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Lonely Planet Hawaii: The Big Island
 
 
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Lonely Planet Hawaii: The Big Island [Paperback]

Conner Gorry , Julie Jares
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)


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Lonely Planet Discover Hawaii the Big Island (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Discover Hawaii the Big Island (Travel Guide) 4.4 out of 5 stars (21)
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Book Description

September 2002 Lonely Planet Hawaii: The Big Island
This guide features a special section on volcanoes, plus the best-of outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing and hiking, as well as coverage of the Hilo and Kona coasts and where to lounge with the laid-back locals.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Nobody covers the world like Lonely Planet.' --New York Post, May 2004
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A sage kupuna (elder) observed today that the Big Island is so beautiful it hurts your eyes; she's right. In this tropical wonder world, azure waves lap at the green-sand beaches and volcanoes flush lava to the sea in a primordial display of fire, boiling water and steam. On this idyll, dolphins and morays, turtles and rays sluice through coves and there's snow for the ski bums, rain forest for the hardy, idyllic beaches for the idle and the world's clearest stargazing.

Like a lover so cherished you conjure pet names in a vain attempt to capture their every essence, so too the Big Island goes by several names: at turns it's Hawaii, the Orchid Isle, and the Volcano Island. It's also the home to Madame Pele, goddess of volcanoes, and Ku, god of war. But above all, it's the superlative island, the singular jewel in the string of Hawaiian beauties making up the archipelago.

What so distinguishes this islands is its geography. The Big Island is so big, you could fit all the major Hawaiian Islands within its borders twice. The entire land mass is five volcanoes fused together, created by eons of magma pulsing from deep within the earth. Stacked layers of lava grew so high that the newly created land eventually emerged from the depths of the sea. The magma is still pumping, new volcanoes are still rising and the Big Island is still growing. Indeed, the newest volcano in the chain is expected to break the surface and unite with the others in as little as 10,000 years - tomorrow in geological terms.

All these tidbits should be sufficient to excite chronic stoics, but you might also consider that the Big Island is the youngest piece of earth on earth, it's the most isolated piece of rock in the world (2500 miles from the closest landmass) and contains so many microclimates you can realistically go from desert to jungle to permafrost in a day. The diverse flora and fauna here will delight the casual visitor and is a bonanza for birders, orchid lovers and entomologists.

As islanders the world over know, thriving on a piece of land amidst a great sea promotes a certain psychology, philosophy and innate, sometimes subconscious, self-reliance that sets these communities apart. On the Big Island, this unique perspective is intensified by wide open spaces, resulting in the least touristed and most mysterious of all the Hawaiian Islands. Here you'll find mavericks and misfits, astronomers and mystics all dipping into the pools of Big Island mana (spiritual power). Much of this power is generated by the gods and goddesses of the land, sea and volcanoes - forces forever worshipped and harnessed by Hawaiians - and you won't have to look long or hard to find ample evidence of this in your travels. Waipi'o Valley, Halema'uma'u Crater, South Point, Mauna Kea and the Place of Refuge - the list of historically, archaeologically and mythologically significant sites is long and varied and even if that leaves you yawning, each is also a place everyone should set their eyes and heart upon at least once.

Still, there's trouble in Paradise, as struggles amongst man, nature, progress and history threaten to upset Hawaii's state of grace. In a certain sense, Hawaii is stuck between a rock and a hard place, with Mother Nature on the one hand and rapacious developers on the other, forever trying to tame her handiwork into hedonistic oases. Drought on the Kona side and lava and tsunamis on the Hilo side are a constant worry. An economy overly dependent on tourism means even higher unemployment in an already anemic job climate, and a heavier reliance on those aforementioned developers.

Nevertheless, nothing defines Hawaii more than the spirit of aloha. Here, this isn't just a cheesy marketing slogan; it translates into genuine friendliness, courtesy and suspension of judgment. Welcome to the Big Island, where you can hike, bike, ski, camp, dive, swim, snorkel, sunbathe, surf and dine finely; this is the place to live your dreams.


