Big Island Outings
Walking, Driving, & Day Trips
There is only one book needed to get the scoop on the Big Island. Now in the 8th Edition, Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook, was released in August of 2016. Written by Andrew Doughty, all the needed info is nicely packaged in one location. Realize that once obscure and private gathering spots are now opened to anyone who takes the time to read, taking away some of the breathe and beauty of the locations. Use this text wisely and you will discover an amazing Island from your Milolii base.
WalkingAround the Lot. Wherever you look there are interesting local aspects to delight your senses. Many local birds such as the grey francolins, red crested cardinals, and saffron finches abound. The plant life present include palms, cactus, bouganvilla, desert rose, and plumeria, to name just a few. From the lanai you can spot local boats going out to fish and during the right time of the year the whales are seen migrating right off shore. Since you are away from the city lights, the night sky is filled with the Milky Way and it often does not take long to make your wish on a shooting star. This is one community where the kids can be sent out to play and you do not need to be diligently watching them as the visitors are few and far between. You can hear the infrequent car long before they arrive. With few full year residents in this community, if you stay for any period, you will likely get to know a few and take in a rich awareness of the Island that will not be found in a resort type location.
"The Rock" Come here to swim, snorkel, or launch a sea kayak. Whatever your adventure, the 10 minute walk is a nice warm up for your activity or to dry off on your way back home. Like much of the water sports on the Island, the morning time seems to provide the best conditions in regards to water clarity, wind, and wave activity. Whether you bring your own gear from home, or borrow what is available at the house, be sure to bring the fish identification chart as you will spot a host of varieties from this one location. If you are interested in a hike, just take lots of water and continue north over the lava and up the coastline. You may run into a mountain goat over this magnificent terrain. Here is the view as you look back to the community where you began:
DrivingYou do not have to spend much time in the car to adventure out. Within a handful of minutes you can be over to Miloli‘i Beach Park, passing a nice shelling beach along the way. (It is best to enjoy this area during a weekday to be respectful of the locals who gather here on the weekends.) Public bathrooms are present near the tennis courts and the little beach area is an ideal place for children to play in the water or investigate the sand. For an even more remote experience with a larger beach, venture by foot for about 15 minutes south to Honomalino Bay. Bring your gear, including a snack, along as you may find dolphins in this bay that has good snorkeling on the right of this black-and-white sand beach.
Northbound: Heading back up the hill to the main highway, the next big spot in about 12 miles is Ho‘okena. At the intersection of the road is a spigot where locals fill containers for drinking water. Take your three gallon containers from the house along as this water is the some of the finest on the Island. Heading down the hill, just over two miles, will reach the Beach Park. This is a great snorkel spot, with salt and pepper sand that makes for fine "castle building" and be sure to have the boogie board along to surf the breakers. There are plenty of picnic tables and three areas that offer outdoor showers (remember your shampoo and towels to really enjoy this spot). Just a handful of miles north takes you past St. Benedict’s "Painted" Church (1902) to another snorkel spot at Honaunau Bay which is just adjacent to the well known Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, also called the Place of Refuge. The town of Captain Cook is still outside of the typical tourist areas found in Kona, and is worth the trip if seeking an outstanding meal at the Manago Hotel, to visit the Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings, or to get supplies from the hardware and Choice Mart grocery store.
Southbound: Just a few mile south from where the main road to Miloli‘i meets the highway, your on your ten mile trip south to Ocean View. Stop and eat at the Desert Rose Café in Pohue Plaza where you will also find a post office, laundry mat, and a Saturday Market in the parking lot (more goods than food items). Continuing on, you may want to travel the 11 miles off the highway to South Point. Here is the southernmost point in the United States and is known for strong winds and majestic views. The Green Sand Beach is a nice hike, yet well worth the experience. Back to the main drag, the next large town is Naalehu where you must stop in at the Hana Hou Bakery where the meals are outstanding and their homemade pies, especially the cream pies, burn lasting memories into your taste buds. Eight more miles and you have reached the most famous black sand beach on the Island at Punalu‘u Beach County Park. Swimming is not as good here, yet you don’t have to get in the water to likely see a sea turtle (honu) which are commonly resting on the beach.
Day TripsNorth of Captain Cook lies Kailua-Kona, the largest city on the Big Island and host for almost any outing, activity, or experience that you may have in mind. When traveling through this part of the Island it is best to avoid the afternoons as the "Kona Crawl" brings traffic to an idling line of cars trying to get to their destinations.
South beyond Volcano National Park will lead to Hilo and many other splendid activities on the East side of the Big Island. Festival, activities, and adventures of all shapes and sizes can be experienced in the second largest community on this Island.
Bill & Jamie Perry