Big Island, Hawaii

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Hawaii: Big Island, Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, Oahu - Honolulu

Here under Big Island, Hawaii, you will find travel information about the Big Island (Hawaii), as well as general information.

Flowing Lava The island of Hawaii, commonly called the Big Island, is the largest (twice the size of the other islands combined) and the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain. It was formed by five large shield volcanoes from which two are extinct, one is dormant and two are still active: Mauna Loa and Kilauea (the world's most active volcano). Due to Kilauea's constant eruption and lava flows, the island continuous to grow. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are the Pacific's highest mountains and their subarctic summits are often covered by snow during the winter months. The summit of the latter is also the home to the world's top astronomical observatories, as it has superior conditions for stargazing.

With eleven different climate ecosystems represented, it is the most naturally diverse island. Its landscapes include almost everything, from deserts to rainforests. The sunny western side of Hawaii is the driest region in Hawaii and has the island's best beaches and water conditions. The eastern side on the other hand has a rugged coastline with lush tropical rainforests and waterfalls.

Although the Big Island doesn't have expansive sandy beaches and best conditions for surfing and windsurfing, it does have excellent spots for diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, hiking, camping, horse riding and some world-class golf courses.

Ancient Hawaii On the island you'll find many historical sights, including the remains of sacred Hawaiian temples ("heiaus"), like the ruins at Ka Lae and the Mookini Luakini Heiau. They serve as reminders of the empire of Hawaii's greatest king, Kamehameha I, and the respect the ancient Hawaiians accorded their land and their gods. Hawaii is also home to the "paniolos", Hawaiian cowboys, who look after the cattle at the Parker Ranch. It claims to be the largest privately owned ranch in the United States. Next to cattle the island also grows sugar and it produces the majority of the state's fruits, macadamia nuts and coffee.

Akaka Falls Most developments are found along the Kohala Coast and in the cities of Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Rainy Hilo is the oldest city on the island and the commercial center. It is situated in a beautiful lush landscape where you'll find many tropical flowers. Sunny Kailua-Kona is the visitor center and boasts most of the accommodations and activities. Nevertheless, most of the island's big space remains raw and unadulterated and a heaven for farmers, wild horses or adventure-seekers.

Nickname: "The Orchid Isle"
Capital: Hilo
County: Hawaii
Area: 4,000 sq miles
Population: 160,000
Highest Point: Mauna Kea (13,796 feet)
Official Color: red
Official Flower: lehua ohia

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