Posts Tagged ‘activities’

The Whales are Back!

January 1st, 2011

The humpback whales are back to the Big Island of Hawaii to enjoy the warm waters for the winter.  These fascenating creatures are a must see if you have not seen them before.

Every year they show up to the Hawaiian Islands around December and stay until March for mating season.  If you stay at any of the oceanfront or beachfront properties you can typically see them from your lanai with binoculars.  There are some oceanfront villas at Hali’i Kai that offer some great whale watching.  You can spend hours sitting on your lanai and watching then play in the blue waters of the Pacific.

There are several whale watch tours offered on the island that take you up close with the mammels.  OceanSports is the most conveniently located at A’Bay at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  Many of the whale watches guarantee seeing a whale.  When there are a lot of whales many of the snorkeling tours turn into whale watches as you pass so many on your way to the snorkeling destination.

If you stay at Kolea at Waikoloa or Halii Kai at Waikoloa you can see the whales just off the lanais of your vacation rentals.

Next time you are on the Big Island of Hawaii in the winter months take time to enjoy these beautiful mammels.

Twilight at Mauna Lani’s Eva Parker Woods Cottage

April 1st, 2010

Twilight is the post popular monthly event at Mauna Lani Resort.  On a Saturday each month closest to the full moon there is a gathering in the evening for music, storytelling, and sharing of Hawaiian culture elements at Eva Parker cottage at Mauna Lani Resort.  It is a great time to relax and learn about the Hawaiian culture on a beachfront setting.
Here are the dates for 2010:
April 24, May 29, June 26, July 24, August 21, September 25, October 23, November 20, and December 18.
Time: 5:30-8:30 pm
Dates are subject to change so please contact Danny Akaka at (808) 885-6622 ext. 7065 or Pii at for information.

Mauna Kea Star Gazing

November 11th, 2009

The original Sunset and Stargazing tours started 25 years ago.  Back then, Pat Wright conducted his tours from an old Land Cruiser.  The Land Cruiser has since been replaced with Deluxe Arctic Survival Parkas and Gloves.  What has not changed is the passion with which this tour continues today.

The trip begines mid-afternoon.  Depending on your pick up location (starbucks in the Waikoloa Kings Shops), an exclusive Van Terra vehicle will transport you.  Your tour time will last 7 to 8.25 hours.  Informative guides will teach you about geology, natural history, and the geography of the island, as they take you on your journey to Mauna Kea.

These spacious four wheel drive vans can easily hold 13 passengers.  Oversized windows, heating and air conditioning systems, upgraded suspension, overhead storage, and an aisle height of 6’2″ are some of the luxurious features.  The initial stop at the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center will allow you to acclimate to the 9,000′ elevation and enjoy a hearty supper.

Select in advance one of the following delicious meals to be served at the Onizuka Visitors Center Lanai:
KhoChu Jang Glazed Beef Ribs (spicy sweet), Jasmine Rice, Namasu (cucumber) Salad (Served Hot)
Teriyaki Glazed Chicken, Jasmine Rice and a Pineapple Relish (Served Hot)
Tofu Spinach Wrap with a Cream Sauce and a Cranberry Tabouleh Salad (Served cold) ** Can be made vegan
All choices are served with a scrumptuous, homemade chocolate brownie.  Beverages with dinner are not provided, but may be purchased at the Visitors Center, or you may bring along a non-alcoholic drink.

Marvel at the telescope viewings, learn about the astronomers who work there, then snuggle into your parka and gloves for the steep 1/2 hour drive to the summit area.  Here your guide will point out the observatories as they begin to open and rotate into position.

Grab a photo opportunity of a lifetime as the sun begins to set.  When the sunset colors have passed, you will descend to mid mountain where the sky is equally clear, but the climate and air is more comfortable for stargazing.  Hot drinks and cookies served halfway through the evening.

Tour Rate: $197
Please provide an approximate men’s parka size for each guest.
Restrictions: This tour is not for those with heart or respiratory conditions or who have/or will scube dive within 24 hours of the tour.  No children under the age of 9 and no children under 13 allowed above 9000 ft.
Tips: Bring a sweater, a bottle of water, and a beverage to have with your dinner and snacks.  Bring fresh camera batteries.
Cancellation Policy: 72 hours

This tour is very popular and you will need to reserve it weeks in advance.  Contact us at (808) 987-4519 or to reserve your Mauna Kea Summit Adventures.

Christmas 2009 on the Big Island of Hawaii

October 13th, 2009

Christmas is the busiest time of year on the Big Island of Hawaii so it is best to plan out your stay in order to get to do everything you want to.  Many of the restaurants, rental car companies, and activities are sold out.  Here is some information that you will find helpful for your stay this Christmas:

Rental Cars– It appears that most of the rental cars are sold out.  They also have some extra vehicles that do not show available online so if you are having trouble finding a vehicle please contact us at

Hilton Waikoloa Pool Pass– Many guests get day passes to use the Hilton pool for a day during their stay.  During the holidays these are very limited so if you would like to take advantage of one of these passes you need to plan well in advance.  If the hotel is full they do not sell pool passes.  Contact us at so we can set it up for you.

