From white sand beaches to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Google and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau invite you to explore Hawaii Island. The largest of the Hawaiian Islands, it features all but two of the world’s climate zones—and it’s still growing. Mahalo to the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the trekkers of Hawaii Forest & Trail for collecting these remarkable images.
The largest island in the Hawaiian Island chain is also the youngest. The Island of Hawaii, known as Hawaii Island, is separated into 7 main regions: Hamakua Coast, Hilo, Kau, Kona, Kohala Coast, North Kohala and Puna.
To avoid confusion with the name of the entire state, the Island of Hawaii is often called the “Big Island,” and what an appropriate name it is. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, its sheer size can be inspiring. You’ll find all but two of the world's climatic zones within this island’s shores.
Weather on all of the Hawaiian Islands is consistent, offering only minor changes in temperature throughout the year. There are really only two seasons: the summer months that extend from May to October and the winter months that run from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85 degrees F. (29.4 C), while the average daytime winter temperature is 78 degrees (25.6 C). Temperatures at night are approximately 10 degrees F. lower. However, at higher elevations, temperatures can drop dramatically.
Hawaii Island is an incredible collection of many diverse micro-environments, each with its own weather. You can travel through all but two of the world’s different climate zones on Hawaii ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra, a result of the shielding effect and elevations of the massive volcanoes Maunakea and Maunaloa.
• Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
• Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona): Lively, historic gathering place in the heart of Kona.
• Hilo: Home to botanical gardens, waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path local shops and restaurants.
• Waimea: Experience the cool uplands of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country.
• Holualoa: Visit coffee country and taste why 100% Kona coffee is so famous.
Hawaii Island is the heart of Hawaii’s breadbasket. The bulk of the state’s agricultural products are grown and processed here, and our farm and ranch products continue to flourish, nourished by the popularity of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a culinary showcase for fresh, local and culturally-inspired ingredients.
Hawaii Island is an agricultural cornucopia. Macadamia nuts, coffee, orchids and other tropical plants, papaya, mango, cacao, jackfruit, vanilla, ginger root, kava, goat cheese, honey, hearts of palm, and exotic fruits like durian, rambutan, star fruit, cheremoya, figs, lychee, and dragon fruit are just a sample of what Hawaii’s farms have to offer.
The coffee culture in Hawaii Island is especially strong. Started in the late 1820s, the farms and mills in the famous Kona coffee region, as well as Kau and other nearby areas, are renowned for their award-winning coffee beans, expert roasting and superior flavor.
When in Hawaii, eat as the locals eat. For an up-close introduction to local foods, explore Hawaii Island’s colorful farmers’ markets. Aside from a wide variety of fresh-picked vegetables, fruits and prepared foods—some of which you may not have seen before—you’ll find crafts, gifts, artwork and so much more.