Sometimes referred to as ‘Big Island’, the island of Hawai’i has a wonderful array of contrasts. Every few miles the scenery changes, from black lava fields and snow-capped peaks to tropical rainforests and in fact 11 of the world’s 13 climates can be found on Hawai’i. The island is home to Volcanoes National Park, where red-hot lava from the world’s largest active volcano pours into the sea.
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Located on the south-eastern part of Hawaii island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the result of at least 70 million years of volcanic activity. Created to preserve the natural setting of Ki-lauea and Mauna Loa, the park is also a refuge for the island's native plants and animals and provides a link to its human past. Park managers and scientists work to protect the resources and promote understanding and appreciation of the park. Research by scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory makes Ki-lauea one of the best understood volcanoes in the world, shedding light on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and the beginnings of Earth. The park offers visitors a wide variety of sights and activities, including scenic drives, lava tubes, museums, steam vents and walking trails.
Honolulu is the gateway to the beautiful beaches of Waikiki and Diamond Head as well as historic Pearl Harbour. Honolulu is full of stylish hotels and a wide variety of shops. The traditional Hawaiian character is sometimes hard to find in what is a very modern American city, however many of the restaurants and hotels have tried hard to keep a sense of their city's heritage.
The Kohala Coast stretches along the north western coastline of Hawai'i (also known as the Big Island). The scenery here varies from lava fields to coastal plains and green valleys. In the north is Mo'okini Heiau, one of the oldest and most historically significant temples in the Hawaiian islands, in the south is the Puako Petroglyph Preserve, a site with over 3,000 ancient lava carvings, some dating back to 1000 AD.
The second largest of the Hawaiian islands, Maui is also the most diverse, with lush tropical scenery and volcanic landscapes. Travel the beautiful Hana Highway, where waterfalls spill beside the road; drive to the summit of Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano; or take a cruise in search of whales. Three of the main tourist areas are Ka'anapali, Kapalua and Wailea, which all have luxury hotels and fine beaches.
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