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I spent two days on the Big Island with arguably the best natural wonders in Hawaii. My first destination was Hilo where I travelled to the Rainbow Falls park and visited the rainforest alongside mystical waterfalls, unlike any I have ever seen before. This was a perfect tourist destination for snapping nature photographs.

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The next stop was to the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park which included a viewing of the crater. An interesting activity was walking through a lava tube, followed by a walk through a park where natural steam vapours escaped through vents in the ground. I also visited the national park museum which provided stunning views over the volcanic landscape.

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Next stop was to the beautiful Hilo Orchid Farm, brimming with flourishing orchids on display. I’ve never seen so many pretty orchid flowers. I also journeyed to the Mauna Loa macadamia nuts company factory which was interesting and satisfying with macadamia ice-cream being a highlight.

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On the second day, I travelled to Kona where I tasted the famous Kona coffee and spent the day snorkelling in the tropical waters. I later strolled through the cute stalls of the Kona Farmers’ and Crafts Markets which are open from Wednesday to Sunday. The markets, situated adjacent to the local church, were amazing with a large variety of locally-grown produce including tropical fruits and vegetables, flowers, hand-made arts and crafts (featuring Hawaiian musical instruments), and of course Kona coffee.

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Before I departed the town, I admired the local street art and watched the sun set magically over this paradise.

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Photographs by © MCTL

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Representative of the unique Hawaiian islands, Maui consisted of diverse environments ranging from volcanic craters to sandy beaches. I first arrived in the calm waters of Maui and immediately embraced its picturesque coastline with an excursion to Wailea beach which was lined with exclusive resorts. The highlight of this visit was relaxing on the peaceful idyllic beach in addition to swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. Umbrellas and beach chairs are a must for ultimate comfort and sun-protection.

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The following day I visited the volcanic crater in Haleakalā National Park. After a long bus ride up the mountain to an elevation of 9000 feet above sea level to the Pu’u’ula’ula Summit, I experienced a magnificent view of the Haleakalā crater with its Mars-inspired landscape and an eerie desert. Remember to wear extra layers as it is surprisingly chilly and windy. The colours of the crater including red-ochre sand and grey ash blended beautifully in a surreal way. It felt like I was walking on Mars. Surrounded by unique desert flora, one learns that the volcanic landscape is naturally and spiritually linked to the Hawaiian culture. The juxtaposition of volcanic rock and sandy beaches on Maui is incredibly breathtaking and I anticipate that I will return to this magical paradise.

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Follow @sydneyandstreet on InstagramTwitterBloglovin’TumblrPinterest, and Spotify.

Photographs by © MCTL