Waterfalls and Splashes of Color -- Monday, 10/06/14

Big Island of Hawaii

I thought a map of the island might be useful for anyone without an atlas on hand or etched in their brain. I added a red arrow to the approximate location of the Hilton Kings Land Resort condo in the heart of Waikoloa, 17 miles north of Kona International Airport. Circling the island by car on the Belt Road takes approx 7-8 hours, and if you stop as often as we do to gawk, admire, and take pics, you'd be on the road for a week! Or more.

Today (Monday) we plan to drive the northern road (Hwy 19) around to Hilo on the eastern (windward) coast, a distance of maybe 75 miles. From Hilo we'll turn SW to Kilauea (Hawai'i Volcanoes Nat'l Park), adding another 33 miles. Then we'll turn around, back to Hilo, and return to the condo by way of the new Saddle Road. I don't know how many miles we'll put on the Charger altogether, but this was the route recommended by the concierge. We got an early start, and we are ready to sight-see! Jimmy will drive first. Funny, my brain was catawampus before arriving in Hawaii -- I had the dry and wet sides mixed up. Hilo gets an average annual rainfall of 126". Kona gets seven. Big difference!

Akaka Falls State Park!  Located about 11 miles north of Hilo and a wonder to behold.  A straight plunge of 442 ft, Akaka Falls is twice the height of Niagara Falls where I grew up (Attention:  Rus, Rob and Nannie), tho Niagara Falls is greater in width and has a higher volume of water. A short loop trail takes visitors thru the lush tropical forest, filled with ferns and exotic flowers, to an overlook where the falls can be seen in all its splendor.

Tom, Diane and Jimmy on the steps, beside a towering bamboo grove.  Biggest bamboo I've ever seen, as thick as my (had to think about the correct body part) calf. 

 Stream bed of lesser Kahuna Falls, lined with bamboo and ferns.

Flowering Red Banana.

Mottled Tooththread (what kind of name is that?) or Fire Spike, very prevalent here.

Akaka Falls!  We are surrounded by lush, green, colorful and over-sized vegetation!  Beauty everywhere!

Red Rattlesnake Plant -- humongous leaves!

Heavenly scented White Ginger. 

I've looked, but I still don't know what this is.  Sure is pretty.  Might be a Heliconia.

This is what we came for ... something we never thought we'd see in person ... lucky us!

This beautiful bay is on the four-mile scenic drive close to Hilo.  A tropical botanical garden is nearby and we debated about going in, but decided against it since we'd already spent an hour or so ogling the gorgeous plant life at Akaka Falls.  We needed to get a move on to Kilauea....

Here's the only picture I got in the actual city of Hilo, but the palms look good, right?

I'll add the volcano post tomorrow.  I'm about posted out!! (and hungry!)


  1. 7-8 hours to go around the island ... would never happen with us driving. Lovely trail to the falls.

    P.S. Did you add word verification to comments? Luckily, the ones that I've been having to complete have been legible.

    1. Yes, I did ... not sure if I'll keep it or not.

  2. That is a spectacular waterfall.

  3. What a waterfall! Wow! And the vegetation! Amazing place, Hawaii. (p.s. nice shirt ya got there...)


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