The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest and, you guessed it, biggest island in the Pacific chain. It spans 4,028 square miles or about two and a half Rhode Islands with the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, covering 480,000 acres. Hawaii is also the only part of the United States that is still growing. Kilauea, the island’s only active volcano—and also the world’s most-active—can be seen spewing hot lava off its southeastern coast. Little by little, this flowing lava adds land to the island that is also the worldwide leader in growing macadamia nuts. You really do need to visit.
Wonders of the Big Island
Twice the size of all the other islands combined, Hawaii is home to a richly diverse landscape and an equally wide variety of activities for visitors and locals alike. From the tallest mountain in the world—when measured from the seafloor—to black sand beaches, the list of must-see sights is longer than you can imagine. Because of its immense size, many parts of the Big Island still feel untouched by civilization, with miles and miles of uninhabited countryside. Even the larger cities of Hilo and Kona are a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu.
Botanical World Gardens
To make the most of your visit to the Big Island, be sure to take advantage of the natural, beauty of Hawaii’s native plants and animals. There are few better places to do that than at the Botanical World Gardens, located north of Hilo. The gardens are home to a variety of attractions: a hundred-foot waterfall, a 10-acre maze for the keiki (kids) and over 300 acres of well-cared-for nature.
These gardens are a chance to see the native plants and animals as they were hundreds of years ago. Paved roads mix with wild jungle to create a balance of structure and nature. Walking tours are available for those eager to learn about how so many plants and animals came to these islands from thousands of miles away, across the vast Pacific ocean. For those wanting to get around but don’t feel like hoofing it through acres of jungle, Segway tours are always an option.
Last but certainly not least is the zipline course located within the gardens. See the wildlife from a bird’s-eye view, flying hundreds of feet above the flora and fauna. Before each heart pumping zip, your expert guide shares some Hawaiian history and local knowledge, giving you an inside perspective of our tropical paradise. Few places in the world are as scenic as Hawaii, and the Botanical World Gardens are some of the best of the beautiful.