GyPSy Guide provides a professional tour guide commentary along scenic drives. Our tours highlight the very best of the region with entertaining stories about history, geology, legends and local advice, so all you have to do is drive, listen and soak in the scenery.
The App that’s just like having a tour guide in your car!™
Stories, tips and advice as you drive, so you don’t miss a thing.
All the benefits of a guided tour, the freedom to drive yourself.
Download over wifi, tour offline. No data, cellular or wifi required.
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII – GYPSY GUIDE
Get out and explore around Hawaii’s Big Island and the best way to do that is to drive yourself in a rental car. With more than 460 commentary points, the GyPSy Guide Driving Tour App is the most comprehensive way to experience the whole island.
We’ve divided the Big Island into 4 driving routes that show you the best sights and locations. Allow a full day of sightseeing for the first 2 routes.
Volcanoes National Park is the most popular drive and takes you to the most active volcano on the planet. You tour provides commentary all the way to the park, guides you through the sites inside the Park and then has new commentary for the drive home.
The Island Circle goes all around the Island including Hilo, The Hamakua Coast, Waipio Valley, Waimea, then completing the loop to Kohala and Kona. The Island Circle can be done in either direction.
Our half day routes allow you to discover the north end of the island including Hawi and Pololu Valley, on the Kohala Coast Tour.
We also show you amazing sites hidden away in resort areas and Big Island’s best beaches. The Kona and Coffee Coast tours through Kona, Kealakekua Bay and the Place of Refuge and includes the best snorkelling areas plus much more.
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII HIGHLIGHTS
All the best sightseeing locations on island of Hawaii are included in this tour. All you need to do is drive towards the area you are interested to visit and the commentary will give you all the information you need to explore and enjoy. There is no need to select a specific tour – it’s all built in to one big tour for the entire island.
Volcanoes National Park
Kona and Coffee Coast
Island Circle Route
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII DRIVING TOUR APPS
LISTEN TO SAMPLE COMMENTARY – BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII TOUR ROUTE MAP
Indicate our suggested start locations, or join the tour anywhere along the route and as you pass through the next point, commentary will trigger automatically.
Where does the tour start?
There is no single place to begin any of the tours – the entire island is covered by one large tour. Once you join the tour route, you will hear the instructions you need when there is an important choice to make about the route you want to follow. It is helpful to know the general orientation of the places you want to visit so you get started in the right direction.
Staying on the Kona/Kohala side of the island drive, we recommend driving along Highway 19/11 southbound if you are driving to Volcanoes National Park or if you are doing a circle of the Island. Drive north if you want to do the Kohala Coast Tour.
The Kona and Coffee Coast tour travels southbound, starting in the heart of Kona on Ali’i Drive. A great place to start this tour is by driving on Palani Road towards Ali’i Drive.
There is a loop tour that drives to excellent sightseeing places around Hilo. You will hear directions about how to join that route as you approach Hilo.
Where can I see lava?
Check out What’s Going On With The Volcano – images, videos and webcams. Current Conditions Courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Things can change very quickly with lava flows. There is no guarantee you will be able to see hot lava and officials will close access to areas that are considered unsafe. It’s always a great idea to ask the staff at the info center at Volcanoes National Park about the most up to date information on where you might see lava.
Can I do the Island Circle and visit Volcanoes National Park in one day?
We strongly recommend allocating 2 separate full days to these drives.
You will want to spend at least 2-3 hours at Volcanoes National Park to have a minimum experience to see the sights. More time is better, and you’ll need more time if you want to do some of the hikes. The driving time to get to the Park from the Kona side of the island is 2 – 2.5 hours depending where you are staying.
Since you need this much time to see Volcanoes National Park, you won’t have enough daylight time to drive all the way around the island AND get to stop and enjoy the sightseeing along the way. It’s best to leave yourself a full day to do the drive around the island and visit the best places as its own special trip.
Does the tour include the Saddle Road?
The Saddle Road is the road that cuts across the island between the north end of the Kona Coast and Hilo. Depending on where you are staying, it may not provide much of a time saving for you – and the coastal routes always provide much more to see and do – so we suggest using those routes, Highways 19 & 11, for better sightseeing.
But, we understand that its interesting to climb the drive between the volcanic mountains! We don’t have commentary on the route since there isn’t much in the way of sightseeing to do, but we provide directions to get you onto and off the Saddle Road. Cloud often shrouds the road reducing visibility significantly, but on a clear day the high altitude landscape is unusual.
What should I bring?
Its important to keep charging your device as you drive and we recommend using a DC cigarette lighter-style of charger. Plugging directly into the vehicle’s USB port is not recommended.
The Big Island has many areas of exposed lava rock which can make it very hot. Bring water, sunscreen, hat and sturdy shoes if hiking.
Make sure you have lots of memory for your camera or phone – you will take many photos!
Don’t forget your smile and some aloha.