Whale Watches/Sunset Sails/Luaus/Helicopter Tours–  These are the three most popular activities during the holidays and typically are sold out a month in advance.  Some are typically available down in Kailua-Kona, but if you are staying in the Waikoloa Beach Resort or Mauna Lani Resort you may not want to drive down there.  Please contact us at if you have any questions regarding these activities.

Mauna Kea Christmas Day Brunch– Mauna Kea Hotel typically has the best Christmas Day brunch.  It is about a 10 minute drive north from Waikoloa Beach Resort on Queen K Hwy.  This is typically sold out two weeks prior to Christmas.

The Charity Trees at Mauna Lani– Each year the Mauna Lani Bay hotel hosts a Christmas tree contest for the local schools.  Each class decorates a Christmas tree and it is placed in the Mauna Lani Bay hotel lobby for the contest.  You can walk through the Mauna Lani Bay and see all the trees as well as the hotel being dressed with poinsettias.  It is great to get you into the Christmas spirit and it’s FREE!

Restaurant Reservations– Most restaurants are sold out for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve two weeks in advance.

Recommend Churches–  There are several churches on the Kohala Coast.  Annunciation Catholic Church in Waimea offers Christmas Eve masses at 5 pm and 10 pm.  The 5 pm mass is a children’s mass. The Christmas Day mass is at 8 am.  It is a beautiful church with windows throughout which allows you to see the mountainous terrain in Waimea.  Please click here to view a map of how how to get to Annunciation Catholic Church.  New Hope Waimea is a nondenominational church in Waimea and offers Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day services.  The Christmas Eve service is typically a very kid friendly service.  Click here to view a map of how to get to New Hope Waimea.  Ascension Catholic Church is one of the closest churches to the Waikoloa Beach Resort.  It offers a Christmas Eve mass at 7:30 pm and Christmas Day mass at 10 am and is just about a 10 minute drive.  Click here to get directions.  These times are tentative and will be updated as the holidays get closer.

Grocery Shopping– Many of the local stores are closed Christmas Eve and all of them are closed Christmas Day.  If you would like to have your grocery shopping done for you please contact us with a list of desired items.  The charge is 30% of the cost of the groceries and will be charged to your credit card on file.

Golf Tee Times– All of the desirable tee times are usually booked well in advance leaving open only afternoon tee times.  Currently the Waikoloa Golf Courses offer the best rate if you reserve your tee time through them directly.  They can be reached at (877) WAIKOLOA for Waikoloa Beach Courses and (808) 885-6622 for Mauna Lani Courses.  If you want to play outside of the resort you are staying at, please contact us at and we can arrange discounted rates for you as long as you reserve your tee times two weeks in advance.

Late Check Outs– We are unable to offer late check outs or early check ins during this very busy season.  If you have a late flight on your departure date we can arrange you a day room at the Marriott or Hilton at a good rate.  It is very important to do this now as both hotels are typically sold out.  Please let us know if you would like for us to make this reservation for you.

We hope you find this information helpful and please contact us at (808) 987-4519 or for help scheduling any of your activities while you are on the Big Island of Hawaii.

New Years EveThere will be fireworks at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.  The show more than likely will be at Queens Bowl, which is towards the front of the resort.  They typically release where they will be shot off from a few days prior to New Years Eve.  If it is clear, the best spot is to go to Kawaihae to the Seafood Bar and enjoy cocktails there and then to watch all the fireworks get shot off from the various resorts along the coast from where the road “y’s” going down into Kawaihae Harbor (this can only be done on a clear New Years).

Pearl Harbor Tour

August 29th, 2009

One of the most popular off island attractions is Pearl Harbor, which is located on Oahu.  Many know the history of Pearl Harbor, but to see the U.S.S. Missouri and Arizona Memorial is person offers an experience of a lifetime!

I highly recommend making the trip a full day trip.  You can purchase your interisland air here.  You will want to fly into HNL.  You can get a rental car and Pearl Harbor is about a five minute drive from the airport.  There is a $16 admission fee for the U.S.S. Missouri and you can also get an audio tour or an iPod video tour for less than $10.  The audio tour is sufficient if you desire one of them.  It is hard to follow the video tour while also walking throughout the U.S.S. Missouri.  The cost for an adult is $60.  If you want to take the longer tour which also takes you to the Pacific Avaiation Museam the cost is $75.

While on the U.S.S. Missouri you will have the opportunity to stand on the “surrender deck” where World War II ended.  While inside you will get to see the quarters in which the soldiers slept.  You will also get a look at all the weapons that made the U.S.S. Missouri so feared.

Getting to take a boat out to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and seeing the “Black Tears of the Arizona” is breathtaking.

