can i explore big island without a car


As a traveler who loves adventure, I often find myself exploring new destinations without the convenience of a car. When it comes to the Big Island of Hawaii, many people believe that a car is a necessity. However, I have discovered that it is entirely possible to explore this beautiful island without relying on a vehicle. In this article, I will share my experiences and tips for exploring Big Island without a car, allowing you to enjoy all the wonders this place has to offer.

Public Transportation

One of the most convenient ways to get around the Big Island without a car is by using public transportation. The Hele-On bus system provides affordable and reliable service to various parts of the island, making it easy to visit popular attractions and destinations. With routes covering the entire island, you can travel from Hilo to Kona, visit the Volcanoes National Park, and explore the beautiful beaches without worrying about driving.


For travelers who enjoy a more active approach to exploration, biking is a fantastic option on the Big Island. From coastal roads to mountain trails, there are plenty of biking opportunities that allow you to experience the natural beauty of the island up close. Many areas also offer bike rental services, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own equipment. Just imagine feeling the ocean breeze as you pedal along the scenic coastal roads, taking in the stunning views as you go.


As an avid hiker, I can attest to the fact that the Big Island offers some of the most breathtaking trails in Hawaii. From the challenging hikes within the Volcanoes National Park to the lush rainforest trails near Hilo, there is no shortage of opportunities to explore the island by foot. You can witness mesmerizing landscapes, encounter unique wildlife, and discover hidden gems that are inaccessible by car. Just remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and bug repellent for a safe and enjoyable trek.

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Shuttle Services

If you prefer a more comfortable and convenient mode of transportation, shuttle services are a great alternative to renting a car. Many tour companies and resorts offer shuttle services that can take you to popular attractions and scenic spots around the island. These services often come with knowledgeable guides who can provide valuable insights and information about the island, adding an extra layer of enrichment to your exploration.


In recent years, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular on the Big Island. While they may not be as readily available as in major cities, you can still find ridesharing options in tourist areas and larger towns. This can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially if you’re traveling with a group and can split the fare. Just be mindful of potential longer wait times, especially in more remote areas of the island.


Lastly, don’t underestimate the joy of exploring the Big Island on foot. Many areas, especially within towns and along the coast, are easily accessible by walking. Not only does walking allow you to soak in the local culture and atmosphere, but it also provides the freedom to stop and admire the scenery at your own pace. Whether you’re strolling through a quaint town or enjoying a leisurely beach walk, embracing the simple act of walking can lead to unexpected discoveries and memorable experiences.


Exploring the Big Island without a car may seem daunting at first, but it is entirely feasible and rewarding. Whether you choose to utilize public transportation, embrace alternative modes of travel, or simply explore on foot, you’ll find that the island’s natural beauty and unique attractions are as accessible as ever. By stepping out of the confines of a car, you open yourself up to a more intimate and immersive travel experience, allowing you to truly savor the wonders of the Big Island.

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Q: Is it difficult to get around the Big Island without a car?

A: While it may require a bit more planning and flexibility, it is definitely possible to explore the Big Island without a car. With options like public transportation, biking, and shuttle services, you can navigate the island’s attractions and destinations with relative ease.

Q: Are there any limitations to exploring without a car?

A: Some remote areas and off-the-beaten-path locations may be more challenging to reach without a car. However, with careful research and a sense of adventure, you can still access many of the island’s highlights without the need for a vehicle.

Q: What are some advantages of exploring on foot or by bike?

A: By choosing to explore on foot or by bike, you gain a deeper connection to the natural surroundings and local communities. You can also enjoy a more leisurely pace, allowing for spontaneous discoveries and a closer appreciation of the island’s beauty.

Q: How can I plan my transportation options in advance?

A: Researching the available public transportation routes, bike rental services, and shuttle options ahead of time can help you create a comprehensive plan for exploring the Big Island without a car. Additionally, reaching out to local tour companies and accommodations for transportation recommendations can be beneficial.

Q: What should I consider when exploring without a car?

A: When exploring the Big Island without a car, it’s essential to consider factors such as weather conditions, distance between attractions, and the availability of transportation services. Being adaptable and open-minded will also enhance your overall experience.