Big Island Updates & Changes
It happens every time. The day after we send the disks off to the printers for our brand new edition, somebody changes something that directly affects what we write. Several times we’ve e-mailed these changes to the printers. (It’s our only chance to yell that classic publisher line, Stop the presses!) But after the presses roll we’re left shaking our heads, saying, “Yeah, we know that changed. We’ll correct that in our next printing.” The internet is the next best thing to yanking back all the books in print and scribbling in the changes that always occur.
At Wizard Publications we continually strive to bring you the most up-to-date and accurate information on the islands. We are the only publisher who updates our books every time we reprint them. So if you see the updates below already listed in the book you just bought, you may have a recent printing.
The updates below are for the 8th edition of Hawaii The Big Island Revealed. Note: all pages numbers refer to the printed edition of the book. There are no longer any updates for earlier editions on this website.
- Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Due to the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity, park management has closed Volcanoes National Park, including the gravel emergency access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana, to the western gate at the end of Chain of Craters Road, and all land on the makai (ocean) side of the emergency road. Please visit our website’s Volcano Lava Flow page for more detailed information. https://www.hawaiirevealed.com/hawaii-the-big-island-revealed/current-lava-flow-map/
As of May 23, the Kahuku Unit of the Park, located about an hour’s drive south of the park’s main entrance, is now open to visitors five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Additionally, National Park Rangers are available at the Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Downtown Hilo (Tuesday through Saturday) to present educational programs and provide updates.
- Effective immediately, the DLNR Division of State Parks has closed its Lava Tree State Monument and Mackenzie State Recreation Area until further notice. Gates to these parks will be locked and closure signs posted.
Rat lungworm disease has been making big news on the mainland lately. But there’s no reason to change your plans or behavior while on Hawai‘i. Here’s the scoop. This comes from a parasite that has existed all over the world, and has been in Hawai‘i for more than half a century. On average it effects around 9 people a year, nearly all of whom fully recover. What has created such a buzz lately with when half a dozen people on Big Island got it at one time, which is a good example of how one gets this infection. In this case a group of local residents made home-made kava—a brown water made from a root—and left a bucket of it outside, uncovered for days, where slugs crawled into it and sank to the bottom unseen. Then they continued to drink the slug-infected opaque water until they got to the bottom of the bucket and learned of their tragic mistake. None of this effects an average visitor. The Hawaii‘i State Department of Health is urging residents and visitors to continue their daily lives, wash and eat local produce and not to get sucked in by scary-sounding stories.
- Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine & Musiquarium is temporarily closed for improvements to their wastewater system.
- Kalapana Lava Viewing Area (page 243) is currently closed due to increased seismic activity.
- Lava Flow Activity—Please see our Volcano page for current information.
- Mauna Kea Recreation Area cabins (page 140 & 182) are closed for renovations. They are scheduled to reopen in June 2018.
- Volcano Cave Adventures (page 183) is temporarily closed due to volcanic activity.
General Information & Updates:
- Island Air (page 22) has ceased operations in Hawaii.
- Hertz Car Rental (page 23) has changed their phone number to 808-935-2898.
- Island RV (page 24) is no longer renting RVs. (Changed their name to Clark’s Hawaii Tours and only do tours.)
- Scooter Brothers (page 24) has closed. Try Kona Scooter Rental at 808-518-4100.
- Pest Hotline (page 33) now has a statewide phone number: 808-643-7378.
- Baby’s Away (page 34) has changed their phone number to 808-747-9667.
- Hilton Waikoloa (page 34 & 294) no longer has their Club Keiki children’s activity program.
- Waimea Homestead Farmers’ Market (page 42) has moved to 67-1229 Mamalahoa Hwy (Hwy 19), off Lindsey Road behind the Post Office.
- Waimea Midweek Farmers’ Market (page 42) has changed their hours to 9 a.m.—3 p.m.
- Pau Hana Estate (page 68) has closed.
- Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau (page 73 & 170) entrance fee has increased to $15 per car.
- Volcanoes National Park (page 85, 91, 193, 197) entrance fee has increased to $25.
- Kapoho Tidepools (and Champagne Pond), Kapoho community (page 114, 115, 116 & 122) this lovely area fell victim to Madame Pepe’s lava eruption. The entire area was completely wiped out and is currently off-limits.
- Ahalanui Beach Park (page 116 &117) in July 2018 the eruption swerved to the south and bulldozed this park with lava. And so, Ahalanui is no more.
- Kolekole Beach Park (page 125 &127) is closed indefinitely.
- Woodshop Gallery & Café (page 125 & 138) no longer has a café.
- Waikoloa Village Market (page 137) is now a KTA superstore and called KTA Waikoloa Village.
- JJ Country Market (page 138) has new owners and is now called Honoka‘a Country Market.
- Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach (page 151, 175 & 176) no longer has lifeguards.
- Velissimo Cycling (page 180) has closed. Try Big Island Bike Tours at 800-331-0159.
