The thrill seeker’s guide to Hawaii, part 2

Are you a thrill-seeker who also loves Hawaii? If so, you’ll be excited to know that we’ve got a TON of things for you to try out.

Half of them are listed here and the other half are in Part 1. Enjoy!

Cave exploring

Okay, this is actually crazy — but there’s an INSANE network of lava caves on the Big Island.

One of the caves, named Kazumura, is more than 40 miles long and in some places wider than a subway tunnel. Another named Kipuka Kanohina is a network of tunnels that get narrower as they get deeper, sometimes as deep as 80 feet.

Caving isn’t normally thought of as a hardcore activity, but it certainly can test the limits of your fear of moving across small, dark and eerie places over razor sharp lava rock.

To get started, you’ll need a helmet, a headlamp and pads on both your knees and elbows, and most important — a guide.


The paniolo, or cowboy, is a long and deeply-established subculture that started in Hawaii decades before many of the ranches found in Texas and the Southwest.

In fact, we have several towns spread across the upcountry parts of the islands — such as Makawao on Maui, or Waimea on the Big Island — that live and breathe the ranching lifestyle. With that comes the wild side of the rodeo — including roping, barrel racing, bull riding and much more. Yee haw!


Look up at night, what do you see? Chances are it’s either a sky filled with stars or a sky filled with light, or sometimes just clouds.

Well, imagine being up to 13,000 feet high up on a mountain gazing up at the stars, where there’s no precipitation, light or other particles to compromise your view.

Seeing stars from that high up is absolutely stirring to the soul, which makes Hawaii stargazing a bonafide thrill.


Hawaii was discovered by ancient navigators who sailed double-hulled outrigger canoes from the South Pacific, using nothing more than the stars to guide their way. The tradition is alive and strong in Hawaii today, with many canoe clubs on each island that train and race year-round.

Joining a canoe club is pretty easy: you walk up and ask to join before the start of the regatta season (summer). Beginners start on the “Novice B” team, then work their way up. After regatta is long-distance season, where you get to paddle between various destinations on your island.

The culmination of the season is the Moloka’i Hoe race — the annual “olympics” of paddling in October, where you and your crew paddle the 41 miles between Moloka’i and Oahu in the Kaiwi Channel.

More of a lone wolf? Try solo OC1 paddling.

Manta ray diving

Rays are silky beautiful, graceful and somewhat intimidating sea creatures found throughout the waters of Hawaii. At night, you can take organized dives and find yourself swimming face to face with a ray.

Manta ray diving qualifies as both adrenaline and ultra-relaxing: You decide.

Lava viewing

Once again — not a traditional extreme-action sport — but OMG lava viewing (especially at night) is one of the most exciting and hair-raising experience you’ll ever have.

Your first challenge is finding the lava. The flow is always changing and not always accessible, but once you see it, you will honestly be stunned beyond words. You’re watching earth being created right before your eyes!

Photo credits: variationblogrpinks2000lcimagerydoor216, hazarika, hawaiian-airlines, National Geographickeninghamphoto

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui (chat with our in-house Concierge at extension 71).

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