5 New Big Island Driving Tours 🤙🏼🌊🌴
Shaka Guide's latest tours let you explore Big Island with a local tour guide in your car! We'll tell you all there is to see and do and you decide where you want to stop. You'll have the freedom to travel at your own pace, while having the benefit of a local tour guide with you!
With the Shaka Guide Big Island Driving tours, you can look forward to:
Half to full day tours with hours of narration
Cool stories about Hawaiian legends, culture, history, and things to do that play automatically as you drive
Turn-by-turn directions that work entirely offline--no need for a data network connection!
Local Hawaiian music
Kohala Coast & Backcountry Tour
Drive Time: 2-3 hours; plus more depending on how long spend at the stops
Points of Interest: About 30
On this tour, we head north from Waikoloa into an area of the island known as North Kohala. But, the tour actually starts in South Kohala, where we'll take you to a Pu'ukohola Heiau so you can walk in the footsteps of King Kamehameha himself and learn a little about the rich cultural history of this part of the island.
As you drive farther north, you'll notice the scenery change from dry, sometimes barren lava fields, to lush greenery and jungle. We'll go through the small, quirky town of Hawi, which has a laid back artistic vibe, before carrying on down the road to one of the best overlooks on the entire island at Polulu Valley.
If you're feeling up for it, you can even hike into the valley for some added adventures. If you work up a sweat, no worries! Just grab an ice cream or shave ice on our way back through Hawi town as we head to the Kohala Mountain Road for breathtaking panoramic views of the island including Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and miles and miles of coastline.
This is my favorite scenic drive on Big Island and one you definitely don't want to miss. Make sure you have plenty of battery left on your camera or smartphone, because you're going to want to take a lot of photos! This is one tour you don't want to skip!
North Island Jungle Adventure Loop
Drive Time: 8-12 hours
Points of Interest: 158
The Hamakua Coast driving tour starts in Waimea, a ranching town near the middle of the island. We recommend you take the Hamakua Shaka Guide tour if you want to learn more about the history of the Paniolo--or cowboy--here in Hawaii. We'll visit the Parker Ranch, where you can tour some historic houses and learn more about the biggest ranch in the United States.
But that's just the beginning of the tour. Once we're done in Waimea, we head to the iconic Waipio Valley overlook, with the option to do a hike if you're up for it. From there, we head down the Hamakua Coast to visit several waterfalls, caves, the tsunami monument, and the impressive Onomea Bay.
South Island Epic Coastal Journey
Drive Time: 8-12 hours
Points of Interest: 160
Get ready for a full day adventures! On the south island tour, we explore the areas surrounding Volcanoes National Park, Hilo, and Mauna Kea.
But, that's not all!
We'll also visit a beautiful black sand beach where you're likely to spot some sea turtles and maybe even a seal or two! After grabbing a malasada --a delicious donut-- from one of the most famous bakeries on the island, you'll also have the chance to visit the southern most point in the United States, South Point.
Now, if you like adventure, be sure to pack a swim suit because there's some pretty epic cliff jumping to be found at this well known attraction.
If jumping off cliffs isn't your thing, you can also take a hike to a green sand beach that's unlike anything you've seen before!
During our stop in Hilo--the 3rd biggest city in all the Hawaii islands and the largest on Big Island-- you'll have the opportunity to visit the the famous Rainbow Falls, explore Kaumana Caves, which are really cool lava tubes, and even take a dip in a ocean at Coconut Grove.
Once again, just remember to bring your swimsuit if you want to go for a swim!
Slip on some comfortable shoes and grab a strong flashlight if you want to go beyond the entrance of the lava tubes. And keep in mind, Hilo is one of the wettest cities in the world so check the weather report to see if you'll need a rain jacket!
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Drive Time: 3 hours
Points of Interest: 86
The perfect tour for those who plan on visiting Volcanoes National Park. On this tour you will come to truly appreciate the beauty and power of the Kilauea Volcano - home of the legendary Hawaiian Goddess Pele through all of her many legends and stories.
Although the lava flow of 2018 closed parts of the park down, if you plan on taking a trip to Volcano National Park, there are plenty of activities to see and do.
In fact, we even made a guide that includes 10 of our favorite things to do--check it out here!
Note that in the Park cell phone reception is poor. But with Shaka Guide’s OFFLINE tours, you don’t need to worry a bit!
Kona "Big Kahuna" Loop
Drive Time: 4-6 hours
Points of Interest: 80
On the Kona Big Kahuna Loop tour, we'll get started in South Kohala near the resort village of Waikiloa. We'll work out way down through Kona and South Kona all the way to Pu'uhonua Honaunau.