Things to do on the Big Island: 1. You should download an app called “Gypsy Guide for the Big Island Full Island Tour”. This way you can rent a car and tour the island on your own with your own personal guide. It tracks where you are through GPS and is very cool and teaches you so much.
2. Go to Volcanoes National Park to see the active volcano, stay for a night so you can experience the rain forest and do some hiking. 3. Take a Helicopter ride around the entire island. It is about 2 hours.
We used Blue Hawaiian and they were very good. Make sure to put a request in to sit in the front seats. In some of the companies, you can pay extra and you are guaranteed the two front seats.
4. Go to Mauna Kea Summit. Its 14, 000 ft peak is the highest in Hawaii. They have a visitor center at 9000 feet.
You can go there to get some info but make sure you drive up to the top for sunset. It is AMAZING!!! You are above the clouds. It takes about half an hour to get up there from the visitor center because of gravel roads and it is very steep.
They recommend renting a four-by-four to go up there (but if you are good at shifting into low gear and carefully using your brakes on steep hills you can go in a regular two-wheel drive car). Also, bring warm clothes because it gets very chilly at the top. The rangers make you leave just after dark so make sure you leave plenty of time to get up there and enjoy the view.
On the way down you can stop at the visitor center and do some stargazing with the telescopes they have. JUST MAKE SURE TO GO TO THE VERY TOP. IT IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE BIG ISLAND !!!!