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Archive for the Category "Hawaii Volcano"

Waterfalls & Gardens on Hawaii Island Aug 07

 

 

Umauma Falls

Umauma Falls

World Botanical Gardens and Umauma Falls  is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Hawai’i, and a must to include on your list of things to do while visiting Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau and to experience Hawaii’s Natural Beauty. Visitors can experience this beautiful garden by car and on foot. Drive to view exotic palms, banana, kukui and hala trees en route to the spectacular triple-tiered Umauma Falls. Along the way you wind through hau, hibiscus and native Hawaiian plants to the lush Rainforest Walk  that grow along the Honopueo Stream and grims with tropical plants such as ginger, heliconia, green and red jade vine and bamboo. Rainbow Gardens filled with orchids, bromeliads, palms, ti, cinnamon, allspice, the pencil tree and other tropical species. Allow time during your visit to see the adjacent Arboreteum and the Children’s Maze to wander around at your own pace.

The guided tour of the gardens takes approximately 2 hours with horticulturist and Garden Director Dr. Lanny Neel, every Monday and Thursday or by appointment with catered lunch or bring a picnic lunch.

Enjoy the gardens via Segway Tour  or through the air by zipline

Call (808) 963-5427 to schedule your guided tour- Reservations are required or 1-888-947-4753

Directions : From Kona: Take Hwy 19 through Waimea south to Mile Marker 16 and turn right at the sign.  From Hilo: Take Hwy 19 north to Mile Marker 16- left at the sign.

World Botanical Gardens & Umauma Falls  Hours  Open Daily 9am – 5:30pm

To get started planning your visit to Hawaii  contact  Linda Dancer  Hawaii Master Destination Specialist

via  Email Linda@honeymoonsinc.com  Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

A New Day Dawns for The Volcano House Hotel Feb 14

For visitors like myself who had been fortunate to visit the iconic Volcano House Hotel, and had the opportunity to warm our hands in front of the stone hearth fireplace dedicated to Pele(that was reported to burn continuously for 133 years) I was saddened to learn that the fire was left to burn out on New Year’s Day 2010.  As with with most contracts and agreements it was time for much needed improvements to the Hotel, Cabins, Campground, Dining Room and Gift Shop to be made and the search was on for a new partner to assist the National Park Service in bringing Hawaii’s oldest hotel( dating to 1846)  to a fully resored new life.

Volcano House

Volcano House

 

 

I am so glad to report  that Hawaii Island’s Volcano House Hotel is back and better than ever ! 

From its humble beginnings as a one-room grass shelter to the newly restored hotel today, visitors will be in for a treat much as they were from the very beginning. Officially reopened  following a $4million retrofitting and safety upgrades by the National Park Service and an additional $3Million in renovations and refurbishments by concessioners/owners Ortega Family Enterprices.

Taking advantage of the incredible natural beauty of its unique location as the only hotel within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, hotel guest fortunate enough to book a room with a view of the crater might catch a glimpse of the spectacular glow of Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater, others might have a view of the amazing rainforest that surrounds the property.

Book a room with a Volcano Crater View

Book a room with a Volcano Crater View

Refurbished Guest Rooms: Gone are the dated colors and out dated rooms and replaced by in room touches such as Kohler fixtures,42 inch flat screen HDTVs, modern contemporary furniture with warm color palette for a relaxed and comfortable setting with views of the park, rainforest and crater available.

Namakanipaio Camper Cabins:  are located about three miles from the hotel, are 200 square feet and sleep up to four people- refurbishments include new flooring – Bed linens and towels are provided – there is no electricity or electric outlets in the cabins – no bathrooms or running water in cabin but guest utilize he newly refurbished community bathroom located in the campground with hot showers & toilets(soap and toilet paper provided).  Each cabin has an outside firepit and bbq grill.

Namakanipaio Campsites: Looking for a true camping experience within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, then pitch a tent at one of the 16 campsites- based upon a first come /first served basis , $15.00 per night – a 7 night maximum stay- and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park entrance fee applies- no showers at the campsites -only restrooms.

