Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo is on the Island of Hawaii, which is the largest and the south-eastern most of the Hawaiian islands, a chain of volcanic islands in the North Pacific Ocean.

Hilo is the gateway to the Volcano National Park. Kilauea has been erupting for years and offers the opportunity to get quite close to the flow while it is progress.

Another waterfall, Rainbow Falls is located in downtown Hilo, thus allowing easier viewing access.

Queen Liliuokalani Gardens is a 30 acre park with Japanese gardens, located on Banyan Drive. The gardens contain Waihonu Pond as well as bridges, koi ponds, pagodas, statues, torii and a Japanese teahouse.

The 4,200m high summit of Mauna Kea houses the world’s largest observatory for optical, infrared, and submillimeter astronomy.

The Lyman House Memorial Museum focuses on Hawaii’s natural history.

In Akaka Falls State Park, around 30 minutes drive away, visitors can explore a Hawaiian tropical rainforest and visit Akaka Falls, which plunges 442ft in a freefall. Note: The trail to the falls is paved but there are a number of stairs and steep inclines along the way.

Leleiwi Beach Park is a popular beach with good snorkelling and gentle surf. Facilities wise, there are toilets and a picnic pavilion but not much else.

The disabled cruiser visiting Hilo 

Where You’re Docked

Ships dock in Hilo Bay, which is a 10 minute taxi ride away from the center. Taxis are available at the docks and a local bus marked ‘Keaukaha’ can be caught from Keaukaha Market, just outside the dock’s main entrance.

Good to Know

Heavy traffic 

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the US Dollar.


The official language in Hilo is English. 


The main shopping areas in Hilo are centred along Kamehameha and Keawe Avenues, where many unique boutiques selling everything from clothing, jewellery and local arts, to leis, Hawaiian wood carvings and puka shell necklaces can be found.

Many local restaurants serve the ‘plate lunch’ featuring two scoops of rice, macaroni and mayonnaise and a variety of different toppings ranging from hamburger, fried egg, Japanese style tonkatsu or the traditional lu’au favorite, kalua pig and beef, and curry.

Points of Interest

  • Hilo – a seven-

Hilo Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Hilo Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible