of choices when it comes to seeking adventure. From exploring ancient petroglyph parks to walking through dark lava tubes, Hawaii’s landscape presents a myriad of unique activity options you won’t find elsewhere in the United States. Review our list of ideas to fully appreciate the beauty of The Island of Hawaii.

Explore Ancient Petroglyphs

The Island of Hawaii is steeped in history. King Kamehameha, which united all the Hawaiian Islands under one rule spent most of his life on the island. In addition to numerous sacred sites and historical landmarks there are close to a dozen petroglyph fields where you can witness ancient carvings in the rocks. Puako Petroglyph Park is less than a five-minute drive from our collection of residences in Mauna Lani Resort.

Snorkel Colorful Reefs

As the newest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island’s reefs are not as developed as reefs found on Kauai or Oahu, which is why surfing tends to be not as renowned as areas on the North Shore of Oahu. That being said, there are still some great options for strapping on the fins, snorkel, and mask. Mauna Lani Beach Club, a stunning beach cove that our guests enjoy private parking access, is one of the top snorkeling spots along the Kohala Coast. Swim amongst Hawaiian Sea Turtles, Yellow Tangs, parrot fish, and other colorful reef fish.

Swim with Manta Rays at Night

For the true adventure seeker, book a night dive with the Manta Rays. The deep ocean waters off the Island of Hawaii are rich with plankton and krill. When snorkel boats shine their lights on the water, the plankton are attracted to the surface and the large nocturnal manta rays are close behind for a dinner meal. Join others in the water to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Walk through a Lava Tube

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to rugged geological features and a reminder of Mother Earth’s ever-changing nature. Walk past steam vents that spew heated air from deep below Earth's surface. Thurston Lava Tube allows visitors to walk through a large lava tube where molten magma once flowed.

Unwind at a Black Sand Beach

One of the most famous black sand beaches in the state is Punalu’u Beach located on the Southeastern coastline. Try to carve out some time in your itinerary to visit this dramatic landscape that showcases turquoise waters lapping up against charcoal black sand. Bring your camera!

Plan a Waterfall Hike

Hiking is great because it combines getting your steps in with the beauty of nature. Akaka Falls State Park is a popular tourist destination home to a half-mile hike through dense rainforest, impressively large ferns, and a scenic lookout over a 442ft waterfall. Pack your water bottle and rain jacket just in case the weather turns along your hike.

Go for a Scenic Drive

Baby boomers remember jumping in the car with their family to just go on a drive. Well, the Island of Hawaii is a perfect location to revive that tradition of old. Choose from different paved highways that traverse all over the island to experience different tropical landscapes and ecosystems. Home to five volcanoes, some of the best coffee plantations in the world, and lush rainforests, a one- or two-hour drive will deliver you in a completely new setting in no time.