Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour in Big Island

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From $12.99

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Departs: Hawaii, Hawaii

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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Don't miss a thing as GyPSy Guide's Audio Driving Tour takes you on an incredible journey across Hawaii's Big Island. Along the way you'll be guided to all of the island's famous highlights including Volcanoes National Park, the Place of Refuge and Akaka Falls, as well as the best spots for seeing turtles and more lessor known spots across the island.

Hear fascinating behind-the-scenes stories, local tips and directions play automatically along the route, all based on your location.

And enjoy the freedom to explore offline at your own pace so you can spend more time at places that interest you, and bypass any that don’t.

Stories, tips and directions play automatically based on your location
Travel at your own pace
Tours work offline using GPS, no cell service or WiFi needed
Suggested itineraries for half, full or multi day use
One-time purchase, no time limits or expiry, free updates
Like having a tour guide along for the drive

Purchase one tour per vehicle.

What's Included

Ability to design your own itinerary based on your time and interests

Email, chat and call support

Freedom to explore at your own pace

GyPSy Guide Audio App & Big Island Tour

In-App travel tips, tour planning advice and suggested itineraries

Stories, tips and directions that play automatically based on your location

What's Not Included

Entrance Fees

National Park Passes


Traveler Information

  • TRAVELER: Age: 0 - 120

Additional Info

  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • Please follow current State and National Park guidelines.

Cancellation Policy

All sales are final. No refund is available for cancellations.

What To Expect

Island of Hawaii
As the audio guides play commentary based on your gps location, you can create your own itinerary along the tour route(s) to match your interests and schedule.

Or you can use our trip planners for our suggestions on half, full or multi day itineraries.

Some of the many highlights are listed below;

8 hours • Admission Ticket Free

Akaka Falls State Park
One of Hawaii's most famous waterfalls, stunning Akaka Falls plummets a sheer 440 feet into a gorge.

Access is along a 750 foot trail with lush rainforest, bamboo, ferns and some wild orchids, so it's easy to see why it's so popular. Consider hiking the added 800 feet to Kahuna Falls and for the whole hike to take under an hour.

To access the falls state park, we will pass through the eclectic, ex-plantation town of Honomu, where we can make a quick stop for a baked Hawaiian treat, Big Island coffee or even visit the goat dairy.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Chain of Craters Road
Chain of Craters Road is the 19-mile drive that takes us from the park entrance at approximately 5000 feet elevation, all the way down to sea level.

Along the drive there are many places where we see the effects of once active cindercones and lava flows.

There are several excellent viewpoints with both coastal views, and specific volcanic flow rock views too.

Well worth the drive while visiting Volcanoes National Park.

• Admission Ticket Free

Devastation Trail
Devastation Trail is a very descriptive name for this relatively easy walk along a paved trail that takes us though a cinder field.

We will get a nice view of the cinder cone whose Hawaiian name translates to Gushing Hill. The cinder cone is no longer active.

As you walk, pick up a handful of the cinders to feel how airy and light they are, and also notice how crystals glisten in the sunlight.

What will also strike you is the determination of vegetation to grow in such a desolate environment.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Halemaumau Trail
Halema'uma'u is the location of the crater, or caldera, that is most accessible portion of the Kilaeua volcano system.

For many years, visitors could see voluminous amounts of gas rising out of the crater, a lava lake inside, whose level would rise and fall as conditions changed.

After the eruption events of 2018, Halema'uma'u completely drained of lava, and the walls began collapsing into a deeper, unstable crater. But then without warning, at the end of 2020, lava and gas activity started again.

The older, closer viewpoints for the crater, including the Jaggar Museum, are no longer accessible or safe, but there are still viewing areas where we can peer in and see into the crater.

If you visited Volcanoes before 2018, you will be amazed by how much this area has changed.

Driving on the Crater Rim Drive is still possible, going as far as the Kilauea Military Camp.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Hamakua Coast
What a drive! North of Hilo, on the windward side of the island, the Hamakua Coast is one stunningly beautiful scenic drive!

An abundant amount of rain keeps the rainforest a green shade of lush and the many waterfalls flowing.

The Hamakua Coast includes Akaka Falls and Kahuna waterfalls, the Onomea Bay scenic drive, tropical botanical gardens and authentic towns like Laupahoehoe.

Not much has changed in this area since its plantation days, though you won’t see donkeys plodding down to the shore with sugar bags strapped on either side anymore!

• Admission Ticket Free

Hawi and its neighbor Kaapau, are the northern most towns of the Big Island of Hawaii and you will want to visit if exploring the entire island.

They are small, unspoiled towns filled with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and a popular icecream stop, all set in plantation style buildings from their sugar cane past.

Kapaau is home of the original statue of King Kamehameha the Great, considered the unifier of all of the Hawaiian Islands.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Hilo is the biggest town, or small city, on the eastern side of the Big Island and enjoys a scenic setting on the shore of the bay, with a facade of wooden storefronts and copious greenspaces.

It sees frequent rain showers and is therefore lush and green compared to Kailua-Kona on the opposite side of the island.

It's easy to fill a day of sightseeing in Hilo and some of the key locations are included in the Hilo loop drive, Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots and the Kaumana Lava Tube Caves. Allow 2 hours to enjoy the scenic driving loop.

You might be surprised to see what celebrities from the 30's, 40's and 50's have visited Hilo over the years. In Hollywood, you get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but in Hilo you get a fig tree named after you on Banyan Drive. Cruise by to see the 50 trees and the plaque names.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Holei Sea Arch
Holei Sea Arch is a fitting final stop on the Chain of Craters Road.

It is easy to see how lava flows have created a sea shelf, and cliffs. Relentless pounding by the ocean waves have created an arch formation.

