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101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - FRONT PAGE -


Some­where in the gap be­tween he­li­copter tours and hik­ing has emerged a rain­for­est ad­ven­ture called ziPlin­ing.

Strapped safely in a harness, the zi­pliner races ces over a se­ries of ca­bles like Tom Cruise in a

flick. Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble Once you're buck­led up, you'll dip through leafy-topped old-growth h trees, fly over unique vol­canic ter­rain, and soarar past wa­ter­falls—lots of them.

umauma falls zi­Pline

ex­Pe­ri­ence has a lock on an exclusive water­fall view. Ex­pect to come face to face with a dozen spec­tac­u­lar falls (in­clud­ing a stun­ning, three-tiered cas­cade) and, for good mea­sure, a lava

tube. The course, which also fea­tures a 2,000-foot line, is lo­cated on the Ha­makua coast off of High­way 19.

Perched amongst the trees of Halawa, ko­hala zi­Pline’s ko­hala canoPy ad­ven­ture fea­tures el­e­vated sus­pen­sion bridges, soar­ing tree plat­forms and thrilling zi­plines. Exclusive fea­tures, such as twin Whis­per Lines and smooth-stop brak­ing, en­sure safety and com­fort.

sky­line eco-ad­ven­tures— the first zi­pline oper­a­tor in the United States—takes guests di­rectly above mul­ti­ple wa­ter­falls, and its awe-in­spir­ing tour, lo­cated just be­low the world-fa­mous akaka falls, has you soar­ing over a 250-foot water­fall! This zi­pline tour also hap­pens to be a long one,one mea­sur­ing in at a stag­ger­ingsta 3,350 feet! And sit­u­ated within theth spec­tac­u­lar world botan­i­calb gar­dens & wa­ter­fallsw in Hakalau, you'llyou find ziP isle ziP line

ad­ven­tures.adv Just min­utes from Hilo,Hilo Zip Isle Zip Line Ad­ven­tures of­fers seven zi­plines and a sus­pen­sion bridge— all lo­cated within a trop­i­cal rain­for­est. night­time ziP rides also are avail­able. Zip Isle and World Botan­i­cal Gar­dens are lo­cated north of Hilo, off High­way 19, at mile marker 16.

Each of the cour­ses of­fers its own dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, but all make safety a top pri­or­ity. Be­fore har­ness­ing up, zi­plin­ers are given thor­ough in­struc­tions, and then are safely out­fit­ted. Pas­sen­ger weight and/or height re­stric­tions may ap­ply. Con­sult each com­pany for specifics. BOTAN­I­CAL WORLD AD­VEN­TURES (808) 963-5427 OR (888) 947-4753 KO­HALA ZI­PLINE (808) 331-3620 SKY­LINE ECO-AD­VEN­TURES (808) 419-3756 UMAUMA FALLS & ZI­PLINE EX­PE­RI­ENCE (808) 930-9477


Para­sail­ing in Kailua Bay is an easy-to-master thrill ride in a gor­geous sur­round­ing. The wa­ter in the bay is so clear you can al­most see the ocean floor, and most days, you'll be drift­ing through cloud­less blue skies.

Trav­el­ers want­ing to ven­ture high above Big Is­land's wa­ters will par­tic­u­larly en­joy

ufo Para­sail. Since 1985, UFO has op­er­ated some of the most pop­u­lar and best winch boats in the world (learn more at ufopara­sail.net). UFO Para­sail's

Pre­mium 28 Para­sail winch-sys­tem

boats take up to 12 peo­ple on a high-pow­ered adren­a­line ride. When it's your turn to “fly,” as the tow­line is re­leased, you'll soar into the sky. With skilled helms­man as your guides, you'll safety glide through shift­ing wind clocks and ever-changing tides. With a ride run­ning from eight to 12 min­utes, this is a quick—and ex­cit­ing—thrill. UFO Para­sail's Pre­mium Para­sail Winch Sys­tem boasts a high de­gree of trans­verse sta­bil­ity amidst high wind con­di­tions, as­sur­ing both max­i­mum safety and thrills. You can fly sin­gle, tan­dem

or triPle, and no ex­pe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary. UFO PARA­SAIL (800) 359-4836


It would be a mis­take to rely on syn­onyms or metaphors to de­scribe a fly­ing tour of Hawai‘i Is­land. One could say it's like a myth­i­cal ride on a magic car­pet, or a scene from a James Bond thriller, with a chop­per skirt­ing a live vol­cano as lava oozes down the moun­tain slopes.

But re­ally, it's one of those awe-in­spir­ing things you sim­ply have to see for your­self.

