Every time we visit a Hawaiian island we make it a point to try out something new or unusual. Our preference is to go off the beaten path or to try a lesser-known tour that isn’t packed with tourists. Here are four unique activities on the Big Island of Hawaii!
Unique Activities on the Big Island of Hawaii!
Flumin Kohala Tour
Climb in a kayak and tour the historical Kohala Ditch irrigation channel on the Flumin Kohala trip. It’s a unique and fun family activity. The water is really very shallow in the flumes–maybe 3-4′ so if you’re not a swimmer, don’t be intimidated. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll fall in, but if you do, all you have to do is stand up. There are plenty of beautiful views and picture opportunities along the tour!
Note: Flumin Kohala is closed due to flood damage.
Visit A Hawaiian Vanilla Farm
Hawaiian Vanilla Farm is a family-run business with a great tour and lots of information about vanilla growing and vanilla products. I highly recommend taking the tour, which comes with fresh lemonade and a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the end. They also had a cooking class and food using ingredients from the farm and everything uses vanilla as an ingredient.
The Hawaiian Vanilla Farm has a small restaurant where you can buy vanilla coffee. They also offer delicious vanilla bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. This location also offers to ship and you can have your vanilla products mailed home for an additional cost.
Roast Your Own Coffee at UCC Hawaii
UCC is a popular coffee shop in Japan and it makes one of the unique activities on the Big Island of Hawaii because of its Roaster tour! The view is worth a stop alone and it’s one of the few coffee places that have a large and ample parking lot. The Roasters tour at UCC Hawaii includes roasting your own beans using a hundred-year-old roasting tumbler. You also get to design your own label that is placed on the package of your own freshly roasted coffee.
UCC offers tours in both English and Japanese, and they also sell coffee drinks and coffee ice cream for sale.
TOUR Big Island Abalone
Big Island Abalone operates a 10-acre aquafarm to serve the world market for premium, live abalone. Located on the Kona coast, the farm tour operates daily. The tour lasts about 30 minutes, you get to see where the abalone grows, and what they eat and the staff will let you hold one for pictures. At the end of the tour, you can sample their grilled abalone.
There is a stand where you can order more abalone poke or BBQ abalone. The tour costs $12 per person.
Visit Black Sand Beach A Unique Big Island of Hawaii experience!
Be sure to visit at least one black sand beach on the Big Island! Make Punalu’u a stop on your visit to the Big Island, even if you have to go out of your way a little bit. This is such a unique beach. Don’t let the pictures mislead you – the sand isn’t grey or lightly colored – it is dark black, pulverized volcanic rock, with tiny grains of green and orange volcanic glass mixed in. Lifeguards are on duty at this beach.
There is a concession stand selling cold drinks, snacks, T-shirts, postcards, artwork and more.
To the left of the beach is a hidden treasure, a mini body of water (with lots of rocks so be very careful) which was the perfect location for a lookout point with views of sea turtles swimming about near the surface of the water.
Kanaloa Octopus Farm
Kanaloa Octopus Farm is located in the industrial part of Big Island near the airport. You get to meet the octopus and learn about its life cycle. Guests get the chance to see eggs, and babies, and adult octopuses! Every guest will get “play time” with the octopuses and even several guests will help feed them- after pointers/instructions from biologist staff.
The research team at Kanaloa Octopus Farm team educates guests on their goals for the facility and while the price is not cheap ($50) it’s a unique and inspiring activity!