Travel Itinerary: Hamakua Coast in 8 Hours


View of Onomea Bay

Hilo Bay with Mauna Kea in background

Hamakua Coast scenic drive


Waipio Valley, Hamakua Coast

Waipio Valley

Plan your Day North of Hilo
There is a lot to see in and around Hilo town, including the impressive Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.  Whether you are a cruise-ship passenger or just short on time, you may only have one day to see everything,  If you only have one day to see the main attractions, a must-see is the Volcanoes National Park.  We recommend you take at least two days to visit all the attractions on the Hilo (eastern) side of the island.

If you are looking for a beautiful drive, spectacular views of the mountainside cliffs and waterfalls, make sure you visit the Hamakua Coast north of Hilo town.  If you have but one day, here is a suggested itinerary.  Remember to consult Big Island maps and guide books for more details prior to starting your trip.

Tour of Hamakua Coast in 8 Hours or less

START 0:00 Arrive Hilo International Airport or
Depart area hotel
0:30 0:30 Pick up plate lunch or sandwich to-go
0:30 1:00 View of Onomea BayDrive north to scenic drive detour at Onomea Bay along the Hamakua Coast.  View road map
2:45 3:45 Onomea FallsVisit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens and Onomea Bay Trail
0:30 4:15 Stop at “What’s Shakin” Smoothie stand near the Botanical Gardens for refreshments
0:30 4:45 Continue north to Akaka Falls State Park
0:45 5:30 Akaka Falls, Big IslandHike short trail-loop and view Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls
0:30 6:00 Rocky beach at the Waipio ValleyContinue driving north to the Waipio Valley Overlook
0:30 6:30 Enjoy the view from the overlook
1:30 8:00 Drive back to Hilo

For more help in planning your vacation, check out our articles:

Travel Planning Articles

Planning your Trip When to come, how long to stay, books

Vacations for Families Best family beaches, activities for youngsters, infants, teens

Hawaiian Cruise Passengers Information about port calls in Hawaii

Sample Travel Itineraries Suggested itineraries, 1-2 day, 1 week

Island Activities Guide Guide to the activities & tours

Tips for Traveling with Kids Packing and flying with kids

Island Hopping Visit more than one Hawaiian island

Regions of the Big Island Geography and climate descriptions

Big Island Transportation How to get there, plan your driving

Rent a 4-Wheel Drive SUV Off-roading on the Big Island

Top 5 Attractions (You Might Miss) You’ll never hear about these…

Packing for your Trip Big Island scenery & weather is diverse

Big Island Wedding Planner How to plan your wedding in Hawaii

Accommodations Articles

Where to Stay Three different parts of the island to stay - which is best?

Vacation Rentals Big Island Vacation rentals are a deal

Bargain or 5 Star Hotel Stay at a resort or a bargain hotel

Discount Big Island Hotels Check out the latest rates

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Big Island Shopping Guide Guide to the shopping destination

Hawaii Souvenirs The best souvenirs to buy in Hawaii

Gear & Equipment Articles

Gear for your Trip Get outfitted with the right gear

GPS Points of Interest (POI) GPS Coordinates for Points of Interest

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