Big Island is arguably the most interesting out of all the Hawaiian islands as it continues to get ‘bigger’ courtesy of two active volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Kilauea. The latter frequently spews molten rock out into the sea, where it cools and becomes an addition to the island’s land mass.
With its immense area, there’s a lot of ground to explore when you visit Big Island. One of the most unique and exciting ways to do this is by riding an all-terrain vehicle or ATV.
North Kohala is popular for its historical and cultural associations. Tourists often take 4x4s and cruise along the North Kohala coast to explore abandoned railroads, which were once used by sugar traders. After which, there are boundless other adventures to be had around North Kohala. You could make your way towards one of Big Island’s most iconic landmarks – the original statue of Kamehameha the Great. Here you can appreciate the gorgeous craftsmanship as you listen to your guide’s stories about the former king.
When you’ve listen to the many stories documenting the achievements of King Kamehameha, most tourists head to his birthplace at Kohala Historical Sites State Monument to learn more about the history of Hawaii. Tourists also have the opportunity to visit the nearby Mo’okini Heiau, which is considered the oldest pre-Western place of worship. As you travel north to the end of Hamakua coast, you’ll eventually find yourself reaching Waipio Valley.
Waipio Valley is an earthly paradise located around 50 miles from Hilo as specified by Planet Ware. Although many Hawaiian monarchs lived here during ancient times, the valley’s now uninhabited and its natural beauty leaves every visitor overwhelmed with awe.
The black sand beach at the end of the valley is bordered on each side by the Kohala Mountains. Take a glimpse at the sea as you ride your ATV along the shore to admire the power of the waves that constantly hit the shore.
Afterwards, you can drive towards the 1,200-foot high Hi’ilawe Falls which nourishes the valley with freshwater that comes all the way from the top of the mountains.
The unpaved trail leading up to the summit of Mauna Kea is perfectly suited for an ATV adventure. Mauna Kea’s peak is the highest point in Hawaii and one of the best places in the world for stargazing. Lonely Planet described it as “dry, dark and pollution-free”. The mountain is revered by locals as they believe that it’s the place where the land connects to the heavens.
Beautiful All Over
The allure of the whole Hawaiian archipelago stays in the memory of tourists for life. Hawaii’s coastlines are often included in many “Best Beaches” lists and as mentioned in a previous Beyond Honolulu post, where Waimanalo Bay was declared the best in America by a leading travel expert.
Hawaii’s tropical appeal has inspired people all around the world, so much so that there’s tons of media content featuring the islands. The reboot of the hit TV show Hawaii Five-O is still going strong today in its seventh season, and its common place to see the show’s stars riding ATVs in the hot Hawaiian climate.
Video games that feature Hawaii also attract worldwide audiences while showcasing the beauty of the islands. These games too feature ATVs like in Garfield’s Diner Hawaii. Additionally, virtual adaptions of ATV cruises through casuals titles from Pocketfruity and their Hawaii-inspired Big Kahuna slots game take their name from the enigmatic canoe makers of the archipelago. Canoe making is a sacred process as well as a thriving industry on the islands.
Though the Hawaiian archipelago has seven other main islands, the vast area of Big Island means that it holds a significant portion of the tourist attractions. By using an ATV, the rush you feel exploring the wonderful destinations is truly an unparalleled experience.