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From the sea to the volcano of Mauna Kea (The Big Island)

July 25, 2011

Taking in the views over the coast

We started off today without a firm idea of where we were going other than up the north coast from Kailua Kona- Harrison has been sick for the last two days with strep throat, mostly sleeping and not a happy child. Thankfully antibiotics have worked rapidly and today he was almost back to his normal self (though still doesn’t  like his photo taken as shown left).

We stopped off at Hapuna state beach park but as we were getting out we noticed everyone getting into their cars and leaving. A woman told us that there was a tiger shark in the area and officials had closed the beach. So much for that idea.

We drove inland and stopped for ice-cream and drinks at the small village of Hawi. Because the kids were doing so well we decided to keep going and head up the towering mountain/volcano of Mauna Kea (4205m high).

The landscape was quite surreal, changing from aqua-coastal waters and a parched landscape to green lushness in the northern part of the island, and then again to a foreboding lunar landscape with remnants of black lava flows below the mountain.

We ignored the ‘4-wheel drive only’ sign being fool-hardy kiwis and kept going on the gravel road past the visitor centre. It was rutted and bumpy, like the Remarkables ski road but nothing too bad. But then our gutless rental started to lose compression – it couldn’t handle the high altitdude and so we had to turn around a few miles before we got to the top. That was a bit disappointing but still we got great views and by that stage the children were ready to head back to base after a short walk.

A walk near the Mauna Kea visitor centre

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 9:52 pm

    What a contrast to the beaches. I always thought Hawaii was green and lush, after watching far too many episodes of Magnum PI

    • July 26, 2011 6:15 am

      Yeah, a bit of a shock for me too, though had read it’s meant to be the island of contrasts.

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