Hawaii (The Big Island) Museums
(The Big Island, Hawaii - HI, USA)
With such a rich Hawaiian culture, the Big Island remembers its past within a number of museums, which are spread around the island and particularly concentrated in Kona and Kailua-Kona. However, not all of the Big Island's museums are of a historical nature, with the Hawaii Onizuka Space Centre being very much a modern and at times futuristic state-of-the-art attraction.
Particularly noteworthy is the small and friendly Laupahoehoe Train Museum, which is run by the local Laupahoehoe community. Located on the scenic Hamakua Heritage Coast of Hawaii, the museum celebrates the long and important island history of the Big Island's Hilo Railroad, which date back to 1899 are were damaged beyond repair by a giant tidal wave in 1946.
Pacific Tsunami Museum
Address: 130 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, The Big Island, HI-96720, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 935 0926
The purpose of the Pacific Tsunami Museum is to educated visitors on the devastating effects that the giant 'tsunami' waves have historically caused to the islands of Hawaii. Of particular interest in the model of Hilo, showing how the capital of Hilo appeared before tsunami wave of 1946 literally flattened many of the buildings. The science of tsunamis is explored, along with a number of personal rescue experiences, firsthand stories and incredible photographs of the damage caused over the past century. Look out for the splendid views across Hilo Bay.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts for students, seniors and children under 17 years old
Address: Crater Rim Drive, Volcanoes National Park, The Big Island, HI-96785, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 985 6000
The Jaggar Museum can be found within the famed Volcanoes National Park
and contains a wealth of information about volcanoes and lava. Some of the most interesting exhibits including the different formations of lava, with actual samples showing clearly showing their unique structures. Photographs and diagrams also clearly illustrate past volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island, with both a tiltometer and a seismograph being on display, two essential items used to monitor volcanic activities and movements.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 17:00
Admission: entrance to the Volcanoes National Park, charge per car
Address: 276 Haili Street, Hilo, The Big Island, HI-96720, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 935 5021
Situated within the busy city of Hilo, the Lyman Museum is divided into two distinct areas and was founded as far back as the early 1930s. The Earth Heritage Gallery is of particular interest and concentrates on various different aspects of natural science, while the Island Heritage Gallery has a more historical and cultural theme. Also of interest here is the very popular Shipman Foundation Gallery of Chinese Art, and the Interactive Astronomy Centre, where hands-on exhibits are in plentiful supply.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for students, families and children
Onizuka Space Centre
Address: 1 Keahole Street, Kona Airport, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, HI-96740, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 329 3441
The Onizuka Space Centre really is one attraction not to miss and will without question appeal to all ages. Sited within the grounds of the island's Kona International Airport
, the Onizuka Space Centre was founded in honour of Ellison Onizuka, an astronaut from Kona, who tragically lost his life during the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy of 1986. The centre successfully holds your interest and contains many hands-on activities for children. Especially interesting is the 'gravity well', which clearly illustrates the natural pull of gravity that is exerted within space.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for students, seniors, families and children under 12 years old
Kona Historical Society Museum
Address: 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, South Kona, The Big Island, HI-96704, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 323 3222
The Kona Historical Society Museum may be small, but it is crammed with interest, and the building itself is particularly impressive, being on Hawaii's National Register of Historic Places. The past photos, images and books are just some of the highlights, as are the traditional, old-fashioned sweets for sale at the onsite Greenwell Store.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 15:00
Laupahoehoe Train Museum
Address: 36-2377 Mamalahoa Highway, Laupahoehoe, The Big Island, Hilo, Hawaii HI, HI-96764, USA
Tel: +1 808 962 6300
The island's railroad history is preserved for future generations by a series of photographs, artefacts and fascinating memorabilia, including an actual railroad home and a boxcar carriage. The gift shop is especially notable, selling local Hawaiian handicrafts, while outside, the museum gardens are filled with tropical plants and lend themselves to picnicking.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 16:30, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 14:00
Parker Ranch Visitor Centre and Museum
Address: 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway, Parker Ranch Centre, Kamuela, The Big Island, HI-96743, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 885 7655
One of the biggest and the best ranches on offer in the whole of Hawaii, the Parker Ranch Visitor Centre and Museum is located within Kamuela and explores the history of the Big Island, right up to the present day. The Big Island's Park Ranch is particularly historic and was established more than 150 years ago, meaning that it amongst the oldest ranches of its kind in the USA, covering a staggering 150,000 acres / 60,700 hectares in total. Within the museum itself are a number of well thought out displays concentrating on the past 'paniolo' (Hawaiian cowboys) ranchers, with a short film providing information about the ranch and its numerous homes. Those who are feeling adventurous may be interested to take a horseback tour of the pastureland, or jump aboard an all-terrain vehicle.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00
Kona Coffee Living History Farm
Address: 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, South Kona, The Big Island, HI-96704, Hawaii HI, USA (US)
Tel: +1 808 323 3222
The Kona Coffee Living History Farm resides within the town of Captain Cook, on the western side of the Big Island. This attraction explores the past life of local Hawaiian communities and the impact of the island's Kona coffee industry, offering information about the processes involved with producing coffee, from plantation to roasting. A gift shop in on hand should you wish to pick up a souvenir.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 14:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children, children five years old and under are free