Big Island Info
Find out more about the Big Island to make your wedding even more special! Here is Cheryl's collection of information on the Big Island to help you learn what makes this place so special.
Our island of Hawai'i shares the same name as the state. We are the county of Hawai'i in the state of Hawai'i. If that is confusing then consider you can drive the island and see rain forests, flowing lava, desert cactus and make a snow sculpture from freshly fallen snow. We have something for everyone on our island.
Some, including locals, call this place the "Big Island" because it is big. At 4,028 square miles, is almost twice the size of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined at 2,384 square miles.
Others, including locals, say this is "Hawai'i", "Hawai'i Island", or even "Hawai'i, the Big Island". The name has been past down through generations of Native Hawaiians in a mele hanau, a song on the creation of Hawai'i:
Ua hanau ka moku (Born was the island, [and expanded;)
A kupu, a lau, a loa, a ao, a muo (It budded, leaped, increased, flourish'd.)
A liko ka moku iluna o Hawai'i (It blossomed on the top, 'twas Hawai'i,)
O Hawai'i nei no ka moku. (This Hawai'i was an island.)
Credit: Remarks on the Hawaiian dialect of the Polynesian language Rev. Lorrin Andrews, of the Hight School, Lahainaluna, February 1836, The Chinese Repository, Vol. V, Article II, page 19.
A red and a yellow Lehua.
The official flower of Hawaii is the Lehua. The "Ohi"a lehua grows on the volcanic slopes of the island. Its pompom flower is sacred to Pele, the volcano goddess. Although red is the most common color, its flowers may also be white, yellow, and orange.
Kilauea lava flow into ocean in July 2002, National Park Service. Hawai'i
Volcanoes National Park is an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. The park environment ranges from sea level to the summit of earth's most massive mountain, Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. It also is home to Kilauea, the world's most active volcano which is still flowing today. Over half of the park is designated wilderness and provides unusual hiking and camping opportunities. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has several real-time web cams of Kilauea.
Volcanic activity can irritate some people, so you may want to check on current air quality readings. Volcanic activity can create VOG (volcanic particles trapped in water vapor). It is like fog and can obscure the skies but it also contributes to some fantastic sunsets. If you have any concerns about the volcanic activity keep in mind that people have been living here for many years. The trade winds along the north side of the island usually keep the air clean and the skies clear. If paradise was the same everyday it could get boring, so Pele gives us some variety.
Mountains and Telescopes
Snow at the summit of Mauna Kea in February.
Mauna Kea is the highest point in all of Hawai'i at 13,796 feet above sea level. If measured from its base on the sea floor it is 30,077 feet. That makes it taller than Mount Everest. In Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of the island of Hawai'i are sacred, and Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred. An ancient law allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak.
With its high altitude, dry environment, and stable airflow, today Mauna Kea's summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation and is the home for a number of international astronomy research telescopes.
If you like you can drive or take a tour up Mauna Kea. Warm clothes are necessary as you may have an opportunity for a walk in the snow. Sometimes you may even see a snowman in a front yard, but they do not last very long in the much warmer temperatures at lower elevations. For road, weather conditions and web cams, check out the Mauna Kea Weather Center.
Still have questions about Hawaii and cannot find the answer, please contact me.