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Stroll the black sand beaches in Hilo and feel the cool spray of Rainbow Falls on this full-day trip to the Big Island from Oahu. See an orchid valued at $20,000 USD at Akatsuka Gardens, and 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 embers of the active Kilauea Volcano, then learn how macadamias are roasted at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. Round-trip airfare and all on-island ground transportation are included.


  • 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

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.


Start off in Hilo at Liliuokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii's last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Follow your 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 tea house 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).

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 full day of sightseeing, fly back to Oahu and enjoy drop-off at your Waikiki hotel (if option selected) at night.

Customer Reviews

Steve R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

My wife and I enjoyed the tour very much, we wish we would have had more time to visit the Big Island. The tour guide was FANTASTIC! We loved it.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016


Wendy Dee L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Big Island. Loved all of the stops. The best part of the tour was our guide, Jane. She was awesome! We loved her commentary. I learned so much about The Big Island. It was like a classroom on wheels. The highlight was her stories about Pele. She was kind, thoughtful, funny and informative.

Mark S United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This excursion to the Big Island to see the volcanoes and area around Hilo was very enjoyable despite the weather from a passing tropical depression and the resulting closed roads limiting what we could see. It is a very long day and we traveled with an infant who was probably better than most teenagers. The departure time is about 5:00 AM from the Waikiki area and return is about 9:30 PM. It is a shame Viator does not include these sorts of times in their advertising. Of course, if booking directly with Polynesian Adventure Tours would have made questions easier to answer before booking.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great trip !!

Katina P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

a LONG day but an enjoyable and informative one

Christine A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

excellent tour -- we saw so much and the tour guide Aki was great.
everything handled perfectly and very comfortable transportation.

Amy G United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

My husband and I were staying on Oahu for 10 days. We booked this day trip to Hilo to tour the volcanoes and I am so glad we did. I really think this was the highlight of our trip. You really have no idea until you see the National Park the magnitude of the volcanoes. It's amazing. Captain Rob was our guide and he was terrific. He was so knowledgeable and funny. Be prepared for a very long day from the time you are picked up at your hotel, until the time you are dropped back off but you will not be disappointed. The waterfall we saw was picture perfect, the black sandy beach we stopped at was quaint, and everything else in between. We really appreciated the fact that if you didn't want to do a lot of walking you didn't have to. The shuttle bus took you everywhere and really I think there was only one point that an older person in our group was not able to participate in. and it was not something that he was deprived of, believe me Captain Rob even made sure to lock the bus when we were off exploring, so you never had to worry about your stuff. The lunch stop was great too! You ordered your food once you are on the bus so that the restaurant was prepared for us. Very well organized. We had the bacon cheeseburger and it was awesome! I was even amazed at the airport in Hilo. The departure lounge was nothing like I have ever seen in an airport before. Definitely Hawaiian. Very laid back and comfortable! I highly recommend this tour! If you are thinking about a day trip... just do it! You will not regret it!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

We loved this day trip. We loved black sand beach and hardened lava flows.

Carolyn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

The Big Island Trip was fantastic. A very long day but worth the sites. Sites I will probably never see again. The driver/guide was great and everything was wonderful.

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