Best family adventures in Hawaii

Stef Zisovska

The island of Hawaii is way different than the other Hawaiian islands. First of all, it’s not packed with noisy crowds, and it’s not where all the tourists go when visiting these beautiful islands. And it’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts because the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park makes up almost 13% of the island. Geographically speaking, Hawaii doesn’t look like the other islands, and that’s part of what makes it so special and unique.

The adventure possibilities here are endless, and it’s especially good for families that enjoy getting out and exploring nature. If you’re looking for something more than a beach holiday, then head inland and see how your crew enjoys the spectacular landscapes of Hawaii.

Rappel down waterfalls together

Rappelling down waterfalls
Rappelling down waterfalls

Kulaniapia Falls Inn is not the typical accommodation that you would expect to see while on a vacation, but you will be mesmerized by the beautiful 120-feet tall private waterfall on its property. The most exciting part of the adventure is that you and your kids (if they’re 10 or older) can rappel down the waterfall. You can do it to the side of the fall or directly through the water.

All levels of experience are welcomed, and for those who are scared of heights, there is a practice bunny hill that everybody must pass before going down the big waterfall. This incredible activity is a great confidence booster that will do wonders for the confidence of all family members.

Watch the sunrise together

If your kids are like a lot of teenagers and don’t get too excited about being adventurous, then take them on a tour to see the best sunrise of their lives from the top of the world’s highest volcano. The adventure group Hawaii Forest and Trails leads an excursion to the summit of Mauna Kea volcano from where you and your family can see the epic sunrise. Be prepared to get up early and be on time for the bus that leaves at 2 a.m. Standing above the clouds and watching the first light of the day is an experience that nobody can fail to find inspiring. Children under the age of 13 are not allowed because of the reduced oxygen at 13,000 feet. The bus stops at 9,000 feet so you can get acclimatized.

Trek over lava fields with your family

Exploring a lava field in Hawaii
Exploring a lava field in Hawaii

The black lava rocks and lava fields give Hawaii Volcanoes National Park the most surreal look and completely different from all the other national parks in the NPS. If you decide to take a trekking tour on the lava fields, you will wonder if you’ve entered a movie set from Star Wars. Kapohokine Adventures organizes a 4-mile trekking tour where you can see active lava outbreaks that will blow your mind and leave you speechless. You will also get to see Kilauea, the most active volcano on Hawaii. What’s awe-inspiring here is the smoke plume when the hot lava meets the ocean. A view that you will never forget.

Hike through a crater together

Adventure through a crater
Adventure through a crater

The Kilauea Iki Trail at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a day hike must for the whole family. Walk through the famous Thurston Lava Tube before descending 400 ft. to the bottom of Kilauea Iki Crater’s lava lake. The lake was formed in 1959, and it’s solid now, but you can still see steam coming out from the lake floor. Knowing that you’re walking inside the crater is extremely exciting and will make your young adventurer’s spirit tingle. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you don’t get to live every day, so enjoy it.

Snorkel with your family

The Alaka i Nalu ocean program is the best thing you can do with your kids if you’re fans of water activities. You will get to see Hawaiian spinner dolphins and snorkel in unique secluded places. Good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival