Who isn’t enchanted by the Hawaiian Islands? Drawn by a location renowned for rugged cliffs that fall off into the sea. By waterfalls, lush tropical foliage, sandy beaches, and spectacular sunsets. Hawaii is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature.
Visitors here have the opportunity to experience the sunrise on a warm Pacific beach, spend the afternoon exploring lush jungles, forests of Ohia, and then photograph the sun setting across the rugged lava plains at Volcanoes National Park. All of this, and more, is set for BCJ’s Big Island of Hawaii trip. Can you envision yourself in Hawaii next month? What will the weather be like where you live? We know it’ll be nice and warm on island time!
From crystal blue waters to snow-capped mountains, the Big Island of Hawaii is especially ripe with the sights, sounds, culture, and a hefty variety of things that blend to make a complete Hawaiian vacation. Signature opportunities abound for both landscape and wildlife photographers that will help you tell the story, through your photographs, of the largest of the Hawaiian archipelago.
Geologically, the Big Island measures (at its greatest dimension) at 93 miles across with a land area of 4,028 square miles compromising 62% of the Hawaiian Islands’ land area. Mauna Kea, a volcano located here, is the world’s tallest mountain when measured from its seafloor base to its highest peak. Even taller than Mount Everest! Let’s take a look at some of the Big Island’s natural highlights:
Hilo and Hamakua are home to many beautiful waterfalls. When ice melts on the mountain peaks, it joins fresh rainfall and artesian springs, carving through the hillside creating magnificent waterfalls as it makes its way to the sea. The most notable of these are Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls. Rainbow Falls (pictured above) is simply striking, and a lovely morning visit. As one would guess, its name comes from the fact that on some early mornings a rainbow can be seen arching across the falls.
Humpback Whales, Dolphins, and Green Sea Turtles
Humpback Whales winter in Hawaii, and a morning out on a vessel on the (photographic) hunt is in order. Watch as these magnificent creatures breach, fin slap, and play in the warm Hawaiian waters. Other marine wildlife such as dolphins and Green sea turtles are often prevalent, as well.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Originally founded in 1916, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) is a living, breathing testament to the awesome power of Mother Nature. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is a true testament to the power of nature. Protected here are some of the most unique geological, biological, and cherished cultural landscapes in the world, including not one, but TWO of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
Kilauea is the most continuously active volcano in the world, and though it is active, it is safe. The park offers a unique experience of being able to walk on land that is younger than you! This park is a Must-See while on the Big Island. Here one can traverse the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific and peer into the vast Halema‘uma‘u crater, marvel at the sulfur stench of steaming bluffs.
Native Hawaiian bird & tree species are on display here in the Ohia forests, typically found throughout much of the Hawaii Islands. In addition to being a National Park, Volcanoes is also an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The black sand beaches and waterfalls of the Waipio Valley make it an incredible gem. Located along the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i, Waipi’o Valley is the largest and southernmost of the seven valleys on the windward side of the Kohala Mountains. Time and nature’s elements have carved an unimaginably massive valley filled with deep green-encrusted cliffs cut by plunging waterfalls.
Wait, there’s more. And perhaps the best has been saved for last?
Doors-off Helicopter Ride
Obviously subjective, but there may not be a better way to experience, learn about, and yes PHOTOGRAPH, the incomparable lush beauty of Hawaii than with a doors-off helicopter tour! Special to our Jan ’22 itinerary, this thrilling aerial adventure will offer a bird’s-eye view of the Big Island! Once in the valleys, our cameras will be the only thing between us and the towering 2,500-foot waterfalls and sheer cliff faces!
Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers, and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Katmai, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, as well as internationally in Costa Rica & Brazil. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, and spent roughly five years writing and photographing for the award-winning Omaha World-Herald newspaper, out of his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of trip leading and guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens, to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.