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About The Big Island of Hawaii

This page contains basic background information on the Big Island of Hawaii, it's districts, major towns and more. Use the quick links on the right to find the info your looking for, or simply scroll down and enjoy the page.

To find property on the Big Island use the form at the top of this page, or click here for the home page. To view maps of the Big Island, click here. For other Big Island resource tools look here.

  • Big Island Overview
  • Quick Statistics
  • Big Island Climate
  • About The Districts
  • Major Attractions
  • Big Island People
  • Things To Do
  • Big Island Websites
  • Moving To Hawaii
  • Maps Of All Kinds
  • Coastline & Scenic Photos
  • Big Island Weather
  • Big Island Webcams
  • Return To Current Search
  • Big Island Overview

    The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Also know as the Orchid Isle, the Big Island is 4,028 square miles of land and is twice the combined size of all the other islands put together.

    The Big Island was formed by five volcanoes, two of which are still active. In fact, Kilauea Volcano is the world's most continuously active volcano.

    Besides active volcanoes, the Big Island also boasts the southernmost point in the United States as well as the tallest mountains in the state at 13,796 ft.

    The Big Island also has the most diverse climates of all the Hawaiian Islands. From tropical rainforests to open prairie and snow covered mountains - just about every possible climate exists on this beautiful island.

    Besides tourism, the Big Island's major industry, other significant industries on the island include:

    • The largest macadamia nut industry in the world
    • The largest orchid growing business in the world
    • The major coffee industry in the United States
    • The major ginger producer in the United States
    • The largest astronomy research facilities in the world
    • Aquaculture with over 43 farms producing shellfish, finfish and algae, valued at $13.1 million

    Quick Statistics at a Glance

      Age:700,000 years   National parks:4
      Size miles:4,028.2State Parks:17
      Size acres:2,578,048County Parks:135
      Island length:93 milesHunting Areas:26
      Island width:76 milesWildlife Refuges:1
      Highest Point:13,796 ftSanctuaries:2
      Longest River:32 milesSurfing Sites:185
      Highest Waterfall:620 feetBodysurfing:17
      Churches:288Island Flower:Lehua 'ohi'a
      Schools:38State Bird:Nene Goose
      Tourists daily:21,360Nickname:Orchid Isle
      The Big Island
      Sandy Shoreline:19.4 miles

    Big Island Climate

    Because of the size of the Big Island, as well as the fact that the island has two mountains over 13,700 feet tall, you can expect to find very many different climates on this pacific playground. From beautiful tropical beach weather to cooler elevations where fireplaces are necessary at night, the Big Island offers a climate for everyone.

    Hawaii temperatures are in general mild and do not vary more than about +/- 5 degrees throughout the year.

    If you would like to see the current weather pick Big Island Weather.

    About The Districts

    The Big Island is divided into nine districts. Since the trade winds normally blow from the northeast, the west side of the island experiences drier and warmer weather than the east side, which is cooler and wetter.

    For more information about any district simply click on the district name below.

    North KohalaHamakua
    South KohalaNorth Hilo
    North KonaSouth Hilo
    South KonaPuna
    drierKau Districtwetter

    Major Attractions

    Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls, Pu'uhonau o Honaunau National Historical Park (City of Refuge), Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, and Lapakahi State Historic Park. Additional activities include viewing petroglyph sites, deep-sea fishing, cultural events such as the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival and the Kona Coffee Festival, and sports events such as the Ironman Triathlon.

    Big Island People

    Hawaii, known as the Melting Pot of the Pacific is home to an incredibly diverse ethnic population of over 142,000 residents. About 26% of the people are Caucasian, 14% Japanese, 31% Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian, and the remainder either Filipino, Chinese, Hispanic or a combination of the groups.

    All the islands are known for their Aloha Spirit and you can expect to find generosity, friendliness and compassion wherever you go.

    Things To Do

    The Big Island's size and diversified climate means there is a lot of activities and entertainment to participate in. From hiking to rodeos to scuba to snowboarding, the Big Island offers just about everything. Below is just a small list of activities that are available to visitors and residents of the Big Island:

    • Hundreds of miles of hiking trails and mountain bike trails
    • Volcanically heated swimming areas
    • Surfing and body boarding
    • Scuba and snorkeling
    • Playing with red hot lava
    • Parasailing
    • Shore fishing and deep sea fishing
    • Boat cruises
    • Stargazing and Astronomy shows
    • Cavern and Lava Tube tours and clubs
    • Luaus
    • Golfing (18 golf courses)
    • Tennis
    • Museums
    • Off-roading
    • Hunting
    • Rafting and flume rides
    • Petroglyph sites
    • Flower and Tropical gardens
    • Music
    • Whale and Dolphin watching
    • Helicopter tours
    • Wineries and Coffee plantation tours
    • Horseback riding and rodeos
    • Kayaking and Canoeing
    • Bird watching
    • Farmers Market
    • Shopping, shopping and more shopping

    Big Island Websites

    The following list of sites are places you might find interesting about the Big Island of Hawaii.

    • Coconut-Wireless - Wireless Internet in the Hilo/Puna area.
    • Dolphin Bay Hotel - A wonderful and inexpensive hotel in the Hilo area. All rooms come with complete kitchens.
    • Instant Hawaii - Hikes, Parks, Trails, Plants, Animals, Latest Weather and News for the Big Island.
    • Volcano Art Center - Information and events for the Volcano and HVN Park area.

    Hot lava oozes between cold rock

    Snow covered Mauna Kea

    Beautiful orchids grace trees and rocks

    Native Hawaiian Ceremonies in Volcano Park

    Nene Goose, the state bird

    Beautiful Rainbow Falls in Hilo

    Liliuokalani Garden in Hilo

    A typical Big Island sunset

    Plumeria trees are everywhere

    Hilo and Mauna Kea from Coconut Island

    Koa tree waiting to become a canoe

    Lava Risk Zone Map

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