Tour Summary: Bring your camera to this full-day photography tour to capture the best pictures of the rugged, lush, and tropical beauty of the Hamakua coast. Highlights include waterfalls, stark black lava fields, a beautiful botanical garden, and the Waipi'o Valley Lookout.
- Professional guide sharing photography tips, history, and culture
- Drive on the scenic Saddle Road and marvel at the tallest and most massive mountains in the world
- Visit the famous Rainbow and the Akaka Falls while hiking through a rainforest
- Explore the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, our favorite botanical gardens on the island
- Visit Waipio Valley Lookout to capture lush cliffs drops into the ocean
- Small group of up to eight participants for an intimate experience
Important: Bring your own camera/phone
|(excluding booking fee)||$189||$179|
Tour Provider: Wasabi Tours
Tour start time: 8 am
Duration: 8 to 9 hours
Departure from: Kailua Kona
Pick-up available? Yes! Pick up from all resorts and hotels in Keahou, Kona, Waikoloa, and Kohala area between 7 and 8 am
Included: All park entrance fees. A tripod (to help you make better photos). Local style picnic lunch (teriyaki chicken, fish, sweet potato, and steamed rice with assorted juices, snacks and bottled water). Rain gear (when needed)
Cancellations: Minimum 24 hours notice for groups of 1-5, 48 hours notice for groups of 6 or more, and 72 hour notice for private groups to receive a full refund
Bring your camera to this photo tour to capture the best pictures of the rugged and tropical beauty of the Hamakua coast. Highlights include the scenic Saddle Road, stark black lava fields, the Rainbow and ‘Akaka waterfalls, a beautiful botanical garden, and the Waipi’o Valley Lookout.
Photography tips and guide credentials:
This tour is led by a photographer guide who gives photography tips which means you will have the best possible chance of getting frame-worthy vacation photos. Beginner friendly and also suited for people who bring smartphone cameras.
Most tours are supervised by Ehitu Keeling, who is a part time professional photographer with published work in e.g. National Geographic, Surfer magazine, Red Bull, and X-Games. Guests will learn:
- The best angles and locations to take pictures at various scenic and off the beaten path places.
- How to use different ISO, exposure, and shutter speed settings to capture the environment and surroundings during different time of the day and in various lighting conditions
- If you bring a smartphone, we can also show them features, software and hardware tools on their phones that allow them to take better pictures.
A tripod, especially handy for low-light conditions and longer exposure photos of e.g. waterfalls, is also available for you.
Typical Itinerary for the waterfalls and botanical garden photo tour:
The day starts early with pick-up at any of the resorts and hotels in Keahou, Kona, Waikoloa, and Kohala area between 7 and 8 am. To get to Hilo we will cross to the Hamakua coast over Saddle Road between the two largest mountains in Hawaii: Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Our first stop of the day is between these extinct volcanoes which are surrounded by lava rock and, in the winter, often see snow covering their peaks.
Once we get to Hilo we go directly to the Rainbow Falls. This waterfall is named after the rainbows you can see in the mist surrounding the falls, and the morning is the best time to see the rainbows. Note that the sun needs to shine to see the rainbows, but that you are guaranteed to get some great shots of the waterfall rain or shine!
The next waterfalls on our tour are the 422 ft high ‘Akaka falls. To get to the closest viewpoint of the waterfall you need to make a short and stunning hike through a tropical forest. Keep your camera ready as you approach the falls because sometimes the best shots are those made through the tropical plants and flowers.
After wards we visit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden for a 1-hour tour and picnic lunch. These are our favorite botanical gardens in the state and feature over 2000 species of exotic tropical plants and orchids in a tranquil setting. This stop is perfect to practice taking up-close shots of rare and exotic flora.
We end this photo journey with the dramatic views of lush and tall cliffs that drop into the sparkling blue ocean next to the longest black sand beach in Hawaii at the Waipi’o Valley Lookout. This is a great place for landscape shots and sweeping panoramas. While at the lookout our guides teach you about the history of the Valley of the Kings and the growing of taro, the staple food source of ancient Hawaii.
Wasabi Tours is a locally owned and operated company specialize in guided small group tours on the Big Island. Their multilingual guides (speaking English, Chinese, and Spanish) are all park ranger trained with years of experience guiding fully narrated tours on the island. They have a wealth of knowledge about the history, cultures, geography, wildlife and botany of Hawaii.
They proudly supports the sustainable tourism tenets of the Sustainable Tourism of Hawaii Association. In accordance with these values they maintain an ongoing commitment in the areas of environmental preservation, interpretive training for staff, and guest relationship management.
Wasabi Tours has been in business since 2006 and strives to create tours that allow guests to not only discover highlights of the island, but also to explore off the beaten paths. They receive consistent stellar reviews both for the content of their tours and for their professional and knowledgeable tour guides, and we are confident you will be in capable hands with them.
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