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Why Visit The Big Island?

The Big Island, officially known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and most geologically diverse of the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and the presence of two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

The Big Island’s landscapes range from lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls on the windward side to stark lava fields and volcanic craters on the leeward side. Its history is intertwined with Polynesian voyagers, the arrival of Captain James Cook, and the ongoing geological processes that shape the island’s terrain.

By air
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How to Reach The Big Island by Air

Flying is the most common and efficient way to reach the Big Island of Hawaii. The island has two major airports:

  • Kona International Airport (KOA): Located on the western side of the island, KOA serves as the primary gateway for travelers visiting the western and southern regions of the Big Island. Travelers can find direct flights to KOA from major West Coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Flight durations typically range from 5 to 6 hours from the West Coast.
  • Hilo International Airport (ITO): Situated on the eastern side of the island, ITO primarily serves travelers coming to the eastern and northern regions of the Big Island. Direct flights from the mainland to ITO usually have flight durations of around 6 to 7 hours.

Travelers from other Hawaiian islands can also reach the Big Island by inter-island flights, with short flight durations ranging from 20 minutes to one hour.

How Long Is the Flight to the Big Island?

The average flight time to the Big Island (officially known as the Island of Hawai’i) can vary depending on the departure city, airline, and route. Here are approximate flight times from some of the most common origins:

  • Los Angeles, USA: Around 5 to 6 hours
  • Sydney, Australia: Approximately 9 to 10 hours
  • Tokyo, Japan: About 8 to 9 hours
  • New York, USA: Approximately 11 to 12 hours (usually with a stopover)
  • London, UK: About 17 to 18 hours (usually with a stopover)
  • Vancouver, Canada: Around 6 hours
  • San Francisco, USA: Approximately 5 to 6 hours
  • Auckland, New Zealand: About 9 hours

These are estimated times and actual flight durations may vary based on the specific route, stopovers, and other factors. Direct flights may not be available from all locations, requiring connections through major hubs in the United States or other countries.

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By road
How to Reach The Big Island by Road

Once you arrive on the Big Island, traveling by road is the most convenient option for exploring the island. You can rent a car at the airport or in major towns. The Big Island has well-maintained roads, making it easy to access various attractions and scenic routes.

By water
How to Reach The Big Island by Water

Cruise ships occasionally visit the Big Island as part of their Hawaiian itineraries. If you’re on a cruise vacation, you can explore the island when your ship docks at the appropriate port.

AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief