Page Twelve: Hilo Hawaii Summary

Los Angeles To Midway To Hawaii To Los Angeles In 21 Days

Previous: Page 11 - Kona; Golfing At The Plantation Next: Page 13 - Hilo Photos

Hilo, Hawaii
Song: Hilo March

Hilo is a coastal city in the State of Hawai'i, and is the largest community on the island of Hawai'i. The population was 40,759 at the 2000 census. Hilo is the county seat of Hawai'i County, Hawai'i, and is situated in the South Hilo District.

The city overlooks Hilo Bay, and is near two shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa, considered active, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano upon which some of the best ground-based astronomical observatories are placed.


Although archaeological evidence is scant, people certainly inhabited the areas along Hilo Bay, Wailuku and Wailoa Rivers before the Western world made contact. Missionaries came to Hilo in the early to middle 1800s, founding several churches, notably Haili Church .

Hilo expanded as sugar plantations in the surrounding area made sure that they didn't move and drew in many workers from Asia , and the city became a trading center.

A breakwater across Hilo Bay was begun in the 1900s and completed in 1929. On April 1 , 1946 , a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a 14-meter high tsunami that hit Hilo hours later, killing 160 people. In response an early warning system, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center , was established to track these killer waves and provide warning.

On May 23, 1960, another tsunami, caused by a 9.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile the previous day, claimed 61 lives allegedly due to people's failure to heed warning sirens. Low-lying bay front areas of the city on Waiākea peninsula and along Hilo Bay, previously populated, were rededicated as parks and memorials.

Secrets Of Puna Was The Name Of Our Land Tour

There are a number of tours offered in Hawaii and you can even rent a car, grab a map and venture out on your own. But if you want to relax, feel pampered, and have someone knowledgeable that knows the ins and outs of Hawaii and the tricky roads to get to some of these spots, this tour is for you.  See our pictures!

KapohoKine does everything first class, starting off with the transportation. You are chauffeured in an SUV that holds no more than seven people and inside you have two monitors that allow you to see some of the history behind the island and your guide also provides insight on the drive and gives you plenty of information as to what you are seeing.

The first stop is Kaimu, once considered the finest black sand beach in the world. But since 1990 and the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano, Kaimu has been covered by 75 feet of lava. This is worth the price of the tour itself, as you take a hike over this hardened lava on your way to the beach you will just be amazed that all this happened just a mere 17 years ago.

The next stop is a small local park right on the edge of the ocean and leads you up to the edge of some monstrous cliffs and monstrous waves. It is a truly beautiful sight to see, but don’t turn your back on the ocean as those waves look small coming in, but they grow in size quickly and can come crashing over the top.

On to lunch, which we enjoyed next to a macadamia nut field that provided plenty of sun and a gorgeous view. Your tour guides will cook an authentic Hawaiian lunch right in front of you to enjoy. I only wish the lunch was longer so I could have enjoyed a few more Humpback Blue Beers, a fabulous local beer that is brewed in Hilo by the Mehana Brewery.

The tour continues to a very secluded volcanically heated pond and gives you a chance to snorkel and get an up-close look at a variety of sea-life, including some large sea turtles. If you’re not up for snorkeling, you can just swim, relax in the shallow part of the water, catch some sun, or talk to some of the locals who come to visit the secret spot. After seeing the rough drive it takes to get to this spot, you will appreciate the driving of your guide and you will also realize if you rented a car you likely would either not get in or get out taking these rough roads.

The final stop of the day is the Lava Tree State Park and the name of the park says it all. In 1790 the jungle was overrun with lava flow and the park has some amazing and deep lava craters as well as trees that are so large it makes you feel like you are in the land of giants.

Previous: Page 11 - Kona; Golfing At The Plantation Next: Page 13 - Hilo Photos