The Rim Restaurant buffet of old has been replaced by  The Rim  – newly refurbished restaurant at the Volcano House overlooking the rim of Kilauea caldera and the billowing Halema’uma’u Crater . Featuring the best of Hawaii Island fresh local ingredients the creative island cuisine boasts that at least 95% of the restaurant’s meat,seafood,fruit and vegetables are sourced from local ranchers,farmers and supplers.

Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – when planning your trip to visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, if you aren’t able to stay at the hotel, at least stop by and visit The Rim  or George’s Lounge for appetizers and a cocktail. Reservations (808)756-9625

Volcano House Hotel / Crater Rim Drive/Hawaii National Park, HI 96718  Reservations 808-441-7750 or 1-866-536-7972

Volcano House is once again proud to welcome visitors with a renewed commitment to Hawaiian hospitality with a number of sustainable initiatives including recycling program, local food sourcing, an Environmental Management System certification, Hawaii Green Business certification, and becoming a Waste Wise partner and Energy Star partner.

To get started booking your trip to Hawaii Island – Contact Linda Dancer  Direct Line 828-256-1520  Toll Free  1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

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Some of my favorite locals Nov 22
Kauai Roosters

Kauai Roosters

 

I can still remember my first visit to Kaua’i and was amazed to find so many roosters. I like most visitors wondered why in the world this beautiful tropical island had so many colorful roosters, and being from the country found it so funny to hear one crowing in the morning.  The debate goes on about just how the roosters became so predominate on Kaua’i, but one of the theories associates Hurricane Iniki which hit Kaua’i in 1992 and decimated several chicken farms thus when the coops were destroyed the chickens and roosters were left to roam freely. There are no real natural predators to the roosters on the islands, for some reason the mongooses that keep them at bay on most of the other islands  just did not like Kaua’i. Most return visitors to Kaua’i just accept them as part of the local culture and hardly notice them anymore, and they do take care of the insect population in part as well.

 

Nene Geese

Nene Geese

 

 

 The Nene (pronounced NayNay)  is the Hawai’i State Bird – a land bird and a variety of the Hawaiian Goose-found in some of the harshest of Hawaiian locations it has adapted itself to the lava rock and barren areas like in the Volcano National Park where I photographed this pair- Hunting and wild animals took its toll on the birds and all but destroyed the species until they were named as endangered species and protected by law in 1949 and the restoration project began to build the numbers back up throughout the islands. Both male and female have the same color of plumage a golden buff  color with  black head and distinct diagonal furrows that run the length of their neck.

 

Monk Seal

Unlike most seals that prefer their home to be in frigid waters, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is a rare exception that makes its home in the warm waters     around Hawaii. Getting its name from the folds of its skin that somewhat resembles a monk’s cowl, and habitually they are found alone or in very small groups. I think they just have the sweetest faces. The Hawaiian name for the monk seal is “llio holo I ka uaua which translated means – dog that runs in rough water. Due to their declining numbers caused by their coastal habitats being disturbed as humans occupy more and more coastline  several resorts  such as Grand Hyatt Kaua’i have partnered with Monk Seal Watch Program as well as the Waikiki Aquarium house a couple to educate the public. Today they are an endangered species but unfortunately their numbers continue to decline. The Monk Seal Foundation and other organizations work tirelessly as well to educate visitors and locals alike.

Honu

Honu

 

Other than the whales that visit the islands  from late December through April and the pods of spinner dolphins found throughout the islands, probably one of the most photographed locals is the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) such as the one I was lucky enough to catch sun bathing on the North Shore of Oahu. Considered a “Threatened Species”, the number of turtles found throughout the islands is increasing. This increase has occurred primarily through the mission of several organizations such as Malama na Honu, a non profit 501(c)(3) corportation with over 60 active volunteers that try to educate both locals and public alike. Honu guardian volunteers are on the beach every day to do their part to protect these beautiful creatures.