- Kulanaokuaiki (page 182) is no longer a free campsite. Cost is $10 per night, per site.
- Backcountry camping permits (page 182) now cost $10.
- Pua Po‘o lava tube tours (page 183) are now offered on alternating Wednesdays and Saturdays. The tour is now 4 hours long and costs $60. Reservations must be made in advance on their website: https://www.fhvnp.org/institute/wild-caves-exploration/.
- Big Island Country Club (page 187 & 188) is now called Makani Golf Club. It will transition to a private club but no timeline has been announced.
- Naniloa Golf Club (page 187 & 189) has been re-rated and is now called Banyans Golf Club or not. It depends on who you call. Sometimes they call it Naniloa Golf Course or Club, sometimes Banyans Golf Course or Club. So… it’s in Hilo in middle of Banyan Drive – can’t miss it!
- Rocking H (page 207, 209, 223 & 225) is now called Big Island Watersports. They no longer rent kayaks or stand up paddle boards.
- Kahalu‘u Bay Surf & Sea (page 209) no longer rents kayaks.
- Kohala Kayak Club (page 210) has closed.
- Fair Wind II (page 211) has changed their phone number to 808-322-2788.
- Sandwich Isle Divers (page 215, 216 & 217) has closed.
- Hawaiian Scuba Shack (page 216) has a new owner. They don’t currently have a boat so are operating as a dive shop only.
- Neptune Charlies (page 216) has changed their name to Kona Diving EcoAdventures.
- Miller’s Snorkel & Surf (page 221) has changed their name to Miller’s Surf & Sport.
- Living Ocean Adventures (page 226) has sold his boat and retired. Aloha Captain Tom!
- KapohoKine Adventures (page 227) has change their phone number to 808-964-1000.
- Aloha Zipline Express (page 228) is no longer in operation.
From the Island Dining chapter, the following restaurants have closed:
- Alii Buzz
- Bleu Cupcakery
- Café Pesto Kawaihae (Hilo location remains open)
- Fig’s Mix Plate
- Fresh off Da‘Boat
- Leilani Bakery
- Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant
- Moo Bettah
- Oasis Café
- Sweet & Savory Things
- Woodshop Gallery Café
From the Island Dining chapter, the following restaurants have changed:
- Amici Ristorante Italiano has moved to the Kona Country Club at 78-7000 Alii Dr. and changed their name to Amici Vista Bar & Grill. The phone number is 808-322-9582. The menu has also changed. We have not had a chance to review them in their new location.
- Café Il Mondo has moved a few doors down to 45-3580 Mamane St. They now have a full bar so no more BYOB, and medium and large pizzas no longer have to be taken to go. They also now accept VISA and Mastercard.
- Chill’n on the Bay the address should be 75-5699 Alii Dr. and the phone number is 808-326-7499.
- Coast Grille at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is closed for renovations and will reopen as Neridia. We will be back to re-review it after it opens.
- El Maguey Mexican Restaurante the phone number is 808-329-0636.
- Hilo Shark’s Coffee has closed their Waianuenue Ave. and their ‘Akaka Falls locations. Their Hilo location remains open.
- Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant burned down after the building next door caught fire. They plan to rebuild.
- Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar is now just called Manta. They no longer have their enomatic wine machine, but they do have a new chef. We will review them again soon.
- Mi’s Italian Bistro has moved to 75-5770 Alii Dr. in Kailua-Kona and changed their name to Mi’s Waterfront Bistro. The phone number has also changed to 808-329-3880. We have not had a chance to review them in their new location.
- Ocean Terrace at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is closed for renovations and will reopen as Ikena Landing. We will be back to re-review it after it opens.
- Royal Jade Garden the phone number is 808-326-7288.
- Shaka Restaurant the phone number is 808-929-7404.
- Strawberry Patch the phone number is 808-322-9060.
- The Three Fat Pigs has changed their name to The Koa Table and changed their menu. We haven’t had a chance to re-review them yet.
- Waikoloa Village Market is now a KTA Super Store.
- Fairmont Orchid’s Gathering of the Kings Lu‘au has changed. It is now called Hawai‘i Loa Lu‘au. Price has increased to $115.
From the Where To Stay chapter:
- Abbey Vacation Rentals and SunQuest Vacations have combined into Grand Welcome Big Island (a mainland company). The local numbers and websites for them are still valid (you will be redirected automatically) but the toll-free number is 888-780-4809.
- The toll-free phone number for Aston is now: 855-747-0763.
- Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel renovated and rebranded as the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort in mid-2018 and we will be reviewing again soon.
- Hawaii Island Inn in Na‘alehu seems to have disappeared and gone out of business. If you find it, please let us know.
- Hilo Naniloa Hotel is now Grand Naniloa Hotel. Their toll-free phone number has changed to (844) 665-8290.
- Pagoda Hilo Bay Hotel lost their lease and the building is scheduled for demolition. Wishing them a fond aloha.
- Shipman House B&B Inn has closed.