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Trip advise

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Trip advise

We are staying 5 nights at the Mauna Lana mid November. Would like to see vnp. Traveling with 81 yr young mom so no long hikes but would like to see the volcano and other stops. Saw a post that we should plan 5 hours at vnp? Is that accurate considering we will not be hiking? Understand driving back at night is not advised. Leaving very late on 6th day. Whats the best plan?

washington
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for Maui
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1. Re: Trip advise

Suzy, would your Mom be up for a helicopter tour? At this point, with no hiking to lava for her, I think one of the Blue Hawaiian tours that leave from Waikaloa would be worth it over the drive! Something to consider.

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2. Re: Trip advise

We are planning a helicopter tour, however thought up close and personal would be a good experience. Is it?

washington
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3. Re: Trip advise

At this point you have no chance to get up close and personal with the lava at the VNP without hiking a fair distance! The whole experience of the VNP is cool but not something I would spend hours of driving with a Mother who can not hike or explore bit.

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Trip advise

Your mom might enjoy the drive down the Chain of Craters Road, but it is long drive to get there, and then just driving around, visiting the Jaggar Museum, then another long drive back. You would want to leave well before sunset as well, to avoid that drive in the dark. I wonder if she would be able to walk through the Thurston Lava Tube??? You still need to be pretty steady on your feet for that.

I am wondering if she wouldn't enjoy Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. It's on highway 11, between Volcano and Hilo, closer to Volcano end though.

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5. Re: Trip advise

According to google maps it is a little over 2 hours to drive from Mauna Lani to vnp. Is this accurate?

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Trip advise

Two hours using Saddle Road. A bit longer going through Waimea and then down to Hilo and then highway 11.

When we were there, Saddle Road wasn't quite "finished" all the way, so we never used this route. What google maps doesn't show, is any construction work, or a slow down because of an accident, or stopping to take pictures!!

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Trip advise

It's not two hours to VNP from the Mauna Lani, even using the Saddle. It's 2 1/2 - 3.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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8. Re: Trip advise

It's 3 hours from Mauna Lani to Volcano over Hamakua, without stops, roadwork or following a slow vehicle.

It's also not a fun road to sit in the back seat.

Either route, you have to be very careful with the speed limit, or else you could make much better time on the Saddle. That might sound like a given, but the limit goes up and down abruptly.

Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: Trip advise

You can make the long trek to the VNP, if you leave at sunrise and take off to return by 3 PM. You won't see any hot lava, but you will see the gas plume rising from the summit crater.

I think the long trip is better if you stop at least briefly in Hilo to break the trip, and take some time to have lunch somewhere during the day.

Only you know if your elderly mother is up for the long trip.

An alternative is to take a small van tour such as the Volcanoes Twilight Tour by Hawaii Forest & Trail. This would entail being driven back at night by a driver used to the road, and would allow you to are the incandescent glow.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 09:59
10. Re: Trip advise

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