April of 2019 a group of friends and I travelled to the main island of Hawaii. The six of us stayed in Kailua-Kona during our two-week stay. During our stay, we were able to do some very fun and very adventurous activities. Here’s a breakdown of my favourite parts:
White Road hike is an intermediate trek that leads to a “secret water slide”. The reason why it is secret is that technically the hike is illegal. May need to tell that to the hundreds of posts online giving directions on how to get the water slide. Now that I am admitting I did an illegal hike, I may as well explain why it was so worth doing!
This hike has its challenges. We went during the rainy season causing many deep and muddy puddles to form. Once started it is about a mile walk to the first scenic point. This is a stunning waterfall across the way hidden in the jungle bush. The second portion of the hike gets harder, as you need to manoeuvre on narrow cliff-side paths and over an old sugar cane aqueduct. Once you have gotten to the aqueduct, you are almost there. The last portion of this hike was definitely the most unique. In this portion, we stepped into the dark tunnels and hiked in knee-height water until we made it to our destination.
The end of the tunnel leads you to the water slide! The slide is not for the faint at heart, the water rushes quickly and launches you down very fast. The only way to get to the top of the slide was also tricky as all you have is a small rope helping you climb vertically up a slippery cliff side.
Warning, if you want to go to this beach you will need a 4×4. To get to Waipi’o black sand beach you must drive down a step on-way unpaved road. The beach has indescribable beauty. The black sand pulls out the lush colours in the jungle. A view of a waterfall can be seen while swimming or suntanning. During my time on the beach, we were also able to see wild horses.
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano and is the highest point in all of Hawaii. Its hight makes it the most beautiful location for watching sunset and stargazing. Again you will need a 4×4 as that is the only way to get to the summit. Driving up the mountain you are parallel with the clouds until you reach the summit where it seems as though you are on top of the world. We watched the most stunning sunset while feeling on top of the world until we had to drive down a little further the mountain the star gaze. Mauna Kea officials don’t allow people to stay on the summit during nightfall as the drive down is very dangerous in the dark. However, the peak below the summit did not disappoint with the spectacular stargazing.
Kona is known around the world for this spectacular diving experience. The manta ray dive is at night and you have an option to snorkel if you don’t have diving certification. I opted to snorkel and my boyfriend, Brady chose to dive. The reason why this experience is at night is because that’s when the manta rays feed on the plankton. Divers hold lights while staying at the bottom of the ocean floor. Snorkellers hold onto a dock-like mechanize with a light that shines downwards. As a snorkeller, we were able to float on the top of the ocean while looking down. The manta rays have no boundaries and while you can’t them, they don’t get the memo not to touch you. There were many times the dancing manta rays stomachs touched mine as they fed on the plankton.
This was where my bravery ended. The south point cliff jump is well known on the big island and is about a 40-foot jump into the water. If you are feeling extra brave, there is also a wooden tower to add extra height to your jump. I did not personally jump but the guys in the group did. Their words of wisdom were that the ladder to get back up was scarier than the jump down.
If you’re looking for magma and vapour, this is the right location for you. Unfortunately, our trip was after a small eruption so a lot of the park was blocked off to the public. We sill go to experience the vapour in the air from the volcano and the scenic drives throughout the park. It was disappointing not to be able to do all the features of the park, but it makes for a reason to go back to the big island and do it all over again.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done any of these activities!
Also, check out the video my boyfriend made for the trip!