Big Island Adventures

Exciting new Big Island adventures await today's active travelers By: Marty Wentzel
A cruise with Lava Ocean Tours enables passengers to get up-close with lava flowing into the ocean. // © 2013 Lava Ocean Tours
A cruise with Lava Ocean Tours enables passengers to get up-close with lava flowing into the ocean. // © 2013 Lava Ocean Tours

With its flowing lava, teeming seas, lush valleys and grassy plains, the natural environment of Hawaii Island — dubbed the Big Island — is ripe for exciting explorations. Opportunities keep growing for memorable visitor activities by land, by sea and in the air, making this a perfect time to book Big Island adventures. Here are the latest additions to the destination’s long list of outdoor escapades.

Hawaii Forest and Trail
On the company’s new Hakalau (many perches) Forest National Wildlife Refuge Adventure, outdoor buffs can explore the first National Wildlife Refuge established for forest birds and witness some of the rarest plants and animals on earth. Hawaii Forest and Trail guides visitors along a four-wheel-drive road that bisects a meadow between upper and lower forest elevations during the full-day adventure, which includes two to four miles of hiking. www.hawaii-forest.com

Humdinger Sportfishing
Clients can reel in some thrills on a deep sea fishing excursion off the Kona Coast. Striped marlin and mahi mahi are typically in season during the winter months, and whale sightings are prevalent so anglers could be in for an extra special surprise. Through May 31, Humdinger Sportfishing is offering a special deal of $399 for a half-day fishing charter for up to six people. www.humdingersportfishing.com

Kona Boys
Water lovers can sail the seas from Keauhou Bay to Kealakekua Bay on Kona Boys’ new Historic Hawaiian Sail and Snorkel Tour. Led by a Hawaiian waterman in a double-hulled outrigger canoe, guests learn about myths, history and legends of the area while watching for whales and dolphins and exploring the coastline. Once at the historic bay, they enjoy a full hour of clear, calm snorkeling near the Captain Cook Monument and the historic village of Kaawaloa. www.konaboys.com

Lava Ocean Tours
The Hawaiian volcano goddess Madame Pele is in full force these days and her red hot rivers of lava are once again flowing into the ocean. That makes this the perfect time to sign up for an ocean excursion with Lava Ocean Tours. Passengers can see, hear and feel the heat from their front row seat on the USCG-rated 34-foot, 24-passenger vessel Lavakai. Daily departures from the island’s southeast coast take place at sunrise, morning, sunset and twilight. www.seelava.com

Ocean Sports
For travelers who don’t want to abandon their workout routines during vacation, Ocean Sports now offers a variety of classes and activities from Sundays through Fridays at Anaehoomalu Bay, part of Waikoloa Beach Resort. Clients can join an experienced team of fitness professionals for an exhilarating Beach Body Workout or a relaxing yoga class under the palms for $10 per class. No experience is necessary as classes are tailored to all fitness levels and goals. www.hawaiioceansports.com

Paradise Helicopters
The new Helizip Air Adventures begins with a helicopter departure from Kona Airport heading towards Kilauea Volcano, where passengers witness the majesty of one of the world's most active volcanoes. After landing at Hilo Airport, the tour continues at Zipline Through Paradise, where visitors experience the only eight-line, side-by-side course in the state, followed by a picnic lunch and the flight back to Kona. Along the way, guests are treated to stunning views of Hawaii Island's coastlines, valleys and waterfalls. www.paradisecopters.com

>