About Hawaii, The Big Island

It’s easy to feel awed on Hawaii Island. From the molten magma flowing from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the snow-capped heights of Maunakea; from the green rainforests of the Hamakua Coast to the jet-black sands of Punaluu Beach; Hawaii Island is an unrivaled expression of the power of nature.

To avoid confusion with the name of the entire state, the Island of Hawaii is often called the “Big Island,” and what an appropriate name it is. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, its sheer size can be inspiring. You’ll find all but two of the world’s climatic zones within this island’s shores.

The dramatic size and scope of the largest Hawaiian Island create a microcosm of environments and activities. On this island’s vast tableau, you’ll find everything from extravagant resorts and incredible golf courses to modest local towns and sacred Hawaiian historical sites, from the birthplace of King Kamehameha I to Hawaii’s first missionary church in Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona). With so much to see, it’s best to experience the island in small pieces.

The conference resort is located on the Kohala Coast.

Hawaii Island FAQs

What is the time difference from the continental U.S.?
Hawaii follows Hawaii Standard Time (GMT-10 hours), which is 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add one extra hour to the time difference during this period (March through November).

Where is the main airport on Hawaii Island?
Travel to Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona to the west, or Hilo International Airport (ITO) in Hilo to the east. Most visitors arrive in Kona. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) first and then taking a short, 35-40 minute flight to Hawaii Island.

Do I need a car to get around Hawaii Island?
We recommend a rental car for flexibility and ease, and we strongly suggest booking before you arrive. All the major rental companies are found on Hawaii Island. There are also guided tours of every type from bus tours and taxis to private limos.

Do I need my passport to get to Hawaii Island?
Since Hawaii is the 50th state, you won’t need to bring your passport unless you’re visiting from outside the United States or traveling to another country after Hawaii.

What should I pack on my trip to Hawaii Island?
It’s warm on Hawaii Island, so pack your summer attire. Pack a light, waterproof jacket for hiking or exploring the tropical rainforests of Hilo and the Hamakua Coast and warmer clothes if you plan to visit the uplands of Waimea and the higher elevations of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Bring casual dress clothes or resort wear if you plan on experiencing some fine dining.

Travel Information for Non-U.S. Citizens

To determine which documents you require, contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection or consulate in your country.

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