The new year is warm and welcoming on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s easy to start fulfilling a wish list of new year resolutions while sipping a refreshing beverage and enjoying the balmy breezes under a swaying palm tree. Finding a gorgeous golf course, a fascinating lava field to explore or a fishing charter that goes where the big game bite is no problem. From photographing the island’s tropical flora and fauna on land to delving into the depths to discover a whole new world of fascinating sea creatures, there are so many relaxing and intriguing things to do. Sports competitions, movie magic and cultural festivals headline January’s exciting special events offerings.
The numerous microclimates on the Big Island of Hawaii are the products of a variety of topographical features and exposure to trade winds. Windward (eastern) coastal areas are humid and get substantial amounts of precipitation. Those on the leeward (western) coast barely get any rainfall.
The average January temperature range in Hilo, on the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, is 64ºF (low) to 79ºF (high). It is abundantly blessed with precipitation and the rain gauge averages 9.3 inches in January, resulting in high humidity and a very green landscape. Average wind speed is 7.4 mph. Sea surface temperature averages 72ºF.
At Kona, often called Kailua Kona, on the western side of the island, the temperature range is 67ºF - 82ºF. Rainfall is a scant 1.84 inches and humidity is usually low.
This world-class celebration of cinema brings together filmmakers and fans who appreciate the ocean experience and environment, all with an emphasis on the Hawaiian island cultural perspective. Scheduled for January 3 - 6, 2013 and January 8-11, 2013 at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and many other local venues, the annual event features the showing of dozens of ocean and island related full features and short films. There are also fascinating exhibits about the production of monumental documentaries and breakfast talks with movie business insiders. Guest speakers also cover a variety of environmental topics such as efforts to keep the oceans clean and safe for the people who surf it and the creatures that call it home.
Hualalai Golf Course at the Four Seasons Resort in Ka’upulehu hosts this annual competition among proven PGA tour champions. The acclaimed course is beautifully designed to fit into the awe-inspiring lava fields. Set for January 18 - 20, 2013, this prestigious 54-hole tournament is a great opportunity to watch legendary leader board stars of recent golf history tee off and make those unbelievable birdies.
From the minute runners start out on Coconut Island until the last person arrives at the finish line on Wright Road at Cooper Center in Volcano Village, this long distance race is packed with excitement for both athletes and spectators. The course starts at sea level and rises to 4,000 in elevation, quite a test for body and mind of even the best ultra runners. Scheduled for January 19, 2013, this event also invites relay runner teams to band together and enjoy tackling this unique course.
image source https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-coe7t8-20q0/TxuwPrEKrRI/AAAAAAAACCk/Yk9KP6mWq6I/s512/P1010922.JPG
A tribute to the woman who devoted her life to preserving and perpetuating the art of hula and Hawaiian culture, 'Iolani Luahine, this annual event is set for January 24 - 26, 2013 in Kailua-Kona. Devotees of the dance can register for workshops to perfect their performance skills. There are competitions among the artistically adorned dancers in various categories. The public can attend the weekend evening shows and enjoy the live entertainment. Local artists are onsite and ready to sell their handmade Hawaiian arts and crafts items.
One of the most exciting things to do in January is hop on a boat in Kona or Hilo and go out into the Pacific to watch the wintering humpback whales. Bring along a camera to capture the behemoths breeching and demonstrating a variety of interesting behaviors. Just the boat trip itself will reveal numerous intriguing sights like Kilauea, the magnificent coastline and lots of dolphins at play.
There are just a few places on this planet where a person can safely come close to active volcanoes and the Big Island of Hawaii is one of them. Visitors have many options to get an awesome look at the magnificent marvels - Maunaloa and Kilauea. An easy way to see these wonders of the natural world is to drive along Crater Rim Drive in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The road encircles the summit, goes through a variety of geological landscapes and has markers indicating great places to stop and take pictures. Other ways to see the park’s sites include day hiking, overnight camping, helicopter tours and escorted eco adventure trips.
With the weather ideal for dozens of sports and leisure activities, many people come to the Big Island in January just to play. Water and sand enthusiasts have their pick of beautiful beaches including Kaunaoa and Hapuna. While volleyball is the game of choice on Hapuna, Kaunaoa is known for its glistening white sand, surfing and snorkeling. The coral reefs of Kealakekua Bay’s Captain Cook Monument waters are full of tropical fish, sea turtles and dolphins, making it the perfect place to don some scuba gear.
Both golf in a stunning setting and sport fishing in the Pacific are many visitors’ dream come true. Golfers get views of black lava beaches, the big blue Pacific, majestic mountains and much more. Some of the most popular golf courses include Waikoloa Village, Mauna Lani, Hapuna and Kona Country Club. Anglers on fishing charters depart from the Kona coast and within minutes they are in billfish territory. In January, the water is teeming with striped marlin, spearfish, big eye tuna, snapper and shark.
With warm days and cool nights, swimwear and lightweight clothes are great for most activities. Just bring along a light jacket or sweater for early morning and after dark outings. Be sure to pack a rain poncho or jacket if time in Kona or the rest of the wetter (windward) side of the Big Island of Hawaii is planned. The island has many remote and rugged areas that are worth exploring. If such an adventure is in the picture, make sure that clothes that cover the legs and arms are worn and so are closed shoes that protect the feet and provide a good grip.
Interested in visting the Big Island in February? See our February Big Island weather report and our list of February activities and events on the Big Island
When traveling to the Big Island consider staying in a private vacation rental. They are usually much more spacious than a hotel room and often a fraction of the cost per person.
Return to page Top