Since you’re probably stuffed from our culinary visits to Kauai and Oahu plus the fruitsicle in Honokaa, let’s take a brief break from all this eating and take a scenic drive today. You’ll find a beautiful drive off Highway 19 at about five to eight miles north of Hilo. The drive is commonly called the “Four Mile Scenic Drive”, but it’s original name is Old Mamalahoa Highway.
So, what makes this scenic drive scenic? The best way to explain it is with pictures. Let’s start with a photo of the road showing how it carves its way through the rainforest.
Next we stop off to take a peek at the beautiful Onomea Bay. (Note that there are no official parking areas here. You have to find a clear area for parking along the side of the road.)
The following photo shows a stream along the road. Notice that the water appears to be flowing from a lava tube. We’re not geologists and we didn’t traipse up the stream to tell for sure, but it really looks like a lava tube. (Here’s a closer view.) What do you think?
Here are some tips for seeing the Four Mile Scenic Drive:
- From Waimea, you access the drive from Kulaimano Road which is between mile markers 10 and 11. From Hilo, you access the drive shortly after mile marker 7.
- The road is narrow, curvy, and has about a half a dozen one-lane bridges and hidden driveways, so do drive slowly and keep your wits about you. You know how those crazy tourists drive.
- There aren’t any official parking areas along the road, though there are a couple of unofficial points where you can pull off beside of the road. Just be careful that you don’t park in someone’s driveway or trespass. Again, keep your wits about you if you get out of your car and to be on the safe side, always lock your doors.
- Did you know that the word rainforest is synonymous with the words “mosquito haven”? In other words, it’s a good idea to have your mosquito repellant applied if you are going to step out of your car.
- If you have the interest and time, there’s a gorgeous tropical botanical garden along this drive that I highly recommend. An admission fee (currently $15 for adults) is required.
See more ideas of what to see and do on your Big Island vacation.