Kona Coffee Belt Is Just A Small Part of Exciting Hawaii Island
The Big Island of Hawaii - the Orchid Isle - is the southernmost of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, and also the largest Hawaiian Island.
Measuring about 76 miles wide by 93 miles long, the Big Island has a land area of 4,028 square miles, making it more than twice as big as the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined, and four times the size of Maui. To drive completely around the Big Island covers about 222 miles.
The official flower of the Big Island is the ohia lehua blossom, and the island’s highest spot is atop the summit of Mauna Kea Volcano at 13,796 feet - this is also the highest spot in all of the Pacific Basin.
Originally formed about 400,000 years ago, the Big Island is the youngest of the all of the Hawaiian Islands. By comparison, Kauai is about 5 million years old.
Due to the active eruptions of Kilauea Volcano, the Big Island is still growing in size. Since the volcano began erupting almost continuously in 1983 it has added nearly 40 square miles of land to the island. Kilauea Volcano lava flows continue to pour down the southeast flank of the mountain and add land to the southeastern coastline.
In all there are six volcanoes that formed the Big Island during its 400,000 year history. These six volcanoes are Kilauea, Mauna Loa (which has the most mass of any mountain on Earth), Mauna Kea (the tallest mountain on Earth measured from its base), Kohala, Hualalai, and Mahukona which is now submerged offshore.
The Big Island has a great diversity of ecosystems from beautiful black sand beaches and white sand beaches along the coastline to snow covered mountaintops. In between are areas lush with rainforest growth as well as vast deserts of lava.
In addition to the annual premium Kona coffee crop there are also many other agricultural products grown on the Big Island including significant quantities of papayas and macadamia nuts as well as many fine herbs and vegetables such as delicacy mushrooms - these products supply many of the finer restaurants throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
The Big Island is also known for the large quantities of flowers grown there including many orchids, anthuriums, and other tropical and exotic flowers.
The Big Island also produces large quantities of beef and is home to the famous Parker Ranch, the largest privately owned ranch in all of the United States.
The capital city of the Big Island is Hilo which has a population of about 150,000 people and home to the University of Hawaii-Hilo as well as the major shipping port of Hilo Bay as well as Hilo International Airport.
The island’s other major airport is Kona International Airport, while the smaller Waimea Kohala Airport serves commuter flights as well as private charters.
Of course one of the most remarkable things about the Big Island is that it is the home of Kona Coffee, a premium gourmet coffee that is famous all over the world.
Kona Coffee Country is located in both the south and north Kona districts. This prime coffee-growing region at elevations between 500 and 2,500 feet along the western slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcano is known as the Kona Coffee Belt.
Here are some important Big Island Links for more information.