The aerial view of the Ha­makua Coast, from Hilo to Waipi‘o Val­ley, is truly mag­i­cal. Ex­pect to wit­ness roar­ing wa­ter­falls, ver­ti­cal forests and tiny vil­lages dur­ing a Ha­makua flight. And when you reach Waipi‘o Val­ley, you'll be thrilled by the is­land's ver­sion of Eden.

ki­lauea vol­cano is by far the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion—the sight of a lava flow is spec­tac­u­lar. blue hawai­ian he­li­coPters of­fers nu­mer­ous he­li­copter tours around the Orchid Isle that cover a whole lot of aerial ground: val­leys, moun­tains, vol­ca­noes, ocean, lush rain­for­est—you name it. They even boast pri­vate char­ters and a tour that takes pas­sen­gers over Big Is­land and Maui. Learn more at blue­hawai­ian.com.

big is­land air con­ducts night flights over the vol­cano. Par­adise

he­li­coPters also of­fers flights over Ki­lauea.

Whether you buy a ticket on a he­li­copter or a fixed-wing

air­Plane, the view from above will give you a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the is­land's nat­u­ral won­ders. BLUE HAWAI­IAN HE­LI­COPTERS (808) 961-5600 HILO, (808) 886-1768 WAIKOLOA OR (800) 786-2583 PAR­ADISE HE­LI­COPTERS (855) 653 0647 SA­FARI HE­LI­COPTERS (808) 969-1259


Most Hawai‘i Is­land he­li­coPter

tours orig­i­nate from Kailua-Kona or Hilo. But there is one com­pany that flies out of Waikoloa on the Ko­hala Coast. blue hawai­ian he­li­coPters main­tains a Pri­vate heli­Port in the high-end tourist area, mak­ing it con­ve­nient for Ko­hala Coast vis­i­tors to book a tour.

Blue Hawai­ian He­li­copters, which con­ducts tours through­out the is­lands, is a well-re­spected com­pany with more than 25 years of ex­pe­ri­ence. One tour flies over an ac­tive vol­cano and lava flows in hawai‘i vol­ca­noes na­tional Park, then turns to ex­plore the mag­nif­i­cent rain­forests and wa­ter­falls of the ha­makua coast. An­other tour takes you to the

ko­hala coast, where more wa­ter­falls, tow­er­ing sea cliffs and an­cient Hawai­ian set­tle­ments blend into deep val­leys and acres of rain­for­est. BLUE HAWAI­IAN HE­LI­COPTERS (808) 961-5600 HILO, (808) 886-1768 WAIKOLOA OR (800) 786-2583


There are he­li­copter tours, and then there are he­li­coPter

ad­ven­tures. Sight­seers will want to book a tour; ad­ven­tur­ers will go for the doors-off, mul­ti­Ple­land­ing op­tion. Par­adise

he­li­coPters can ac­com­mo­date ei­ther mood.

Along with views of an ac­tive vol­cano, lava flows, wa­ter­falls and gor­geous ter­rain, Par­adise He­li­copters has de­signed tours that touch down in in­trigu­ing spots. Fly to a re­mote val­ley, land at a zi­pline course, hike the rim of the ex­quis­ite Waipi‘o Val­ley or say hello to a leg­endary lava field res­i­dent.

Tours can run from one to five hours, de­pend­ing on what's go­ing on when you touch down. PAR­ADISE HE­LI­COPTERS (855) 653 0647


A night flight over a sim­mer­ing

vol­cano is an eerie and spec­tac­u­lar sight, and big is­land

air is the only tour oper­a­tor in Hawai‘i that con­ducts vol­cano flights af­ter the sun goes down.

From a seat in the com­pany's jet prop CE-208 Cessna Car­a­van, sur­face lava takes on higher def­i­ni­tion. And from the sky, you're likely to see some nat­u­ral

fire­works when liq­ue­fied rock, heated to 2,100 de­grees Fahren­heit, steams out of a lava tube and hits the ocean.

For a safe ride, the air­craft is equipped with a so­phis­ti­cated ground-prox­im­ity warn­ing sys­tem, global po­si­tion­ing and traf­fic col­li­sion avoid­ance sys­tems, in­clud­ing on­board weather and ter­rain map­ping radar.

Weather per­mit­ting, tours are of­fered daily and de­part from Kona In­ter­na­tional Air­port.


He­li­copters aren't the only birds that tour the is­land. Try a fixed

wing flight for longer travel time. Un­like most he­li­copter tours that cut across the sad­dle of the is­land to get to the vol­cano, a fixed-wing plane has enough fuel to cover all 266 miles of

coast­line, in­clud­ing the of­tenig­nored south­ern end of the is­land.

Tours are con­ducted in planes with var­i­ous seat­ing ca­pac­i­ties, but all seats have a win­dow, in­clud­ing the seat next to the pi­lot.

ki­lauea vol­cano is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion, but there are other tours to choose from.

In ad­di­tion to their reg­u­lar air tours, char­ter plane com­pa­nies also of­fer ad­di­tional ser­vices, in­clud­ing cus­tom air tours.


