Explore & Learn
Geographically, the Big Island is one of the youngest and most dynamic places on earth. Twice as large as all the other Hawaiian islands combined, the Big Island keeps getting bigger, as Kilauea – one of the world’s most active volcanoes – keeps pumping layers of lava over the lands end and into the ocean. The island has spectacular contrasts, from the lofty, snow clad Mauna Kea (13,796 feet), mighty Mauna Loa (13,679 feet) and active Kilauea volcanoes to white, green and black sand beaches at the ocean’s edge; from the stark Kau Desert to gorgeous waterfalls and lush rainforest preserves; from the wet and tropical Hilo/east side to the sunny and dry Kailua-Kona southwest side. In this fertile landscape, the bulk of the State’s agricultural products are grown and produced, including some of the best coffee beans anywhere in the world. Local farmers produce a wide range of specialty products like cocoa and vanilla beans, macadamia nuts, sugar, taro and kawa. The Big Island of Hawai’i is also the world’s largest producer of orchids.