Recent shifting and movement in the volcanic rock cliffs has meant that the official viewpoint for the Sea Arch has been closed for safety concerns. But the Holei Sea Arch can still been seen.

For your safety always obey any closures that have been set up to protect the staff and public in these unstable areas.

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Kealakekua Bay
Significant for a number of reasons; the bay is a marine preserve conservation area, a popular destination for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkelling. It's also listed as a National Register of Historic Places on the Island with heiaus (temples) and archeological sites.

Kealakekua is an important place in Hawaiian culture and history as it is the location where Captain James Cook met his demise after the first significant contact between the Hawaiian's and the western world. There is a monument to identify the historic events that occurred here.

Be aware that there are some restrictions in place if you are kayaking. You must obtain a permit before coming ashore on the beach at Ka'awaloa. Consider a kayaking tour (check permits) where you'll get early access to the bay before many arrive.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Kilauea Volcano
Kilauea Iki is a crater within the the larger caldera area. Though the area is inactive today, a half century ago a lava lake filled the crater and sometimes eruption would shoot lava 2,000 feet into the sky.

The Kilauea Iki Trail is a popular moderately difficult hike that allows you get inside the caldera wall.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Kohala Coast
The Kohala Coast refers to everything that is north of the Kona Airport.

It is an incredibly spectacular area, both stark and harsh, and amazingly inviting. Dry grasses take hold between lavarock outflows. On clear days, views are enjoyed all the way to the top of Big Island giants, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

Along the Kohala Coast we'll find most of the major resort properties. But there are also many cultural places to explore too, and those resorts have often restored and provide access to ancient trails, petroglyphs and other historic sites.

Popular beaches along the coastal route include Hapuna, Beach 69 and Kua Bay. Continue following 270 north to visit the towns of Hawi and Kapaau.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Kailua-Kona is the main town of the western side of the island and has long been the popular central hub for visitors.

It is located south of the Kona Airport. The historic waterfront of Kailua Bay is filled with stores, cafes and restaurants to explore and provides the energy of the town.

Exploring south brings us to a fascinating mix of vacation accommodations, surfing beaches, historic churches and cultural sites.

Visit the Magic Sands Park to see whether the sand is "in" or if it has disappeared offshore again. There are many coves that are excellent for swimming and snorkeling.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Liliuokalani Gardens
Located on a short triangular peninsula, Queen Liliuokalani Gardens are named for Hawaii's last reigning monarch.

The gardens are of Japanese design and a tribute to Hawaii's first Japanese immigrants with arching bridges, fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, stone lanterns and a teahouse.

The setting is idyllic with views back to Hilo, the Bay and to Mauna Kea on a clear day. It's nice to either drive or stroll through the gardens.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
Kapu was a series of laws and regulations from old Hawaii times that governed lifestyle, class structure and the religion. And the punishment for breaking one, perhaps harvesting food outside of a season, might mean death.

For some, the only chance to be saved would be to escape to the nearest sacred Place of Refuge.

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau located south of Kealakekua Bay is perhaps the best preserved and restored Place of Refuge anywhere in Hawaii, and both poignant and stunning. The Pu'uhonua is still considered a sacred site, so please be respectful.

The neighbouring beach is called 2 Step for its rocky but easy entry into the water, and is one of the very best snorkelling locations on this side of the Big Island.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Pololu Valley Lookout
While exploring the norther tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, continue following route 270 past Hawi and Kapaau to the end of the road.

There you will find the Pololu Valley Lookout, located where the Pololu Valley and stream meet the ocean at a black sand beach. It's beautifully scenic.

The hike to the beach is steep and the trail is rough and often muddy, so make sure it's something you are prepared to do before setting out. The views from the top justify the driving detour on their own!

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Rainbow Falls
Located on the scenic loop drive around Hilo, Rainbow Falls is easily accessible, with ample parking and paved trails that lead to the viewing platform.

Many of Hawaii's waterfalls project rainbows in the fine mist spray, but these 80 foot falls and 100 feet across, are spectacular in both sunny and rainy conditions. The best rainbow effect occurs around 10am on sunny mornings.

The falls are also an important cultural site and location of the Hawaiian legends surrounding Hina, mother of Maui and a giant lizard named Mo‘o Kuna.

Continue the loop drive past Rainbow Falls for the Boiling Pots and Kaumanu Caves Lava Tube.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Nahuku - Thurston Lava Tube
By far the most famous lava tube in the National Park.

Lava Tubes are a type of cave that are created when a strong lava flow eventually stops. If the lava drains away fairly quickly it leaves an empty space, or void, that is surrounded by newly created rock.

Thouston Lava Tube is a substantial size, and relatively easy to explore, complete with lit paths.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Allow a full day and head to the most popular place to visit on the Big Island of Hawaii. On our travels to Volcanoes National Park from the Kona side of the island, along Highway 11, we have time to review the volcanic forces at work behind the creation of the Hawaiian Islands, or you may prefer to embrace the Hawaiian legends version.

Please note with the volcanic events of 2018, areas of the Park are reopening in phases and any closures that are stil are in place are to ensure public safety. The Jaggar Museum is unlikely to reopen at its original site due to instability of the caldera walls, but viewpoints into the caldera and Kilauea Iki are open.

Driving the full length of the Chain of Craters Road is highly recommended, dropping 4000 feet of elevation to ocean level. Along the way there are fascinating stops and short walks at places like Devastation Trail, Kealakomo, the Pu'u Loa Petroglyph Trail and Holei Sea Arch.

8 hours • Admission Ticket Free

Waipio Valley Lookout
Waipio Valley is a stunning and not-to-be-missed lookout atop a 2,000 foot sea cliff.

Simply spectacular! From the viewpoint, we view the location where a 5-mile long canyon finds its way to the ocean from the mountains behind, as well as extended views to more sea cliffs.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

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