You can tell when the humpback whales are back in Hawaii by the number of ocean excursions that are offering special deals. Add to that the fact that the lava flows of Kilauea are once again flowing into the ocean, and it's definitely an exciting time to be on Hawaii Island, the Big Island.
Before we get to some of this month's news from the Big Island, be sure to nominate your favorite Big Island activity company for the 2013 About.com Hawaii Travel Readers' Choice Awards.
Now let's see what's new on Hawaii Island:
Body Glove Cruises
The New Year brings the return of the humpback whales and Body Glove Cruises two-and-a-half-hour Whale Watching Excursion. See whales or come again free. Book a combo of an ocean adventure of your choice and a luau at the Royal Kona Resort for additional fun and extra savings. Kids ages 5 and under are free. For more information, call (800) 551-8911 or visit their website.
Hawaii Forest & Trail
Swim in a private waterfall, picnic beside a lush valley and soar through the trees all in the same day with The Kohala Zip & Dip from Hawaii Forest & Trail and Kohala Zipline. The adventure-packed excursion takes guests on a zipline canopy tour followed by a short waterfall hike, swim, and picnic lunch and includes round-trip transportation from Kona and Kohala. For more information or to reserve space, call (800) 464-1993 or visit their website. Find out more about Hawaii Forest and Trail in our overview feature.
Kona Eco Adventures
Kona Eco Adventures brings new excitement to South Kona with their Kona Zipline. Enjoy a tree-to-tree zipline course consisting of eight ziplines and two suspension bridges. Next is an ATV adventure ride through an ancient Native Hawaiian forest and open range pastures. Those who prefer a peaceful tour can embark on the Nature Hike where you can touch, smell and sync into the sounds of the forest. Visit "Mist Mountain Farm" and come face to face with buffalo, llama, horses, and more. For more information, call (808) 889-5111 or visit their website.
Kona Honu Divers
Start your day with Kona Honu Divers on a morning adventure to visit Hawaii Island's exotic marine species up close and personal at two separate dive sites. In addition to seeing schools of brightly colored fish, Hawaiian spinner dolphins, Green sea turtles, and Dragon eels have been known to make frequent appearances. For more information or to make a reservation, call (888) 333-4668 or visit their website.
Lava Ocean Adventures
For the first time in over a year, you can experience the wonder of Kilauea's lava flow from land and sea during a new Lava Combo tour with Lava Ocean Adventures. This must-do Hawaii Island adventure combines a boat tour and hike for an all-access pass to view the current lava flows and the aftermath of past flows including black sand beaches, lava tubes, rainbows, and wildlife. For more information, call (808) 966-4200 or visit their website.
Mauna Lani Sea Adventures
Mauna Lani Sea Adventures, located on the beautiful Kohala Coast at the Mauna Lani Resort, is now offering whale watch tours aboard the 50-foot catamaran "Winona." Guests will have the opportunity to view humpback whales in their natural environment, listen to them "sing", and learn about their behaviors during the hour-and-a-half tour, which also includes refreshments, beer, wine, snacks, chips and salsa. For more information, call or email at (808) 885-7883 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website.
Ocean Sports celebrates Humpback Whale Season on Hawaii, the Big Island with a new way to play all day. Join the Ocean Sports ohana (family) every Sunday and Friday at Anaehoomalu Bay for "Aloha Days on the Beach." For just $25, enjoy four hours of unlimited beach toy use, Glass Bottom Boat rides, Hawaiian canoe rides, and more. Then, keep the party going with a Whales & Cocktails Cruise at the special rate of $80 for adults and $40 for children (6-12). Children under 6 always cruise for free. For information and reservations, call (808) 886-6666 ext. 103 or visit their website.