Day 4 on the Big Island - Coffee Plantation, Volcanoes National Park and Hilo
Kailua Travel Blog› entry 7 of 15 › view all entries
Today was a VERY long day... My advice is to get started early if you plan a day like this one.
We ventured out after breakfast this morning to tour a coffee plantation on the way to Volcanos National Park (VNP). We wanted to see how coffee is grown in Hawaii and to sample some of the different varieties available. We found Greenwell Farms in some literature we picked up somewhere and decided to give it a try.
The Greenwell Farms legacy began in 1850 when Henry Nicholas Greenwell left England and first set foot on the fertile soil of rural Kona. Today, Greenwell Farms is situated adjacent to the ancestral home of Henry and Elizabeth, which is now occupied by the Kona Historical Society and Museum. Managed by the descendants of Henry and Elizabeth, Greenwell Farms grows its own coffee on 150 acres of the most productive land in the Kona District and purchases coffee cherry from over 200 selected farmers within the Kona region.
After the coffee plantation tour, we resumed our trip to VNP stopping for a late lunch in a small village on the way. We intentionally began our trip late since we wanted to see the lava flows where it reached the ocean at night when the orange glow is seen best. IMPORTANT TOURIST INFO: Call before heading to VNP to check the lava flows!! For the last 2 years, the lava has been flowing through tubes underground until it reaches the ocean so nothing can be seen flowing over ground like all the printed literature shows.
All you'll see during the day is the steam plume (that's loaded with sulphuric acid, by the way) rising into the air at the water's edge about 2 miles away. Steam vents in the caldera on the way to the current lava flow are numerous and really cool to see.
CAUTION: If you decide to drive to the coastline and walk on the cooled lava and stay until it gets dark for better viewing of where the flowing lava reaches the sea, DO NOT come without a flashlight for each person and be prepared to stay on the reflector marked trails.
Please do not make the NPS Rangers risk their own health because of your own stupidity. If you must always walk on flat to moderate terrain - this area is NOT for you so don't kid yourself! We had to help several people out of the area during our visit because they were lost and didn't have flashlights. We also saw several fat people that had twisted their ankles on the rough and rocky lava that were waiting for NPS Rangers to move them out.