About the Hawaiian Islands:
The Island of Hawai’i, known as The Big Island to avoid confusion with the state, was formed as the lava flow from five volcanoes overlapped one another and became one land mass. The still active Kilauea sits at the heart of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where evening visitors can watch the glow of creeping lava still shaping the island’s southern landscape. Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualālai rise above the Kohala and Kona coastline, where lava fields meet turquoise water and white and black sand beaches.
The Kohala Coast is also referred to as the Gold Coast, with a steady stream of sunshine and few rainy days. It is an area rich in both Hawaiian history and sea life, with a still intact coral reef ecosystem that draws ocean lovers of all ages. Tropical fish, many of which are found nowhere else in the world, inhabit these reefs, along with Hawaiian Hawksbill turtles, octopus, eel and smaller reef sharks. Spinner dolphins come to rest in shallow bays during the day, before returning to deeper water to hunt at night.
Humpback whales are seen everywhere along the coast during winter months, when the ocean fills with the sound of whalesong. Waimea Ocean Film Festival takes place during peak whale watching season, when visitors delight in their acrobatic displays.
The town of Waimea, also known as Kamuela, sits in the saddle between the dry leeward and green windward sides of the island, nestled against the picturesque Kohala Mountains. Waimea is known for its rich history of paniolo cowboy culture that lends character to the town, and for the rainbows that grace the countryside, reflecting the ever-shifting weather patterns between rain, mist and sun.