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Hawaii Big Island

South Point on the Big Island, the most southern point in Hawaii, is riddled with steep cliffs and treacherous holes that drop into the ocean. Rainbow Falls located near Hilo City on the tropical east side of the island. The rugged coast of South Point. A wind turbine farm is in the background. The wood device is a Hawaiian religious altar that allows them to interact with the ocean.
The 14,000 foot summit of Mauna Kea from Hilo Bay houses the world's largest observatory for optical, infrared, and sub millimeter astronomy. February 21, 2008 lunar eclipse over Hilo Bay. Local Hawaiians were on the shore in small groups chanting and beating drums in celebration. 440 foot Akaka Falls is is located 11 miles north of Hilo.
The nearest Palm on Coconut Island in Hilo Bay is marked with four tsunami bands: 1957 8 ft, 1952 12 ft, 1960 15 ft and 1946 26 ft. Hilo is the tsunami capital of the world. The tsunamis killed several hundred people. The sun drops below Mauna Loa mountain from Coconut Island in Hilo Bay. Halemaumau Crater is 3,000 ft wide and 300 ft deep. It lies on the floor of an even larger one, Kilauea Volcano Crater in Hawaii's Volcano National Park.
Waipio Valley is on the northeast coast and was the historical home of Hawaiian Kings. The beach is a mile wide and the surrounding cliffs are up to 2,000 ft high. Punalu'u Black Sand Beach in south Big Island is a nesting place for Hawksbill Sea Turtles. The black sand is formed by volcanic process and is fine with sharp edges. A tiered waterfall in the rainforest of World Botanical Gardens on the eastern side of the Big Island.
Puu Oo Cone Vent at right horizon has been actively spewing lava for over two decades. The flank eruption has ejected more lava than any in the past 500 years. A winter squall off the Kona Gold Coast on the western shore of the Big Island. Mauna Kea at 14,000 ft from the hotel restaurant veranda on Hilo Bay. Most days the summit was shrouded in clouds, so this day was an exception.
Close up of Puu Oo Crater Vent from helicopter, which has been erupting since 1983. Lava flows from this vent cover over 43 sq. miles and have added almost 600 acres to the island. Liliuokalani Park Gardens in Hilo City near the bay is home to many exotic species of trees and flowers. Triple tiered Umauma Falls is located in World Botanical Garden 16 miles outside of Hilo City.
 
A mighty Banyan Tree on Banyan Tree Drive in Hilo Bay. Most of them were planted 60 to 70 years ago by major world celebrities of the time. A plethora of plants grow on the rain forest side of the island in botanical gardens in the Hilo City area. As the sun begins to set behind Mauna Loa it cast its light on Hilo City Bay.
The Boiling Pots area above Rainbow Falls near Hilo City is a favorite for folks enjoying a picnic. Kilauea Iki Crater last erupted in November 1959 for 36 days and filled the crater to a depth of 400 ft. in lava. The Greenwell Kona Coffee farm has been in business since 1850. The blue behind the tree is the Pacific Ocean. Kona Coffee is only grown between 800 ft. and 2,000 ft. on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Liliuokalani City Park is 30 acres in size and is located on Hilo Bay. Japanese gardens are the predominate theme. Late 19th century lava flows cover the flanks of Mauna Loa on the Kona Coast. The Pacific Ocean is in the background. A stream meanders through the rainforest jungle at World Botanical Gardens near Hilo City.
Kilauea Iki Crater erupted in 1959 and spewed lava 425 meters into the air. The eruption involved some 60 Million cubic meters of magma in a little over a month. Old volcanic lava flows form the rugged southern coastline at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach State Park. South Point area is the southern most point in the Hawaiian Islands. The government is trying to discourage visitors to this beautiful location.
The Keauhou Outrigger Resort on Kona Coast is a 10 acre property that was once part of a large ancient Hawaiian community. Historical sites on property include the Po'o Hawaii pond or sacred bathing pool once used by ancient royalty. This South Point Drive home is a very nice example of island architecture. The observatory on the roof looks out over the Pacific Ocean at the back of the house. The Outrigger Keauhou Resort is where we stayed on the Kona Gold Coast. It's a few miles south of Kona City.
Punalu'u Beach Park is the most famous black sand beach on the island. It is located south of Hilo and is a favorite spot of green sea turtles. The black sand at Punalu'u Beach was created by lava that exploded as it flowed into the ocean. Local tradition states that if anyone removes black sand they will be cursed by Pele the Volcano Goddess until it is returned. On the western Kona Coast, lava flows from hundreds of years ago made their way to the Pacific Ocean, which is seen in the background.
The Keauhou Outrigger Beach Resort Hotel is on the right. This is the hotel we stayed at when we visited the Kona Gold Coast. A shopping center is on the left and a housing development is in the center. Kilauea Caldera is the home of Pele the Hawaiian Volcano goddess and is one of the most active volcanic areas in the world. The crater is nearly 4 square miles and 500 ft deep. On south Hilo Bay at the end of Banyan Drive is a wonderful park full of many species of interesting trees. On the left across the bay is Hilo City. On the center right through the trees is Coconut Island.
Mauna Kea as seen from south Hilo Bay is home to the world's grandest astronomical observatories. This area is the only place in the world where you can go from tropical sea level to snow capped peak in two hours. Mauna Kea as seen from south Hilo Bay near Coconut Island. Mauna Kea is 13,800 ft above sea level, but 33, 500 ft above the sea floor, which makes it larger than Mt. Everest. A local said this was more snow than in the past couple of decades. Banyan Trees along Banyan Drive on south Hilo Bay are a form of fig tree that puts down aerial prop roots that over time become indistinguishable from the main trunk. The Banyan Trees of Hawaii grow quite large over many years.
Rainbow Falls is in western Hilo City not too far from downtown. In the early morning a beautiful rainbow can often be spotted beneath the falls. Halemaumau Crater is 3,000 ft in diameter and nearly 500 ft deep. It sits at the bottom of the even larger Kilauea Caldera. It recently became active again after a 90 year slumber. Tourists gaze at the immensity of the Kilauea Caldera, which in turn holds the Halemaumau Crater. When we visited, the road to Halemaumau itself was closed due to dangerous gas emissions. It erupted in new activity after lying dormant for nearly a hundred years a few weeks after this photo was taken.
Hilo City on the rainier east coast of the Big Island. You can see how Hilo Bay acts as a funnel that directs seismic waves to immense power and proportions into the city, the Tsunami Capitol of the world. Rainbow Falls just at the outskirts of Hilo City is a favorite hiking and picnicking spot for the locals. If you look closely to the left of the fall precipice you can see a couple standing on a rock outcrop viewing them. The Halemaumau Crater is the most active zone in the Kilauea Caldera. It awoke after nearly 90 years and began renewed volcanic activity. It is over a half mile wide in diameter and nearly 500 ft deep.
Lava that flowed down Mauna Loa volcano and made its way to the Pacific Ocean, in the background, on the western, more arid Kona Coast. A squall rolled in off the Kona Coast on a bright, sunny day and deposited its rain in a few moments and then it was gone. Banyan Drive on south Hilo Bay is home to some of the best hotels in the area. A large variety of celebrities planted the Banyan Trees down through the years and most have survived the tsunami waves of destruction.

Hawaii Big Island

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Copyright 2003 by Daniel L. Hagerman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Jan 2009 14:56:57 -0500 .