The Island of Hawaiʻi, or Big Island, is the youngest and largest of the Hawaiian islands – and it is still growing! Since the (still ongoing) 1983 eruption of the Kilauea volcano more than 600 acres have been added to the island. With a total land area of 4,028 square miles it is now almost twice as big as all other islands combined, and it is the biggest island of the United States.
The Big Island is home to the tallest sea mountain and the largest volcano in the world, but holds many more records. These are our Favorite Hawaiian Records:
The big Island contains 8 of 13 different climate zones in the world, each with unique ecosystems. These ecosystems range from tropical dry forest to subalpine grasslands, from snowy alpine deserts to brackish anchialine pools, and from subterranean lava tube systems with eyeless creatures to windswept coastal dunes. The only zones missing are an arctic and saharan climatic zone.
This allows you experience within a matter of hours the lush fern forests of Puna, the sunny rugged lava plains of Kona, the cool and misty breezes of Waimea, the dry heat of Kau, and the snowy plains on Mauna Kea.
Spread over five record-breaking volcanoes
The big island is built from five separate volcanoes: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualālai, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Of these, Mauna Kea is with 13,796 feet the tallest mountain in the state and the tallest sea mountain in the world. If measured from the ocean floor, it is with 33,000 feet taller than Mt. Everest, and it houses many world-class telescopes. Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on Earth in terms of volume and area covered.
Despite these impressive figures, Kilauea is the most famous of the Hawaiian volcanoes, and rightly so! It is located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and has been erupting continuously since 1983. Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes of the world, and is visited by millions of tourists each year, making it the most visited attraction in Hawaii and the most visited volcano in the world.
Incredibly diverse nature
The stunning geography of the Big Island is supplemented by an unique flora and fauna. Over 90% of the native flora and fauna is endemic. This is the highest rate on Earth. In other words: Hawaii’s native plants, trees, birds, snails and insects are the most unique collection of life in the world! Big island is surrounded by 266 miles of amazing coastline with white sand beaches, black sand beaches, and green sand beaches. Beyond these beaches are many coral reefs whose inhabitants come in all sizes and colors of the rainbow.
Find your place on the Big Island
Big island truly is a truly miraculous place that satisfies most tastes. Whether you like to embark on an outdoor hiking or biking adventure or to visit its pristine beaches; poke a stick in the lava or are interested in the local arts and crafts; want to go night diving to see majestic manta rays swirling around you, sit under a palm tree and sip from a coconut or bathe under a waterfall, you can find it on the Big Island.