Although you can do all of this on your own, I would highly recommend taking one of the guided tours.  It can be a little overwhelming if you are not familiar with everything.  There are shuttles and boats that take you from place to place.  If you are on of the of the guided tours it helps out a ton, you get a lot more information, and the cost is not that much more.

Contact us at (808) 987-4519 or for help scheduling your trip to Pearl Harbor.

Akaka Falls State Park

August 23rd, 2009

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls is the best known waterfall on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Akaka Falls is a 442 foot tall waterfall that plunges down into a deep gorge.  When you enter Akaka Falls State Park there is a circular trail through a tropical setting that will give you views of Akaka falls, streams, and also Kahuna Falls.  One good thing to note is that you will want to go through the from the right as you enter.  The right side of the trail is steeper and has a lot of stairs.  If you are not able to make the full hike, you can go to the left and see Akaka Falls and then turn around and come back the same way.  Kahuna Falls is really just a smaller version of Akaka Falls so you would not be missing much.

ZipLine Big Island Style

June 28th, 2009

The Big Island is home to a new and exciting activity that is in great demand. Once used as a mode of transportation for people and goods, zip lining started a craze for adventurous folks looking for an adrenaline rush. The start up of Big Island Eco Adventures Zipline Canopy Tour has combined the beauty of the Big Island with the thrill of the zip line.  This low impact activity requires low to moderate physical strength, which expands it’s popularity among more than just the adrenaline junkies.

Located in Kapa’au, just past the King Kamehameha statue is the check in base yard for the Zipline Canopy Tour. It is approximately an hour’s drive from Waikoloa Beach Resort. The maximum group count per tour will not exceed ten guests to ensure personal attention. Guests are then tucked into a Pinzgauer, a 6wd Swiss Army vehicle, for a 30 minute off road journey. The beauty of North Kohala provides gorgeous scenery as the ride takes you from a few hundred feet above sea level to the 2200’ level. Keep on the look out for wild pigs and wild cows.

Once you arrive at the course, a brief hike will deliver you to the first zip line which is in the 200’ long range. It is the keiki line, and it designed to gently welcome you to the ziplines. The remaining 7 ziplines increase in length, with the last one spanning approximately 1100’ feet. The ziplines give you an awesome view of the forest, ravines and at least 3 waterfalls. The last two will take your breath away with views of Maui, the Kohala Lighthouse and a waterfall. You may be an expert steersman by the end of the tour.

The course also includes a wooden bridge and a suspension bridge. A cantilevered pavilion affectionately known as the “Mac Nut Hut” offers a vantage point overlooking a 32’ waterfall. Delicious homemade snacks such as granola energy bars, pineapple or banana bread, or crackers with lilikoi butter have been prepared for you by a local children’s group. Home grown fresh fruits, macadamia nuts and Aloha drinks are also part of the snack stop.

The four hour adventure ends with your downhill Pinzgauer safari. During the winter season, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for whale sightings. This tour is one of the hottest new attractions, sure to leave you with a distinct memory of the Big Island that is only now available.

The tours are daily on the hour from 8 to 2.

Big Island Vacation Tips

April 14th, 2009

The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest and most diverse island of the Hawaiian Islands.  We have put together a list of items that hopefully be helpful for your stay.

Discount on Hawaiian Air
Hawaiian Airlines offers flights from the many cities on the west cost to the Hawaiian islands as well as interisland flights.  We have set up an account with Hawaiian Airlines that often gets our guests discounts.  If a discount is not available, it will offer you the best possible rate.  Click here to enjoy discounted rates on Hawaiian Air.

Discount Rental Cars
Click here to enjoy discounted rates on Avis Rental cars.

My 5 Must Dos On the Big Island of Hawaii- These are some of my personal favorites and is targeted at offering something for everyone.

5- Treat yourself to at least one nice dinner at one of the many fine restaurants.  My personal favorite is Norios at the Fairmont Orchid.  It has the best sushi I have ever eaten.  The CanoeHouse at Mauna Lani Bay offers nice ambiance as well as a Pacific Rim cuisine.

4- If you are here during the winter months, take a whale watch tour.  These tours opper up close encounters with the humpback whales as they come to the islands to mate and give birth.  Seeing one breach up close or seeing a mother and her child swim together are some of the most amazing sites you can see in the wild.

3- The Big Island of Hawaii is filled with beaches.  From green sand….to red sand….to black sand….to white sand beaches, the Big Island has them all.  Do some research on some of the beaches the Big Island has and find one of the ones that most people don’t go to that would be good for you.  I recommend Beach 69.  It is just about 7 miles north of the Waikoloa Beach Resort (make sure to take slippers though).

2- Hawaii has some of the most beautiful marine life in the world.  Take a day excursion to find some of the great snorkeling spots or take one of the many tours that will take you to some of the best spots on the island.  Hint:  Kealekekua Bay is the best spot around.

1- Take a helicopter tour around the Big Island of Hawaii.  My personal favorite tour includes a landing for a picnic lunch in a valley on the north end of the island.

Contact Waikoloa Vacation Rentals at for more information.