If you had less than 12 hours what would you do?
12 hours in Hilo, that is.
Hilo, often called ‘The Big Island’ of Hawaii, boasts sites including zen-like Japanese Gardens, luscious green forest and waterfalls, and stewing volcanoes.
It’s somewhat challenging to fit a long list of sights in less than a day, but part of the excitement is trying anyway, right!
The gardens are named after Queen Lili’u’okalani, Hawaii’s first and only queen, and are an expansive 30 acres of peaceful manicured space, topped with pagodas and fish ponds.
After visiting the gardens, you simply need to turn around to see the waters of Hilo Bay right behind you.
Kamaki then whisked us off to Waianuenue, or Rainbow Falls, where the 80-foot drop is often complemented with mist and if you get lucky you may even see a Rainbow!
Time flies when you’re chasing waterfalls! Before we knew it, lunch time had come and so Kamaki insisted we visit a local market for a meal.
After deliberating the menu, we tried Hawaiian chopsteak and a patele stew plate.
Prepared in one of the stalls next to us, the dishes had a distinctly home-cooked feel and hit the spot.
Couldn’t help but try some of the deliciously fresh fruit. Kamaki also urged us to try the Hawaiian Apple Bananas, known for a distinctly sweet flavour.
Gosh can I just say that finding avocados this size is something worth smiling about!
With full tummies, we made our way to The Jagger Museum which offers a pano-perfect view of the Kīlauea Caldera and Halema’uma’u crater.
This outdoor viewing spot lets you get a good eye-gulp of one of the most active volcanoes in the world!
We fit in a quick look at one of Mother Nature’s spa remedies – a naturally occurring steam vent which bathed the nearby foliage
A quick cave pit-stop took us walking through Nahuku, a 500(ish) year-old lava tube, which stretches underneath the rainforest.
With the day almost full, we made it to one last Big Island treat – the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens.
The florals were beautiful – both in vibrant hue and in scent. A sweet end to a sweet day.