HAWAII · THE ISLAND HAWAII
Big Island Hawaii with a bubbling volcano
It is the biggest of the islands and normally it is called "Big Island" in order to distinguish it from the state of Hawaii.
Big Island is also called "Orchid Island" because all kinds of orchids are bred here, especially on the east coast around the town of Hilo, because there is five times as much rain here than on the west coast. That is also the reason why Japanese settlers planted "Liliuokalani Gardens" in this place, a charming park. It is situated next to the harbour with its fish auctions every morning.
The great attraction of Big Island is the "Volcanoes National Park". On this "Drive-in-Volcano" one can watch the steaming lava lake of this still active volcano from a safe distance. Visitors hope to experience a live eruption under the safe guidance of Park Rangers. This is not completely unlikely because the lava in the crater of the Kilaueia is continually bubbling. Its latest eruption took place in 1883. According to experts the volcano Mauna Loa is due to erupt soon, too.
If you have had enough of barren lava fields and steaming craters, you can visit the lush Waipio Valley in the north of the island, or you can go to the west coast (where you find the best beaches) to the "City of Refuge". This Puuohonua-o-Honaunau was a safe place where persecuted people - fugitive warriors or convicts- found protection. Today it is a national park full of palm trees.