Tanya Hurley from Travel Associates Runaway Bay recently returned from a trip to Hawaii and discovered that a wide range of activities await visitors to the Big Island. Here’s what she had to say about the experiences.
Lava and Rainforest Adventure with Paradise Helicopters
After a safety briefing and prep, we hopped into our helicopter for a Lava and Rainforest Adventure. Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously for more than 30 years and viewing the recent volcanic activity from above was one of the most amazing things I have experienced. Seeing the way the lava snaked through the countryside and hearing stories of how the locals’ lives were affected while flying over some of the newest land in the world was extraordinary. Seeing Fissure 8 still billowing steam and gas, was truly memorable. We also soared over Hilo’s lush rainforest, Mauna Loa’s vistas and the plunging Wai‘ānuenue (Rainbow Falls), so named for the rainbows you can see in the mist when the early morning sunshine hits the water, before heading back to the airport.
Zipline Tour with Kapohokine Adventures
We started our zipline adventure with a BBQ lunch and a few champagnes for Dutch courage before setting off to experience the thrill of soaring on four of the eight ziplines that travel over native Hawaiian rainforest and the lush brilliance of the Honolii River and its thunderous waterfalls. We enjoyed panoramic ocean views as we worked our way down the mountain and I was happily surprised to see a lot of older people having a go as there was a cruise ship in port.
Manta Ray night snorkelling with SeaQuest
This is an amazing and unique experience that is only available at three places on the entire planet. At the mouth of Keauhou Bay, we dived into the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean in the darkness of night to watch giant manta rays as large as five metres across and weighing 450kg soar gracefully beneath us – a nocturnal ballet you won’t soon forget. I was a little scared about being in the ocean at night but that fear quickly subsides as the lightboards highlight the action below.
Ueshima Coffee Company
Ascend an extinct volcano in Kona and you will find the Ueshima Coffee Company. Here we learnt how coffee is grown and processed, including weighing, washing, sorting, pulping and drying. We got to taste coffee berries when they are first picked and even got to roast our own coffee beans to suit our preferred taste. Afterwards, my custom roast was ground and packaged for me to take home with my own private coffee label for a truly distinct signature coffee.
Kona Brewing Co
This is an ideal activity lovers of craft beer. We toured the brewery and learnt its history and future plans before tasting the various brews. They also serve an amazing lunch, which is just as well with all that beer to sample!
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