big island activites discount
Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive Hawaii Forest and Trail

Hakalau Forest Reserve Exclusive - Hawaii Forest and Trail

Hakalau translates in English as "many perches."  During the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure Hawaii Forest and Trail offered through Big Island Activities Discount, you’ll be able to experience why this area is recognized as a significant bird habitat.  The refuge was once part of a huge cattle ranch and was the very first National Wildlife Refuge in the United States of America launched for forest bird.  Some of the rarest animals and plants in the world live in this refuge.   This Big Island Eco-Tour accesses the Pua Akala tract via special permit, as Hakalau isn’t open to the public.  

This Big Island Tour starts out with a drive starting at Hawaii Forest and Trail and heading north on Mamalahoa Highway towards Waimea and the renowned Saddle Road.  Once the group gets on the Saddle Road, there’s a great chance for some car-birding, especially of game birds and the Hawaiian short-eared owl.  The Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure by Hawaii Forest and Trail will stop in route on the Saddle Road for a bathroom stop and a delicious continental breakfast consisting of breads, fresh fruit, and pound cake accompanied by an assortment of teas and Kona coffee.  Following breakfast, the Big Island Eco-Tour group will drive along the unpaved Keanakolu Road eleven miles until arriving at the Pua Akala territory of the refuge.  If you plan on taking part during these Big Island Activities, you can expect two and a half hours of driving each way.  It sounds like a lot of time, but you won’t even notice it because you’ll be in awe at the contrasting scenery and by your guide’s explanation of the area’s outstanding cultural, natural and geologic history.  This is one of the most unique and unforgettable Hawaii Activities offered by Big Island Activities Discount.

Ride along in comfort in brand new,  9 passenger Mercedes Sprinter vans with leather captain seats and usb ports.

During this Big Island Tour, you’ll have the chance to observe how Hakalau is a prime example of conservation in action.  You’ll access a forest that’s recovering from decades of damage from pigs and grazing by cattle.  Because of our permit, you’ll have the chance to bird in the stunning Pua Akala meadow, which is’nt open to the general public.  These Big Island Activities are so exciting because you’ll be able to observe indigenous plants pushing through the ancient pasture grass.  Your Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure group will be able to see thousand year old ohia-lehua trees, giant koa trees, rare lobeliads, ferns, and much more.  Like some of Hawaii Forest and Trail’s other Hawaii Activities, the forest on this Big Island Eco-Tour is filled with the melodious sound of rare birds.  Many times, the Big Island Tour will encounter resource managers who are always more than glad to share the most recent information.  Because of its history of grazing, Hakalau has a park-like setting.  The trail that these Big Island Activities utilize is a four-wheel drive road that intersects with the meadow.  While you’ll only be walking a small distance, you will experience some elevation loss and gain totaling approximately 650 feet. 

These Hawaii Activities last twelve hours, roundtrip from headquarters in Kailua-Kona.  The Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Adventure with Hawaii Forest and Trail is rated moderate and is suitable for those aged 12 and up.  Full day Big Island Eco-Tours include a mid-morning snack with Tazo teas, Kona coffee, pastries, fresh fruit; a deli lunch with beverages; bottled water; daypacks; binoculars; warm wear; walking sticks; and raingear.

Here is a map of the Big Island of Hawaii that shows where the various Hawaii Forest and Trail tours are offered.

When you’re booking your Big Island Tours, Big Island Activities, and Hawaii Activities with Big Island Activities Discount, be sure to ask about Big Island Eco-Tours such as the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge Birdwatching Tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail.

Tour Highlights:

  • Entry into a restricted-access National Wildlife Refuge
  • Birdwatching in the Hakalau forest led by one of their most experienced bird guides – a critical bird habitat that is home to some of the rarest plant and animal species on earth
  • Special permit to access the Pua Akala tract is included
  • Travel in comfort in brand new Mercedes Sprinters that seat 9 passengers with leather captains chairs and usb ports.
  • Our interpretive guides are expert bird trackers

Tour Inclusions:

  • Breakfast snack
  • Deli-style lunch (choice of turkey, ham, pastrami or veggie sandwich)
  • Assorted beverages
  • Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs and rain ponchos are provided
 Big Island ToursMap
Where and When:
Departure time usually at 6:30 am. Sometimes the departure time is slightly different based on the restricted-access permits gained for the tour. Exact time for your tour will be emailed to you.

Departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters
73-5593A Olowalu St.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 (View Map)

Please bring your own water bottle for use on tour. Water bottles are available for purchase at Hawaii Forest and Trail and a jug will be available for refills.
Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply. Must be 8+ years old.
Special Notes:
Operation Days:
Approx. 11-12 hours roundtrip
Hawaii Forest and Trail
Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs and rain ponchos are provided.
Total : $0.00

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