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Getting around the island

Canberra, Australia
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10 posts
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Getting around the island

Hi all :-)

My future hubby and I will be honeymooning on the Big Island in Jan 2010.

We will be flying into Kona Airport and staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village for three nights.

We're interested in heading over to the Volcano National Park and hiking to some waterfalls.

What would you suggest is the cheapest form of transport for the three days? ie taxi/hire car/tour buses.

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Getting around the island

Rent a car on priceline. It will cost you less for the three days than a taxi to and from the Hilton. There is no public transportation on this island.

Canada
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2. Re: Getting around the island

Just to clarify..your total stay on the BIg ISland is 3 days??

As TT mentioned you need to rent a car (Hire Car) for the entire stay.

Lots of ground to cover . It is a BIG Island....

Congrats on the Marriage.

Pahoa. HI
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3. Re: Getting around the island

Wow, three days...from Australia! Is that your entire stay in Hawaii, or just on the Big Island? And yes, you most definitely need a rental car. Actually, just realized, you mention "three nights" and not knowing your arrival or departure time you may only really have two full days here?

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Getting around the island

congrats!

First you should know that the Hilton is as far away from the VNP as you can get. You will have a six hour drive RT not counting stops.

How do you feel about driving on the right? Have you done it before? You do need a car to explore this island thoroughly, but with such a short stay, depending on how adaptive you are about jumping in a car and driving winding two lane roads on the wrong side, straight off -- you could also take a bus tour and spend two days at the Hilton, in Waikoloa.

There is a trolley and bus to get you around the Waikoloa Resort, just off property from the Hilton. You would want to price out the cost of cab transport to the Hilton, contact the resort and ask about transport solely to the Hilton.

While there is no public transit that will work for you, the Hilton has services dedicated to Japanese visitors, who often tour by bus and don't drive, so they may have something in place, I really don't know.

It's up to you what you want ... there is plenty to see and do at the Hilton for such a short time plus a day doing a Circle Tour. I'm thinking if your object was to explore the Big Island you would have given it a minimum of a week, so you must be OK with doing a hit and run.

There are also Circle Island helo tours leaving out of Waikoloa, if you want to splurge on that. It would be a short cab ride over (5 minutes). I'm sure the Hilton concierge can tell you all about getting a taxi. (Plan in advance; you will not find a queue of them like you will in Honolulu; you need to have one called.)

Portland, Tennessee
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for Waikoloa
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5. Re: Getting around the island

We stay at the Hilton and have done the Volcano in a day. It is A LONG day. We leave right after breakfast at 7:00am and really take our time. I know that we do not get back to the hotel until after dark. Right now, there is activity at the volcano. …usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php If I remember correctly, my in-laws took a shuttle from the Hilton to the airport and it was $40 each. I agree that a rental car is a must! You will LOVE the Big Island - there is so much to do. 3 days really is not enough time, but that is a great excuse to return.

Kona, Hawaii
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6. Re: Getting around the island

I am guessing you are island hopping :)

DO rent a car... maybe consider 2 nights at the Hilton and one night up near the Volcano. Driving on the late at night on the other side of the road is going to he difficult. Maybe sneak a night from another island :) You can pick up the car in Kona and drop it in Hilo to save the drive.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Getting around the island

I agree with Adeline that you don't want to drive at night on your wrong side of the road. I find being on the other side of the road disorienting. It feels wrong on every level. Of course I am older and have been driving on the same side for decades. Maybe if you're younger you're more flexible about it.

In January you would need to leave VNP by no later than 3pm to get back to the Hilton by dark, not counting any stops.

Normally I would advocate getting a car, but there's something to be said for a stress free three days of honeymooning, just letting yourselves be driven. You're staying at a nice place and you might want to mostly enjoy that instead of running around the highways seeing bits and pieces but with no time to get a real feel to anything.

There are boat trips that leave out of the Kohala area as well.

If you do get a car, I would still consider taking a tour to the Volcano. I think the drive could potentially be difficult as it's not the easiest drive to begin with, not if it's raining, which is 75% likely in January.

Waikoloa, Hawaii
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8. Re: Getting around the island

Check out Hawaii Forest and Trail. They have tours leaving from the Kings Shops just down the road from the Hilton to the volcano and to hiking further north along the Kohala coast. For a 3 day stay, I wouldn't want to stress over driving on the wrong side of the road at night. Definitely do a circle island tour out of the Waikoloa heliport.

Portland, OR, USA
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9. Re: Getting around the island

Rent a car through the Costco website. It is cheaper than anything you will find. Priceline is usually 20% more. Choose the free upgrade to the car you want.

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Getting around the island

I got a compact car for $14/day on priceline yesterday. I assume the economy would have been even less. Nobody beats priceline if you know how to bid.