Outrigger canoeing offers an active way to participate in Hawaiian culture. // © 2016 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: Don Riddle
Feature image (above): Hiking Kilauea Iki is a true Big Island experience. // © 2016 iStock
Hawaii Island is known as “the Big Island” because, well, it’s the biggest island in the Hawaiian chain. In fact, at 4,028 square miles, it’s almost twice as big as the other islands combined. That size — along with its unique geography — means there are a wide variety of adventures available to visitors.
Robert Whitfield is regional vice president and general manager at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. When not at work, Whitfield is likely cruising along the island’s coastline in an outrigger canoe.
“I love getting out on the water for a sunrise paddle in an outrigger canoe,” he said. “It’s a great exercise in teamwork and a fantastic workout. There’s no better way to start the day.”
Give It a Try: Guests at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai can explore the scenic Kaupulehu coast on a six- or two-man outrigger canoe on the signature Hualalai experience led by the resort’s Alakai Nalu, or “leaders of the waves.”
Margie Park, sales and marketing manager for Body Glove Cruises, has lived on the Big Island for 26 years. Park says she loves snorkeling while cruising on the company’s 65-foot catamaran along the Kona coast.
“Whether I want to race down the boat’s 20-foot waterslide, or slip into the water slow and steady down the swim steps, I have hours of time to do it all,” Park said. “Having unlimited access to all the options really makes the adventure.”
Snack Time: Park points out that a snorkeling trip on the catamaran includes a lunch of local specialties and organic barbecue burgers, plus, she adds, “a frosty local beer.”
Katie Molzer has been a guide on the island of Hawaii for more than five years. Originally from southern Oregon, she says she fell in love with the people, environment and ocean.
“My favorite adventure activity on the island is hiking Kilauea Iki,” Molzer said. “As you hike inside the crater, you feel the hot steam and imagine what the eruption in 1959 would have looked like with the lava fountain shooting 1,900 feet in the air.”
One of a Kind: Molzer recommends this four-mile hike because Kilauea is one of the things that makes Hawaii Island truly unique. Plus, she says, it’s one of the few craters that visitors can actually walk into on the volcano.