I am coming to Hawaii with my two children (husband is staying home) and plan to mostly camp. We are planning one week on big island and one week on Maui (although we can always change). My children really enjoy beach camping and I really enjoy hiking.
I would like to find two different campgrounds on the big island to use as my base camps. Since I am traveling alone (female) with two kids (ages 12 and 14) I like to stay at one campground for a least 3 nights so I dont have so much packing/setting up work to do.
I am wondering if we should camp at Punaluu and visit the volcano on day trips from our campground - or - if we should camp at the volcanoe (either Namakani Paio or Kalanaokuaiki?). I am thinking that we will need two or three days of visiting at the volcano and it might be nice to break it up with some beach time. Is it far from Punaluu to volcanoe?
I am also considering 3 or 4 nights at Spencer Beach park to have access to the other side of the Island. Spencer currently only have opening for 2 nights. are they very strict about checking the permits? Is there another camping place that you would recommend?
Well, personally, I would stay at the volcano and drive to the beach. The volcano will be much cooler - cold even (which I would prefer for sleeping) and not quite so isolated. It is a 25 minute drive from namakani paio to punaluu. Besides, if you are going to do spencers, then there's your beach camping :)
You know, I'm not too sure about the permits at Spencer beach park. It's a pretty heavily camped beach though, so I would assume permits are checked. Have you looked into the a-frames at Hapuna Beach? You wouldn't have to do so much setup.
thank you so much for your reply. I am glad to know that it is only 25 minutes to punaluu from namakani paio. This means we can just go for a couple of hours of beach time after our morning hike. Yea!!!
We have decided to camp at Hookena - mostly becuase I was able to get a permit for most of the nights I want to be there. We are missing one night and I am hoping it will free up - or we will work something else out.