If you're staying on Oahu but want to hit all the highlights of Hawaii's largest island, this is the tour for you. See lava flows, rainforests, waterfalls and coffee plantations all in one very photogenic day.
This tour is better for those travelling in a couple, I wouldn't recommend it for young families as is it a huge day, 21 hours.
We were picked up from our hotel at 3:30am for a 5am flight over to the Big Island. Once we arrived we waited 45 minutes to be picked up and begin the tour. Unfortunately as it was such an early morning some of the sights driving around the island were missed as most passengers were asleep on the bus. We stopped at numerous places our favorites were the black sand beach, the Volcano national park and the waterfall. I would recommend spending a few days over here and driving around the island on your own time if you can afford it as it is such a beautiful place and so different from the mainland of Oahu, but for those looking to get things done on a time basis this is the best way to see the island in 1 day!
Excellent tour. Although the day was long, the trip was fantastic. Rainbow Falls, Black Sand Beach and Volcano National Park were tours best sights.
This was a very fun tour. If you have never been to Hawaii like me, it allows you to see more than you could possibly on your own. The stops were not long but if you want to see as much as you can, you have to stick to the timeline. Volcanoes National Park was my favorite. The only downside was that I thought that we would see the operations at the macadamia nut factory and Kona Coffee but it was just a gift shop. It was still interesting anyhow. Also, the samples were abundant! I would recommend that if you are flying in from another Island to make sure that you can get in bed early the night before. I accidentally scheduled this tour after spending the whole previous day at the Polynesian Culteral Center and did not get back to our motel in Waikiki until 10 PM. Then we had to be at the bus stop at 3:30 am for this tour on the big island!
Our tour guide was awesome and full of interesting facts. His sense of humor was priceless. Also, be prepared, there will always be someone who is late getting back to the bus. That got on my nerves and I wanted to just leave them BUT that was all factored in by the tour guide and we didn't miss a thing. Hooray!
This tour was well-worth our time, even though it started at 4:00 a.m. with a pick-up to the airport for the flight to the Big Island and didn't finish until we were back to our hotel at 10:45 p.m. An hour or two less would have been great. Tommy, our tour guide on The Big Island was amazingly knowledgeable and friendly. Thoroughly trustworthy and professional. In some ways, Rainbow Falls and the Black Sand Beach were more impressive than Volcano National Park, where we had hoped to get closer to the actual volcanoes. We were still very happy to see it all, though. The one thing that we didn't like was when we were approaching a sales place, like the shortbread cookie company, or the macademia factory. Suddenly our tour bus became a QVC-type hard-sell promotion for the 20 minutes before each stop where we were highly encouraged to buy, buy, buy. Tone it down, ok?? It was a turn-off to sit-through this sort of non-stop advertising each time we came to a place to buy coffee, nuts, or cookies. That said, the tour of the entire island's major tourist sites is outstanding and still to be recommended.
Our drivers name was Fred. From the minute we boarded his bus, he made us feel comfortable and was very organized in his thoughts an communication. He is a 21 year Coast Guard retiree and was organized in his timing of the trip, the answering of questions, the knowledge of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and it's history and culture, etc., etc. There was not a single question that he was asked that he couldn't answer. He was very polite, orderly, kept us on time in getting to our destinations and making sure that our breaks were timely. I would highly recommend Fred for your guide.