A lot of people get confused because they don’t realize that though Hawaii encompasses all the islands, there is actually an island called Hawaii within the chain of islands. This is also known as the big island because it is, just that, the biggest island. It’s interesting to as there is a “wet” side and a “dry” side. Hilo is part of the wet side and it rains more often on this side with an average of 126 inches annually so it is greener, lusher. The dry side, Kona, averages just about 63 inches of rain annually.
There are 3 “active” volcanoes in the Hawaiian islands, two of them are on this island. Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and is visited by millions of tourists each year. It has been continuously erupting since 1983 and Mauna Loa which last erupted in 1984. Mauna Loa’s elevation is 13,680 ft. Loihi is located underwater off the southern coast of Hawaii’s Big Island and has only been erupting since 1996.
Kilauea is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park offers over a hundred miles of hiking trails that take you through old lava tubes, recently formed lava flows and over the still smoking crater floors of the parks volcanoes.
If you like gazing out at the stars, the Big Island is a wonderful place to do so.The Mauna Kea Observatories are independent astronomical research facilities and large telescope observatories that are located at the summit of Mauna Kea. You can actually visit some of these observatories. Some of the worlds most advanced telescopes are built on the Big Island. Few places on earth are better for watching the heavens above than atop Mauna Kea!