If float­ing above the sur­face in a two-per­son fly­ing ma­chine sparks your imag­i­na­tion, take to the sky in a Pow­ered hang glider.

Dur­ing your flight, you'll learn the ba­sics of weight-shift con­trol, aero­dy­nam­ics and safety, as well as a bit about weather and its ef­fects on avi­a­tion.

Once you've reached a re­laxed fly­ing al­ti­tude, an in­ter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non some­times takes hold. There's a ten­dency to for­get that a pi­lot is nav­i­gat­ing your course, that an en­gine is pow­er­ing the way and that you're strapped into a two-seater fly­ing ma­chine, at­tached only to a wing. All that fades into a new feel­ing, one that re­sem­bles wing­less flight.

Any­one who's seen Hawai‘i Is­land from above knows its magic. But if you want to get caught in its spell, take a les­son in a pow­ered hang glider. Check out ad­vanced recre­ation hawaii to learn more.


No mat­ter how you choose to fly, an air tour of hawai‘i is­land is likely to bring into view the is­land's in­trigu­ing as­sort­ment of vol­ca­noes. Here's a short pre­flight brief­ing on some of them: ki­lauea: One of the Earth's most ac­tive vol­ca­noes, it is lo­cated in hawai‘i vol­ca­noes

na­tional Park on the south­east­ern flank of mauna loa. This vol­cano has been pump­ing molten lava over the land­scape since 1983, si­mul­ta­ne­ously de­vel­op­ing new real es­tate and leav­ing de­struc­tion in its wake. In March 2008, the vol­cano caused a com­mo­tion when, for the first time since 1924, it let loose an ex­plo­sive erup­tion. It's still spew­ing an ash-laden plume from a crater at the summit,

and send­ing molten lava across the land­scape.

mauna loa: A mas­sive vol­cano that spreads over ver half of the Big Is­land's 4,034 4 square miles, Mauna Loa rises 13,680 feet from sea level. Mea­sured from its flanks on the ocean floor, the moun­tain reaches 30,080 feet at its ts summit. Sixty miles longg and 30 miles wide, Mauna Loa is the largest vol­canic moun­tain in the world and the third largest shield vol­cano in the so­lar sys­tem, smaller only than vol­ca­noes on Venus and Mars. It has erupted 39 times since 1832, the most re­cent be­ing in 1984.

A mas­sive vol­cano that spreads over half of the Big Is­land's 4,034 square miles, Mauna Loa rises 13,680 feet from sea level.

mauna kea: The tallest is­land­moun­tain in the world, Mauna Kea stands 13,803 feet above sea level, and rises 33,476 feet from the ocean floor. At its summit, where snow some­times falls, the world’s largest astro­nom­i­cal

ob­ser­va­tory houses te­le­scopes op­er­ated by astronomers from all over the world.

ko­hala: The old­est of five vol­ca­noes that make up the is­land of Hawai‘i, Ko­hala is es­ti­mated to be one mil­lion years old— so old that it ex­pe­ri­enced (and recorded) a re­ver­sal of mag­netic field 780,000 years ago. The vol­cano is cut by mul­ti­ple deep gorges and, un­like typ­i­cally sym­met­ric Hawai­ian vol­ca­noes,v is shaPed like a foot, due to a huge land­slide­land 250,000-300,000 yearsye ago that de­stroyed it­sit northeast flank. hualalai: Though notn nearly as ac­tive as Mau­naM Loa or Ki­lauea, HualalaiHua is the third most his­tor­i­cal­ly­histo ac­tive big is­land vol­cano. Six dif­fer­ent vents erupted be­tween the late 1700s and 1801, two of which gen­er­ated lava flows that poured into the sea on the west coast of the is­land. Kea­hole Air­port is built atop the larger flow. lo‘ihi: Fif­teen miles off the south­east coast of the is­land, Lo‘ihi thun­ders 3,000 feet be­neath the Pa­cific Ocean. Some­day, thou­sands of years from now, the

sub­ma­rine vol­cano will emerge to form a new is­land.


From the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances of wind­surf­ing, paraglid­ing and wake­board­ing has come a hot new wa­ter sport called kitesurfing, or kite­board­ing. This ex­treme sport takes wind, guts, the right equip­ment and a lot of prac­tice. The surfer stands on a

kite­board (a small surf­board with straps) and is pulled across the wa­ter by a big kite. Sounds easy enough, but don't be fooled— it could take many ses­sions of kitesurfing be­fore a pi­lot be­comes com­pe­tent.

Kitesurfing en­thu­si­asts say the sport, though chal­leng­ing and some­times dan­ger­ous, is more fun than and not as de­pen­dent on high-wave and wind ac­tion as wind­surf­ing. les­sons and

rental gear are avail­able all over the is­land.

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