The Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, covering an area of 4028 square miles (10,430 sq. km) with its highest point at Mauna Kea. At an elevation of 13,796ft (4205m), Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world when measuring from the sea floor base to peak.
Interesting facts about the Big Island
The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean. The big island, or as it’s also known, Hawaii, is built from five different shield volcanoes that erupted at different times, overlapping one another.
The 5 volcanoes are (from oldest to youngest); Kohala, Mauna Kea, Haulalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. The latter three are active, Mount Kea is dormant, and Kohala is extinct.
Another active volcano, Loihi, lies approximately 35km (22mi) southeast of Hawaii, submerged approximately 3200ft (980m) under the ocean surface. Based on current projections, Loihi will reach the surface of the ocean at some point in the next 10,000 to 100,000 years.
The most destructive earthquake in Hawaii’s history struck on 2 April 1868, with a magnitude of somewhere between 7.25 and 7.9 on the Richter scale.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which houses Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, sits on the most south eastern point of the island. Kilauea is currently producing enough lava to resurface a 20-mile, two lane road every day, which means that the Big Island continues to grow.
The island is also home to the ‘Great Crack’, an 8 mile (12.8km) long, 60 ft. (18m) wide and 60 ft. (18m) deep crack in the island, situated in the district of Ka’u. Some speculators believe that the crack is a result of the southern flank of the Big Island slowly departing from the rest of the island.
The Big Island is believed to be the first island that Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesas Islands visited around 1500 years ago at Ka Lae.
How to get to the Big Island
The island is serviced by Kona International Airport (KOA) on the west side of the island, and Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the east side.
What is the weather like in Hawaii
Weather on the big island is the same as the weather on the other Hawaiian Islands, with only small temperature changes throughout the year. There are two seasons: summer (May to October) and winter (November to April). The daytime average temperature during summer months is 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius), while the daytime average during winter is 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celsius).
Where to stay on the Big Island, Hawaii
The island is home to a plethora of accommodation options, including high-end luxurious resorts, rented villas, more affordable hotels, cottages, condos, bed and breakfasts, and hostels. The best option will depend on your own personal taste and budget.