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Hawaii: A Big Island Roadtrip Adventure

Hawaii Big Island Photography

Hawaii is a land of contrasts. The turquoise ocean crashing up on black sand beaches. The humid warm evenings under palm trees on the coast,  or the chilly wet rainforests up in the volcanic mountains. The fresh poke bowls of ahi, and the cultural culinary choices revolving around Spam.

I don’t pretend to have discovered even a tiny bit of the mysteries of the Big Island that I would like to. During our road trip around the island, we got a fantastic introduction to this unique state. It feels a world apart. Scroll down to see the highlights of our road trip, or read the full story below.

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Sharing the Love

We were able to make the trip thanks to the generosity of our friends, Darren and Leiah. I shot their mystical California North Coast wedding in the redwoods last year.

They loaned us the cozy, bohemian family cabin for our trip up in the mountains.  Not only was the cabin one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been, but the little town of Volcano was a non-touristy heaven. It was the perfect home-base for our adventures!

I also had some great advice and input from another adorable couple, Jess and Adam. They had gone to the Big Island for their engagement and had some great ideas for us. Without their valuable advice of packing rain slickers, we would’ve been soaked nearly the whole time. Thanks guys!

Surprising Hawaii

Did you know that the Big Island of Hawaii contains 8 of the world’s 13 different climate zones? All concentrated on the same relatively small island! Driving our rental car hours each day to explore new and different areas of the coast or mountains, we saw the earth change in front of our eyes.

Waking up in chilly tropical rainforest mountains with rain pouring on the roof. Spending mid-morning in bathing suits on a black sand beach with sea turtles. Lunch near a dry and arid plain reminiscent of the Africa. Mid-afternoon driving through high desert mountains. Early evening hiking through dinosaur-sized parasitic green vines. And ending the day by watching glowing active lava spew out of a volcano before our eyes.

Since this was my first time visiting Hawaii, I had the somewhat cliched idea that the whole trip would be a succession of palm trees and hot beaches. I cannot tell you how unexpected and surprising this place was. It is one of the best road trips I have ever done. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Enjoy the images, and definitely let me know when you want to do a photoshoot there – I’m IN! Mahalo!

Looking for intimate destination wedding or travel photography? Hit me up and let’s make it happen!

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