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HAWAII TOURISM AU THORI T Y
The Big Island is
By Bob Ecker
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS are an honest-to-goodness tropical paradise full of palm trees,
warm languid breezes, friendly people, world-class surfing and miles of gorgeous beaches.
Hawaii, the Big Island (Hawaii’s youngest
island), has all that and even more: rugged
and active geothermal areas, diverse topography such as black sand beaches, prairies perfect for horseback riding, pristine spots for
snorkeling and vast vistas of volcanic rock.
Nearly twice as large as all the other islands
combined, the Big Island has lovely beaches,
little towns and villages, and sumptuous hotel
properties similar to those found on the other
islands, but the particular thrill of Hawaii is
seeing the earth’s very essence, its fiery matter, hot and up close.
Volcano viewing, one of the main attractions on the Big Island, can be experienced at
the one-of-a-kind Hawaii Volcanoes National
Park. Visitors can enjoy miles of hiking trails,
rare and unusual volcanic scenery and museums with interpretive displays and exhibits.
Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the
world, takes up most of Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park—333,000 acres running from
the volcano’s summit to the sea.
Mauna Loa has not erupted since 1984;
however, the very active Kilauea volcano is
going strong and a top tourist draw. Kilauea
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(which means “spewing” in Hawaiian) has
been emitting lava and rock more or less continuously since 1983. It is currently erupting
on its east side, and the relatively new Kalapana
volcano viewing site, just outside the park, is a
great place to see the lava flows live.
Other Big Island attractions include
championship golf, world-class spas and the
granddaddy of all triathlons, the prestigious
Iron Man competition, which draws hundreds
of competitors and spectators each October.
The Big Island has some of the best deep-sea fishing to be found anywhere. Most boats
depart from the Honokohau Harbor near
historic Kailua-Kona village. I decided to try
my luck; after leaving the harbor we traveled
out to deep blue waters, where the captain
asked us to turn around and look back to
shore. What an amazing sight. Massive
Mauna Kea rises dramatically 13,800 feet
above sea level. From the ocean you can
observe the volcano’s sheer contour plunging
down into the ocean. Measured from the
ocean floor, Mauna Kea stands more than
33,000 feet tall—taller than Mount Everest!
I snagged an electric blue, 25-pound
mahi-mahi just before we headed back. The
captain called ahead to a restaurant at the
port. Soon, we were enjoying incredibly fresh
barbecued mahi-mahi fillets with salads and
beer. It was the finest fish I’ve ever had.
The other Hawaiian islands are wonderful, but the Big Island is different: unusual,
striking and literally growing. C
Bob Ecker is a;Napa, California–based writer
Hilton Waikoloa Village®
$655 PER PERSON* FROM ALOHA PASSPORT Valid for travel 8/20/12 – 12/17/12. Other travel dates are available. Prices and inclusions will vary. Airfare is available for an additional cost.
• Five-day full-size rental car
• Daily buffet breakfast for two
• Aloha Passport (savings and bene;ts
on resort services and activities)
• Hotel and car taxes
*Price shown is per person based on double occupancy, and includes hotel
and car taxes. Prices are in U.S. dollars, are true and accurate at time of
printing, are valid for travel as speci;ed, are valid for new bookings only and
are available to Costco members residing in the United States. All offers and
inclusions are subject to availability and may change or be terminated without
notice. Seasonal surcharges, availability, blackout dates and restrictions may
apply. Rental car includes unlimited mileage, one additional driver, all taxes
and service fees. It does not include gasoline, optional insurance charges,
underage driver charges, upgrades, overtime, drop charges or infant-child
seats. Any unused portion(s) of inclusions are nontransferable, nonrefundable
and not redeemable for cash. Cancellation and change fees may apply. Travel
purchases are not included in the Executive Membership annual 2% Reward
program. Costco Travel disclaims liability for any inaccuracies or typographical
errors. Costco Travel is registered as a seller of travel in
each of the states listed: California registration number:
CST 2054248-50 ; Florida registration number: ST 32555 ;
Hawaii registration number: TAR 5595 ; Iowa registration
number: TA 620 ; Nevada Seller of Travel registration
number: 2007-0060 ; Washington registration number: WS T
602042600. Registration as a California Seller of Travel does
not constitute approval by the state. 12TR0801 3/12
1-877-849-2730 | Costco.com
MAY 2012 ;e Costco Connection