Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fun things to do while staying a Hale Aloha Aina

!. Just hanging out at the cottage is a treat in itself. The grounds are incredible and there is so much to explore together. The flora and fruit are definitely a plus, but the sound of the birds singing in the eucalyptus trees makes everything come alive. You will want to spend a day having a picnic in our own oasis. There is even a crochet set our guests left or you could ride bicycles around the beautiful valley. opps! I meant CROQUET set... don't think anyone is interested in sitting around crocheting leis except me!

Grab the cooler, pack a lunch and off we go! Sorry, but Pahala Cafe went out of business. There is a small market that carries all the necessities… like ICE! And BEER! There are coolers, beach chairs, snorkel gear and beach mats at the cottage for your convenience. There is also a great place to have lunch at Punalu'u Bake Shop in Naalehu which is 20 minutes from Pahala going towards Kona

Hawaii Revealed and Trailblazers are really great tour books.

Make sure you check out our links page for MORE things to do! For some reason our website is viewed better using Firefox?? All the wording is in the right place???

2. Swimming with the turtles or HONU is always one of my favorite things to do at Punalu’u Black Sand beach which is a 15 minute drive (towards Kona) from the cottage. The best entry point is where the boats launch. That way you won’t be beat up by tumbling rocks on the shoreline. There is even a fresh water pool near the dock where you will see kids playing. Punalu’u is named for the water that comes up from the ground. There is a stand that sells some really nice quality sweat shirts and tee’s to bring home.

3. If you drive around the Punalu’u beach you will find the golf course. Not the best, but I heard it was fun. You can park along the shoreline and hike to the heiau, where an old Hawaiian village use to be. There are some tide pools to explore as well.

4. Kawa Beach is another hidden black sand beach that is just past Punalu’u. The surf can be pretty rough so swimming is not recommended unless you are sure of your ability. It is generally a surfing beach and fishing area. The coast line is gorgeous and there is even a birthing Heiau you can hike too. You will see it on the left above the lava. Many visitors leave offering at a small rock temple. Fresh water comes up to ground and forms cold ponds that are great for a refreshing dip. You can read more about this on the internet at this link.

5. Green Sands Beach is located near South Point. If you love hiking then this is a must. It is a five mile hike round trip. A four wheel drive is fun too. Bring lots of water, emergency kit and wear proper clothing for the sun and surf. There are no facilities anywhere so plan on that as well. Great pics on this link:

6. The best place for the slightly experienced snorkeler is at City of Refuge which is the easy way to say… Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park. The locals call this entry :”2-step” since you can sit on the lava rock to put your gear on and two steps gets you to 15 ft depths. The tropical fish are incredible here and the visibility is really clear on most days. The Big Island has some of the best visibility for snorkelers since the island is surrounded with rock cliffs instead of sandy shores. You can pay five dollars entry and park your car at the Park. It can be very crowded along the one lane road in front of the snorkeling area and dock. You can enter the ocean from the park and leave your slippers where you can find them when you return.  Some people know to strap them to their body while they snorkel. The lava is not kind to tender footed persons! There is a bathroom at the park where you can rinse off and head to your next destination. Of course you will want to visit the historic area as well! This is where you will see the tiki’s and learn why it is called the City of Refuge. Here are some comments from Trip advisor.

7. Honomalino is my FAVORITE spot since I love to be off the beaten path. It is located on the south end of Kona in the old fishing village Minolii. The hike in is fascinating. First you will climb through a jungle where an old Hawaiian village was and you will see the Kaiwe trees wrapped around the walls. Thin rubber slippers are not recommended. The thorns from these trees can be one inch long and it will pierce the rubber for sure. As you make your way through the jungle there is a small cemetery. Please be respectful. Then you will trek through the water and up on a white sandy area and over another lava flow where you will finally see a coconut lined beach.  If you get there early you may even have the chance to swim with the dolphins. I can't remember how far but the walk takes about 30 minutes at the most. This blog has some really nice photos and information on the Big Island. They are promoting a GPS tour that would be really handy for visitors as well.

8. Volcanoes National Park is our main attraction which is 20 minutes from Pahala. There is tons of information out there about the park and updates and you can also find links on our website on the Things to do page. You can visit the park 24 hours and the fee is 10.00 for the week. I would recommend that you get your pass and visit it during the day and at night to see the glow in the crater. Bring some warm fleece wear because it can get darn cold on the Volcano. If you stop at the museum you can sign up for a guided tour and plan your hiking trip.

There are so many great places to explore on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is just the tip of the ISLAND! I will be posting some driving tours and excursions for our visitors to get the most of your day and precious time in PARADISE!!!

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