Steve Austin, this post is for you!

Off Roading on the Big Island

I saw Steve, my accountant,  before I left for vacation. I told him we were doing the “Road to Hana” on Maui, Hawaii & he gave me some great advise, “Ignore the rental car contract that restricts you from going on the section of road after Hana” he said, “continue the loop as the road is not that bad & the scenery is great”. We took his advise and as the other cars turned back for a 2-3 hour return trip on a hairpin turn, 1 lane bridge highway we continued on our merry way & he was right some of the best scenery & by Maine standards the road was not that bad & we left the crowds behind!

So, when we reached the Big Island we were ready to do some off-roading / 4 wheeling to find those off the beaten track beaches. The Hawaii travel guides recommend a 4-wheel drive on the Big Island & I strongly agree.

Search for Green Sand Beach in the Jeep Wrangler

We could not have found the Green Sand Beach with a car or even with a pansy 4-wheel drive vehicle. (okay – we could have done a 5 mile hike but would that have been as much fun!) The Jeep Wrangler was perfect with its huge ground clearance &  big tires. I was in the back seat & at times could see sand dune out both windows & just inches away! Needless to say, Dave was having a blast driving the Jeep off road & felt like an explorer looking for the new world! I think we spent some time driving on a trail meant for walking, and we wondered if there was room for the vehicle on the path as it edged along the ocean,  tire puncture on volcanic shards were also a concern, but eventually we found the beach & it was amazing!

Papakolea Beach or Green Sand Beach is located in a bay circled by a cinder cone, this cinder cone is partially collapsed & is eroding into the ocean. The cinder cone is very rich in Olivine, a green mineral common in Hawaiian lavas. The mineral  Olivine forms the semi precious gem called Peridot &  is found  in many Hawaiian Jewelry stores.

Papakolea or Green Sand Beach

There are only 2 other known green beaches in the world; in Guam and in  the Galapagos Islands so this may be a once in a lifetime experience for us, though Colleen is going to the Galapagos Islands in May so she may see another Green Beach very soon.

2 Comments on 4 wheeling on the Big Island of Hawaii

  1. Boon says:

    Looks like fun! You should have dad write something about how the Wrangler Compares to his FJ off road.

  2. Heather says:

    Good idea Matt, I’ll ask him (but he kept saying that the FJ could do it better) you would have had a blast!

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