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How long to drive/ stop around Craters Rim Drive on Kilauea?


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I am plotting our course on Hilo and wondering how long this will take..drive from Alamo rental in Hilo, Drive crater rim route. stop briefly at some overlooks, experience either long or short version (which is better??) of Thurston Lava Tubes, exit park, eat lunch, drive down Ahulani pools, play, and then maybe on the way back to Alamo go to Rainbow falls. How much time for all of this?? I know, I know I plan long, fun filled days! Marilyn [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

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That is a LONG day. Not sure if all that is doable during a cruise stop. I don't remmeber drive times though and I've already proven unreliable on the Big Island for those. Maybe Emi can help?


<a href="http://www.escati.com/counter98/free_time_codes.htm">
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2004;6;9;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img]  until RSSC Navigator - Canada - 6/04

Carnival Conquest - W. Caribbean - 10/03, Celebrity Infinity - Alaska - 6/03, Ocean Princess - Alaska - 7/02
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We were there in March, '04. We drove around the rim& stopped at the visitor center briefly. Then around the rim we stopped at least a dozen times. We also did Chain of Creaters Road, down to the ocean. We did not stop at Thurston, it was very busy and long lines. We were back in Hilo by 12:30. We went to Akaka Falls, Rainbow was closed, stopped at 2 beaches to observe surfers (& take pictures). We also stopped at 2 botanical gardens, we did not take the tours. Then we had time to do about 30 minutes of shopping in Hilo before we filled the tank & returned the rental. We were back on board by 4:30.
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We just did this -- left Hilo at about 8 and hung out up at the Volcanoes, doing the full circle and stopping for a long time at Thurston, Devastation, and one of the last flows and then a longish time at the Visitors Center so my daughter could do her junior ranger certificate. We had lunch about 1:30 or 2 in Hilo and the did Walmart and there was still time for Rainbow Falls. We would have had time for Akaka Falls, but it was raining hard and we were tired.

Legend of the Seas 8/02
NCL Star to Hawaii 04/04
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