4 star rating: Recommended 344 Reviews

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  • Location:Waikiki, Oahu
  • Duration:15 hours (approx.)

Big Island Day Trip: Volcanoes National Park from Oahu

Explore the Big Island on this full-day trip from Oahu. Stroll down the black sand beaches in Hilo and feel the cool spray of Rainbow Falls on your face. Peruse the plant life at Akatsuka Gardens, including a famous orchid valued at $20,000 USD. Visit the UNESCO-listed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you'll hike along the rim of a crater and step inside a lava tube. Admire the glowing crimson embers of the active Kilauea Volcano, then learn how the macadamia nuts are roasted to perfection at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. Round trip airfare and all on-island ground transportation are included. 

Highlights

  • Full-day guided trip to see the top sights of the Big Island of Hawaii, from Oahu
  • Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO site, and see Jaggar Museum, Kilauea Volcano, steam vents and more
  • Visit Hilo Bay Beachfront Park, hike to Rainbow Falls and tour Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory
  • See the Japanese-style beauty of Liliuokalani Gardens and exotic blooms at Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
  • Learn about the history and geology of the sights you visit from an informative guide
  • Round-trip coach-class air travel to the Big Island included
  • Upgrade to add pickup and drop-off from Waikiki hotels

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This day trip from Oahu lets you get up close and personal with the Big Island's active Kilauea Volcano and includes fun extras like a visit to a macadamia nut factory and orchid nursery. It's a long, active day, so be prepared!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Big Island Day Trip: Volcanoes National Park from Oahu

Visit the Thurston Lava Tubes on this all day adventure.

Following pickup in the early morning from your Waikiki hotel (if option selected), head to the Honolulu airport to catch your flight bound for the Big Island. Spend the day learning about the geology and history of the island from your local guide while visiting attractions like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, Akatsuka Gardens and Kilauea Volcano. See Itinerary section below for a detailed list of activities. 

Itinerary

Start off in Hilo at Liliuokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii's last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Follow your knowledgeable guide into the sprawling 30 acres (12 hectares) of a Japanese-style garden, dedicated in 1917 to the Japanese immigrants who worked on the island’s sugar cane fields. Meander through rock gardens and over red bridges, noting the stone lanterns, a teahouse and ponds along the way. Your guide takes you to ideal spots where you can admire views of Hilo Bay and Moku Ola (Coconut Island).

Ever wanted to visit a black sand beach? Your next stop takes you to Hilo Bay Beachfront Park, stretching nearly 3,000 feet (914 meters) along the coastline. As you walk the beach popular for picnics, surfing and canoeing, learn about the sand’s formation from lava.

Next, drive through the coastal town of Hilo and the tree-lined street of Banyan Drive. As you pass classic old buildings and wooden storefronts, learn about the history of the Big Island’s largest settlement.

Arrive at Wailuku River State Park and follow your guide into a tropical forest. Reach Rainbow Falls, an 80-foot-tall (24-meter) cascade over a lava cave. Hear about local legends and watch for rainbows misting over the waterfall.

Then, drive through the orchards of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and disembark for a tour of the factory. Learn how these nuts are harvested and roasted, and discover dozens of ways to prepare and consume them. In the gift shop, pick up scrumptious samples and purchase boxes of the goodies to take home. 


Travel into the mountains and stop at the greenhouse enclave of Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, boasting more than 1,000 exotic orchids and tropical plants. Take a look at an orchid valued at a whopping $20,000, due to its symmetry and singular characteristics.

Finally, enjoy ample time in the island’s star attraction, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. After seeing the exhibits of Jaggar Museum, marvel at the Kilauea Iki caldera, a massive collapsed crater.

Click away with your camera to capture volcanic steam vents and hike along the crater rim to watch for recent volcanic activity. Drive along the Chain of Craters Road to view other volcanic formations. The timing of your afternoon visit to the park allows you to witness the red glow of lava at the active Halemaumau crater at dusk.

You’ll also walk through a fern tree jungle and reach Thurston Lava Tube, a 600-foot-long (183-meter) tube formed centuries ago by molten lava. Follow your guide into the spacious, illuminated tube.

After a day of wondrous sights, fly back to Oahu and enjoy drop-off at your Waikiki hotel (if option selected) at night.

Customer Reviews

Carmel P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

A very long day but well worth it. Our driver /guide was Jane, she was very informative,entertaining and a pleasure to spend the day with.We feel we have covered most of the Big Island in one day,especially loved staying to twilight to watch the crater change colour.

Larry E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Our guide Walter was amazing. He has unbelievable knowledge about the Volcano National Park and had the ability to share his information in a very easy to understand and interesting way. The entire day was very enjoyable and I highly recommend this day long trip.

Jean Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Fantastic. Transportation impeccable from our hotel to the big island and back to our hotel.
Great tour including full of happy surprises. The tour guide/driver Sharon was great and very informative.
We highly recommend this tour!

Waltraud M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Simply great - very impressive - super organized - worth the money

Steven P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Great day of fun and adventure. Early pick and hotel, full day in the Big Island! Very informative tour! Great guide!

Sarah S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

I highly recommend this tour! Our guide Walter was a local who knew everything about the island and had a true passion to share history and sightseeing opportunities. He has made many visits to the volcano park in his life so he was able to tell us about lava activities and timelines. Great tour!

Rodney C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

I love it. The hike was great and what can I say about the volcano. It was a must see

Madeleine J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

It was a fantastic tour that ran smoothly from the pick up my hotel the flight to Hilo the marvelous tour with our leader Leroy, who was very knowledgeable and interesting, to seeing the Volcano and the return trip.
A day to remember.

Debra E Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This was a big day. An early pickup for the airport, but not too long to wait and then Sharon had us for the day. She talked non stop, telling us all about the Big Island, dropping us off at regular intervals to look at the sights. We were even entertained with an impromptu song and hula display by Sharon, wonderfully executed.
We only had the day and saw so much, getting home that night. All in all a great day.

Sammy B O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This is a full day tour, be prepared to wake early wake up and return late, but believe me its all worth it. Our trip was seamless, hotel pickup to the airport where our boarding passes where waiting. A short 45 min flight to the Big Island where we were met by our driver / guide Rob, who is one of the best guides we've ever had, very knowledgeable and easy going. The flow of the overall tour was conducted in a non-rushed way. We saw so much more than was on our itinerary. We walked on old lava flows, black sand beach and lava tunnel. We where taken to a waterfall, an orchid farm, and the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut farm. There were plenty of gift shops, bathroom stops, and picture taking stops. We brought our own snacks to nibble during the day but lunch at the Volcano House was average and rushed. Volcanoes National park is awesome and an overall a day that we will never forget. Final tip, there is limited food at Hilo airport for the trip back.

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Tour code: 2360H2

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