Volcano, Hilo and Waikiki, Hawai’i May 22 – 25 2016

Richardson's Beach, Hilo, Hawai'i
Richardson’s Beach, Hilo, Hawai’i

Aloha – again!

For the second half of my Big Island adventure, I headed down south to Volcano Village with Jess to check out the activity down there and then up to the east coast to Hilo.

Volcano Village

On our way down to Volcano, myself and Jess stopped by South Point, the most southern part of the United States, to take in the impressive views. You can do a cliff jump off here but we weren’t sure of the spot (we spent most of the time trying to figure out where we were!). When we finished up here, we headed on to Black Sands Beach where we saw a sea turtle chillin on the sand. To be honest though, I’m not sure if it was real or fake! After here, we found a hostel to stay in for the night. Holoholo was more like a B&B than a hostel. The owner was super nice and had anything you could want available with a kitchen stocked with tea, coffee, hit chocolate and pancake mix. He also has a computer set up for guest with quick WiFi. It’s surrounded by trees and feels like you’re in the middle of a jungle! At $30 a night, it was very comfortable and peaceful. We both agreed we’d stay again if we were back in the area. That night we went to a restaurant nearby and wolfed down some much needed food.

Once we had our fill, we drove over to the National Park to see the glow from the active volcano. I snuck under the fence and tried to get a closer look but it was so dark and I only got so far but I did get to see the lava gushing out though which was pretty awesome! We were slightly on the wrecked side of things by this stage so we went back to the hostel for some tea and bed.

After some breakfast, we went back to the National Park and paid the $15 entrance fee (valid for 1 week) and parked up to do a bit of a hike around. We decided to hike the Iki Trail and check out the lava tubes. The trail was incredible. It starts off going through a forest on the edge of the volcanoes crater (the one that isn’t active) and after a steep descent, you arrive in the crater itself. It was surreal to walk through here knowing that the ground was hardened lava! Inside, there is some vegetation and parts of it are pretty hot. We finished off the trail and had a look through the lava tubes.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Hilo

We arrived in Hilo on a beautiful sunny day and taking advantage of the good weather, we stopped of at Rainbow Falls for a couple of hours. We both loved this place and really enjoyed all of the scenery and the general atmosphere of the place. We walked to the top of the falls and found a forest that you can stroll through. The floor of the forest had all of the tree roots above ground which was unreal to see! The trees themselves were massive and so wide, I’m not sure how old they are though. We walked through to the other side and came to the river bank at the top of the waterfall. The adventurous side took over and I took off climbing across the rocks. It was incredible being up there! There were loads of pools that you could probably paddle in but I hopped over and made my way to the edge. It was a little scary but 100% worth it!

The falls are only 10 minutes from Hilo town so we found a hostel, Hilo Bay and checked in. We were feeling a bit peckish so stopped by a veg cafe called Conscious Culture Cafe. This place served up some mouth watering meals and we basically licked our plates clean. We took it easy for the evening and just chilled out in the hostel.

The next day we headed for PeePee Falls. We thought that these were hot pools that you could swim in but as it turned out it was really just a waterfall. It was pretty though but nothing compared to Rainbow Falls. PeePee actually lead in to Rainbow Falls so if you plan on visiting one, you can catch the other close by.

Akaka Falls were next on the list and we drove about 40 mins north of Hilo. The drive up the coast is stunning so the trip flies by. At Akaka, there’s a loop around which gives you great view points of the waterfall and valleys around. The waterfall is incredible, at 442 ft high it’s no wonder it’s Hawaii’s most famous waterfall! We had tried to find a couple other spots but kept getting lost so headed back to Hilo.

We recharged our batteries and headed Richardson’s Beach. It’s about 15 mins from Hilo out past the airport. We parked up the car and went exploring. It’s such a chilled out place with people swimming, eating and drinking, it’s definitely a spot you could spend the day at. Further on, there’s loads of rocks leading in to the sea which gives an unbelievable view of the ocean with the waves crashing all around. We were spoiled with the good weather and enjoyed catching some rays!

We checked out another park in Hilo called Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens. This is another beautiful spot with a bit of an Asian influence. Everything was so lush and with Coconut Island so close by you have the best of everything in this area.

The nightlife in Hilo is a little limited I think. There are two bars that were recommended to us and one of them was closed by 10. We did hang out in the Tavern for the night though and had an absolute howl! We met a good few people from the area and spent the night playing (well trying to) pool. It ended up being a bit of a late one so after changing my flights at 3:30 in the morning (I was due to fly out to Honolulu at 9) I headed to bed.

Since my flight was now not until the afternoon, myself and Jess had a chance to stroll around the village and check out all of the cute shops there was. We even caught a street market that was on which had loads of different crafts and hand made pieces for sale. If I had room in my luggage I would have bought it all! After saying a sad goodbye to Jess, I headed of to the airport to drop off the car and catch my flight to Honolulu.

Richardsons Beach, Hawai'i
Richardsons Beach, Hawai’i

Waikiki

I arrived in Waikiki on the 25th and checked back in to the same hostel as the week before. It was late in the evening by the time I got there so after getting a bite to eat in Ruffage, I met back up with Javiera on Waikiki Beach to catch up on the last week and see the sunset. I spent all of the next day being an absolute beach bum and making the most of my time in the sun. Waikiki Beach is a busy spot but really nice. There’s loads of people out doing water activities and there’s a marquee on the beach where you can rent out boards or book surf lessons. I was quite content just to lie back, sleep and read though! That night, myself and my roomie Emma met Javiera at a restaurant/ bar called Lulu’s for a couple drinks.

I left early the next day for the airport to catch my final fight. Thankfully, I didn’t mix up any flight times or buses (for a change) so I made it out without any hassle!

Pictures will be posted soon, there’s so much to load up its just easier to get it done from a laptop at this point. My Instagram has a couple photos though!

Tata for now!

Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Waikiki Beach, Oahu

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