Product details

  • Series: Lonely Planet Hawaii: The Big Island
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740593456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740593458
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,915,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(54)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive, but lacks value judgements August 18, 2003
Format:Paperback
I prefer <i>Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed</i>, by Doughty and Friedman. The Lonely Planet guides seem to mention just about everything, but they generally fail to make value judgements, i.e., Restaurant X sucks or Beach Y is fantastic.
If you have time to explore and to make mistakes, then this book is a good bet. It's pretty exhaustive, and you'd need a year to see *everything* listed. But if you have, say, only a week on the island (like 95% of visitors, I'm guessing) and can't afford to eat a crummy dinner, then I would recommend Doughty and Friedman's guide.
Also, in general, I feel that this guide is geared more toward the hostel crowd, relative to Doughty and Friedman. Pizza parlors and other cheap diversions versus the best places, regardless of price.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fan February 20, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I just returned from 5 super days on the Big Island. I brought along two books to guide me and this one was by far the best. It is professionally written with lots of spunk, good snorkeling recommendations and hisotorical tips. The only negative comment is that the maps are too small to read. The other book I attempted to use was The Big Island Revealed and primarily chose it because it had 70 reviews. It was very inferior and I donated it to a local thrift store.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Expedition!!! August 28, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
On the spur of the moment I took off for Hawaii for ten days of vacation with two guidebooks in hand. Lonely Planet ended up as the guide with the most clout. I drove the entire circuit from KailuaKona to the Volcano National Park to Hilo and it was never dull. It turned me into a petroglyph junkie. There was always something interesting to stop off and see or find. I felt as though I had been away for a month. This one doesn't waste space business bashing and fills its pages with toothy recommendations and selections worth sharing.
I wish I had consulted the book before I booked my room as their Kona listings turned out to be in much better locations than the one I ended up staying at.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars caution June 25, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
whatever you do, don't substitute the Hawaii Revealed guide for this book. Lonely Planet Hawaii has everything in it. It contains no fluffy puff stuff or downer opinions. Our copy is worn from four weeks on the road and although pretty beat up, we deem it gospel. Traditionally the Lonely Planets are written by real travelers who are objective and write really well. They have no bones to pick. This is no exception.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Volcano of a Volume - The Big Island Beckons December 10, 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Big Island is almost twice the size of all of the other islands that comprise the State of Hawaii and this Lonely Planet guide updated in fall of 2008 is a trip unto itself. The guide contains tons of information, interviews with locals and lush photos. We are planning another trip to Hawaii in 2009, when we only had a day on the Big Island during an island cruise two decades ago (but did see the spectacular lava flow from the ship during the middle of the night). The compact and very portable guide book devotes chapters to eight areas of this unbelievably diverse destination. Each area has much to offer and this full color book is itself a trip. The authors have thoroughly explored every cultural or recreational activity featuring their own "picks" of what to do in each area. This is a book to be enjoyed by all travelers including the armchair variety.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One May 13, 2003
By Colin
Format:Paperback
I used this book and especially liked the writing style. It was witty and intriguing and led me to corners I would have never explored. The authors are opinionated but know how to keep their descriptions in check. Many helpful tips and facts kept it interesting. There are very few good guidebooks for this area. This one outclasses all the rest.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Fun Fun July 30, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What a supremely great vacation. Lonely Planet reigns for this island. Their off the wall advice took us to places where we unbelievably found ourselves alone. The places they recommended to stay were just perfect and so cheap compared to the big hotels. Every morning at breakfast we had a chance to meet other travelers and exchange information. You will only need one guidebook for this island and this is it. The only thing they could improve on is the size of the book. A little bigger would be nice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Big Island of Hawaii Tour Guide December 23, 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I received the, I thought one of most remarkable things about this book (compared to other tour books) was its compact/condensed size (5"x8"x3/4") which will easily fit in most purses but is a little large for some hip pockets. It is printed on glossy paper which could be hard to write notes on with certain pens/pencils/hi-liters and has a retail price of $19.99 which seems a little pricey for what you get. The book appears to have been printed for people with young/good eyes since many of the maps are very difficult to read without a magnifying glass due to the color combination of the small print and backgrounds. brown print on a light brown background / blue on light blue / green on light green / etc.

The listings for various things in the different towns/areas leaves a lot to be desired as it lists only a portion of what's available. For example, I have stayed in a very nice hotel in the Kona area that is not listed. I think they were probably trying to keep the size of the book down but they could have listed many more than the 3 hotels in Kona by putting a chart in the book (like so many tour books do) instead of the write ups. The list of B&Bs/condos is pretty good. One of the main activities in the Kona area is deep sea fishing and they list only 4 contact phone numbers. Only 3 watering holes (bars) are listed, why? I found many more inexpensive good watering holes when I was there. In the Waimea (Kamuela) area Parker Ranch does not receive the attention it deserves. Also, Koa (expensive, popular wood only grown on Hawaii) receives very little mention --- Koa is very popular with both tourist and locals, high quality boxes and furniture are made from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the maps
This book had great maps and an easy to follow format. Information was great and was up to date. Definitely would recommend
Published on May 13, 2014 by Janell
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good info, light on opinion
I agree with other reviewers who have been fans of Big Island Revealed and checked out Lonely Planet Hawaii: The Big Island guide as well. Read more
Published on November 24, 2012 by J. Muench
5.0 out of 5 stars useful book
I used this book for my 1 week visit of the Big Island. I gave good overviews and hints for places, definitely good one for a short visit to Hawaii island.
Published on July 28, 2012 by matet
3.0 out of 5 stars Time for an update
At this point, this edition is 3 years old, and some of the listings in it are outdated. The combination of recession (and drought) and rapid change, together with the influx of... Read more
Published on September 3, 2011 by Aanel Victoria
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful guide
Bought this book for a week-long trip to the Big Island in July 2011. I believe a newer edition of this book is coming out in Oct. 2011, but we had to go with the older edition. Read more
Published on August 1, 2011 by LM
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
The book is fantastic. We've always had it handy during our vacation on the Island of Hawaii. Many detailed information, maps and most important itineraries helped us to plan our... Read more
Published on January 3, 2011 by Vic
5.0 out of 5 stars spot on- with little hype or promotion
One thing that they didn't mention was to find someone with a fisherman in the family and buy fresh fish for dinner. Ono is fabulous on the grill. Read more
Published on June 9, 2010 by J. Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but there are better ones out there
We read 6 books on the Big Island before going there (I know, a little compulsive). This one is helpful, but really the only two books you need are: Hawaii The Big Island Revealed... Read more
Published on April 10, 2010 by Newsie
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawaii; The Big Island
This book is a great reference tool and one I would completely
recommend. Great photos paint an authentic picture of each area reviewed. It is a definite KEEPER!
Published on November 28, 2009 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous photographs and the best description of Puna ever!
This book absolutely touched my heart and soul. I was especially thrilled to read the information about Puna. Read more
Published on June 26, 2009 by Sherri Carden
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