Big Island of Hawaii
Hawaii, the island, is Hawaii's "Big Island." It is more than twice as big as all the other major Hawaiian islands combined – 4,028 square miles – and still growing! averaging roughly 300,000 cubic feet of lava flow from volcanic eruptions daily, adding, slowly but surely, to the island's land mass. And there are other superlatives: the island has two of Hawaii's tallest mountains, Mauna Kea (13,796 feet) and Mauna Loa (13,679 feet), one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea, some of Hawaii's largest orchid gardens and macadamia nut farms, and mountainsides covered with its very own brand of coffee, the well-known Kona.
The Islands of Hawaii
Big Island Orientation
The Big Island is made up of five volcanoes: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Kohala and Kilauea. Kohala is at the north end of the island, at the heart of the Kohala district; Hualalai is in the west, forming a backdrop for the Kona Coast; Kilauea is in the southeast, in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa rise near the center of the island, with Mauna Loa located to the southwest of Mauna Kea. The east side of the island is wetter and greener, and home to Hilo, the island's largest city, and the lush Hamakua Coast just to the north of there. The west side is made up of the Kona-Kohala Coast, drier, sunnier, and with most of the island’s fabulous beaches. At the southeast and south end of the island are the Puna and Kau districts respectively, refreshingly stark and desolate.
The Big Island has a population of just over 150,000, and attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. It has more than 9,400 hotel rooms, rental condominiums and bed and breakfast accommodations, roughly 150 restaurants, and offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, golfing, beachcombing and sport fishing. It also boasts a supremely enjoyable, temperate climate, with temperatures ranging from 45°F- 55°F in January in the higher elevations to around 75°F- 85°F in August in the coastal areas.
Big Island Location
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