BIG ISLAND NATIONAL PARKS...
The US National Park Service does an outstanding job preserving America’s history and most scenic and pristine lands, while at the same time presenting them for all to enjoy. The Big Island has four sites administered by the National Park Service.
Three small parks are located on the Kona Coast and are dedicated to preserving the area’s history.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a great first destination upon arrival as it provides a great introduction to Hawaii’s history. Known as "The Place of Refuge", the pu’uhonua provided sanctuary for Hawaiians who came there. A short trail guides visitors through palm trees, lush foliage, lava flows, ancient architecture and a rocky shoreline... home to the green sea turtle.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is a small park just north of Kona. Nearly devoid of vegetation, the park is situated on a black, otherworldly lava bed and is preserved more for its historical and spiritual significance rather than scenery or nature.
Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site preserves some of Hawaii’s more recent history. This heiau, or temple, was built by King Kamehameha I in 1790 and 1791 before unifying the Hawaiian Islands.
The largest and most visited National Park in the Hawaiian Islands is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the southeast side of the Big Island. Although the entire island chain is of volcanic origin, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is the only area in Hawaii that remains volcanically active, In fact, the park contains the world’s most volcanically active area, and new land is added daily. Crater Rim Road circles the Kilauea crater, offering spectacular views of the steaming caldera. The Kilauea Visitor Center and the Jaggar museum are located along this roa, providing a wealth of information about the park. Chain of Craters Road descends nearly 4000 feet in elevation over 20 miles to where the lava flows meet the sea. The road provides access to numerous inactive craters of various sizes, the Thurston Lava Tube (a 600-foot tunnel formed by flowing lava) and dramatic panoramic views above the lava field and the Pacific Ocean. Chain of Craters Road dead-ends where a 2003 lava flow crosses the road, one of the park’s most photographed spots. Occasionally, ocean entry may be viewed from near this location. Most of the park is inaccessible by road. Therefore red, flowing lava is best viewed from the air. Several companies offer helicopter and airplane tours of the park and its flowing lava.
Located near the Kilauea Visitor Center, the Volcano House offers the only lodging and dining facilities within the expansive park. The historic hotel features the Ka Ohelo Dining Room, notable for its huge picture windows overlooking the active Kilauea Volcano. Ka Ohelo Dining Room at Volcano House has affordable breakfast and lunch buffets with a wide variety of Hawaiian and American choices. In the evening they provide table service and entrees which include prime rib, New York steaks, filet mignon, king crab legs, jumbo prawns and lamb chops.
The Big Island has much to offer, but Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one Big Island attraction that should not be missed.
|PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK||CANOES||PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU||PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU||CRABS|
|PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU||SEA TURTLES||SEA TURTLE||PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU||PU'UHONUA O HONAUNAU|
|PU'UKOHOLA HEIAU NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE||PU'UKOHOLA HEIAU||KOLOKO-HONOKOHAU NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK||HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK||KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER|
|VIEW OF OCEAN BEYOND LAVA||LAVA||THURSTON LAVA TUBE||THURSTON LAVA TUBE||STEAM WHERE LAVA HITS THE WATER|
|KILAUEA CRATER||KILAUEA CRATER||"END OF THE ROAD"|
|VOLCANO HOUSE||VOLCANO HOUSE||KA OHELO DINING ROOM AT VOLCANO HOUSE||LUNCH AT KA OHELO DINING ROOM||KA OHELO DINING ROOM AT VOLCANO HOUSE|