 

 

Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line: 828-256-1520  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

 

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Hawai’i Island – Outdoor Science Classroom Feb 28

Oceanography

Visitors have always been drawn to Hawai’i (The Big Island) because  of world class resorts, championship golf courses, big game  fishing , waterfalls and so much more, but many do not realize the island is also an amazing outdoor science classroom. Hawai’i Island has something amazing around every bend in the road with science adventures in the areas of Oceanography/Marine Science, Volcanoes and Volcanology, Astronomy, Geography/Biology/Natural History, Aquaculture/Agriculture and Renewable Energy Resources.  Regardless of where you are staying on the island  there are a multitude of places to visit, coded maps to help you locate some of the sites and there are several tour operators that specialize in these areas of exploration as well. Easy access to many of these areas of interest  would make this a wonderful island for families to make their family vacation a wonderful opportunity to learn,so much more exciting than a school class room. Nothing compares to seeing the steam escaping from a volcano, going down into a lava tube and seeing the turtles swimming in a tide pool. The Manta Ray Experience  by far is one of the unique experiences of my life.Dolphin Quest program at the Hilton Waikokoa Village Resort gives visitors the opportunity to interact with dolphins through several programs led by marine mammal experts.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Most people have seen a fiery eruption or red hot lava flow from at least Kilauea, even if just on The Weather Channel,  but Volcanoes National Park actually features two of the world’s most active volcanoes Kilauea and Maunaloa. Within the 500 square mile park visitors  can see the process of volcanoes over the last 70 million years,calderas, pit craters,cinder cones,dried lava lakes,sulfurous cracks and fissures,lava tubes (Thurston being the most famous). Home to the legendary Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Visitors will enjoy their visit to the park so much more if they take time to visit the Visitor’s Center first for a quick course in geology, natural history, park layout and safety.You will want to also visit the Observatory, Jaggar Museum perched on Kilauea Crater, and the Thurston Lava Tube, all located on the 11 mile Crater Rim Drive. The park is so big you’ll want to drive but be sure and get out along the way and hike some of the 150 miles of marked trails — Park rangers will also advise you if any active lava flows are accessible during your visit. For the latest eruption updates and geneal park info www.nps.gov/havo or call (808) 985-6000.

Fish Ponds

Aquaculture  and agriculture have always been an important part in the live of native Hawaiians, especially ancient Hawaiian Fishponds such as those at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Kaloko Honokohau National Park and the recently renovated Keauhou Resort Heiau project are great examples of fishponds. There are also several land-based farms  that are so interesting  such  as Hawaii Vanilla, Kona Coffee Farms,Hamakua  Mushrooms and the festive Hilo Farmers Market  is one of the best open markets in Hawai’i where you can sample and purchase wonderful fresh local produce, fresh flowers for your room during your visit, have a fresh fruit smoothie or purchase hand crafted items. Hawai’i AgVentures operated by the Big Island Farm Bureau offers a variety of family farm tours. If you are into Renewable Energy Resources  you might want to visit Kahua Ranch in North Kahala in addition to other tours they also provide their own power with wind turbines  or you can contact them  (808) 882-4646. Being blessed with lots of sunshine and strong trade winds Hawai’i Island has the potential to be an international showcase for alternative renewable energy resource exploration.

Maunakea

Polynesians  used the stars to guide their voyages around the Pacific  and ultimately to discover the Hawaiian Islands, so how fitting that Astronomy would also be such an important part of the opportunities of discovery available on Hawai’i Island. Located 13,796 feet high on the summit of Maunakea, you will find 13 astronomical observatories and is considered the world’s best observing site. Beginning with the first telescope in 1968, several groundbreaking discoveries have been made from the various telescopes, there are are more in the plans to be added in the future,making this the home of some of the largest telescopes in the world. For sure a visit to the summit would be a highlight of your visit to Hawai’i Island – I suggest you take a tour such as Mauna Kea Summit Adventures  or Hawai’i Forest & Trail as the weather conditions can be unpredictable and severe.  ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i   in Hilo  is another wonderful opportunity to learn about the 13 observatories located on Maunakea plus a full-dome, state of the art planetarium, plus 3-D presentations of data collected from the Subaru Telescope – plus several unique experiences that tie Native Hawaiian Culture and lanuguage to today’s astronomical discoveries. Located at the University of Hawai’i Hilo Science and Technology Park   www.imiloahawaii.org     contact them (808) 969-9700 , also  a wonderful cafe and gift shop.

For more information on booking your Hawai’i Island Vacation  or any of the tours mentioned in this blog post:

Contact Linda Dancer Hawaii Master Destination Specialist    Toll Free   1-888-811-1888 est 331

Direct Line (828) 256-1520 or by Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

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