When visiting Honolulu, taking a day trip to the Big Island from Oahu is about more than just seeing volcanoes. Rather, this all-day journey is a tropical time portal, where a comfortable, 40-minute flight can transport you across millions of years. When compared to Oahu—which is 3 million years old—the Big Island of Hawaii is a geological infant in ongoing stages of birth. In fact, since Kilauea volcano began erupting in 1983, over 500 acres of new earth has been created on the island’s eastern shore.
Even for visitors staying in Honolulu, viewing this spectacle of an island being born is possible as a day trip from Oahu. Board a flight and watch Waikiki fade from the window before landing in the historic town of Hilo on the Big Island’s eastern shore. Along the way, you’re likely to get views of Haleakala Crater while passing alongside Maui, and the snowcapped peak of Mauna Kea as it rises above the clouds.