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Tour Guide Hawaii is excited and proud to announce the launch of their incredible, affordable, fabulous new Hawaii Travel iPhone/iPod Touch App

Tour Guide Hawaii's Brand New iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts Paradise in the Palm of Your Hand!

Tour Guide Hawaii's Brand New iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts Paradise in the Palm of Your Hand!

Navigate to all the most popular visitor destinations, the most interesting attractions, the most romantic and secluded beaches; effortlessly find hikes, snorkel spots, historical and cultural landmarks, shopping and dining.  And of course, our new App includes directions to, and rating of, all the public restrooms! Learn all about it, here. In addition to real GPS navigation, this app also allows you to navigate using Google Maps or, if no internet or phone service available, with on-board maps and driving directions! Our App is crammed full of entertaining and informative video presentations about how and where to snorkel, the best trails and beaches, what to pack to bring to Hawaii, cultural orientation and language tips!

Using the Tour Guide Hawaii iPhone/iPod Touch App will save you time, save you money and allow you to see and do more with your Hawaii vacation; this quick video tells you how.

Interested in seeing what kind of information our App contains?  In celebration of the release of our new App, we proudly present this list of blogs and web articles on Hawaii Travel, with URLs, of the unique and comprehensive Tour Guide Hawaii content.  Enjoy this free information at your leisure, and order your App from iTunes, today!

Tour Guide Hawaii proudly presents the best, the most interesting, the most comprehensive material on Hawaii travel ever gathered in one place!

Best About Planning Your Hawaii Trip

What To Pack And Take To Hawaii: What You Need, What You Want, What You Can Leave Out Of Your Luggage:

Getting To Hawaii, Getting Around Hawaii, Getting the Most From Hawaii:

Frank’s Guide to Pronouncing Hawaiian Words:

Best Beaches on Hawaii

A Quick Guide to The Best Beaches of Hawaii Island: Sun, Surf, Solitude:

The Best Beaches in Hawaii: Part 1, The Main Kohala Coast:

The Best Beaches in Hawaii: Part 2, The Kona and South Kohala Coasts:

Best Beaches in Hawaii: Part 3, Unusual, Uncrowded and Untamed Beaches of South Hawaii:

Best Beaches in Hawaii: Part 4, Wilderness Beaches of the Big Island:

Best Beaches in Hawaii Part 5–Best Beaches for Snorkeling:

Best Scenic Drives on Hawaii

My Favorite Scenic Drive: Hawaii’s Wild and Scenic Saddle Road!:

Big Island Whirlwind Road Trip: I have to see the whole Big Island all in one day!

Kona Heritage Corridor Scenic Drive: An Exceptional Day Trip Exploration of Historical, Lovely, Up-Country Kona!:

Best Scenic Drives on Hawaii #1: The Saddle Road…Kona to the Summit of Mauna Kea, Kaumana Cave and Hilo:

Best Scenic Drives on Hawaii #2: North Kona and Kohala, Ancient History, Sumptuous Beaches:

Best Scenic Drives on Hawaii #3: Kona to Hamakua and Hilo:

Best Scenic Drives in Hawaii #4: Kona Coast to South Point and Ka’u

Best Scenic Drives in Hawaii #5: Kailua Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Puna and Lava Viewing:

New iPhone/iPod Touch App Helps you Explore Hawaii’s Hidden, Romantic and Mysterious Places: The South Coast of Hawaii:

Road Trip Through Keauhou Historic District, Big Island, Hawaii:

Best About Hiking:

The Best Short Hikes on Hawaii Island:

The Adventure and Romance of Hiking To Kilauea Volcano’s Active Lava Flows:

Exploring the Summit Hikes of Mauna Kea:

Hiking to Captain Cook Monument on the Big Island of Hawaii:

Hiking Hawaii’s Magnificent Waipi’o Valley:

Hiking Down Into Pololu Valley, Big Island of Hawaii:

Kiholo Bay Beach Hike:

Hiking to Honomalino Bay, Big Island, Hawaii:

Historic Kailua Kona Town on the Big Island of Hawaii: A Walking Tour:

Hiking and Camping at Hawaii’s Last Wilderness Beach: La’amaomao the Wind God and Makalawena Beach: Advice:

Driving and Hiking to the Summit of Mauna Kea, Big Island of Hawaii:

Hidden Secrets of Hawaii: The Golden Ponds of Ke-awa-iki:

Hiking at Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii:

Hiking the Kilauea Iki Trail:

Best About Snorkeling

The Best Snorkeling Spots on Hawaii Island:

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips, Part I: Gear:

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips, Part II: Technique :

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips, Part III: Protecting the Reef and Reef Animals:

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips, Part IV: Snorkeling Safety:

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips, Part V: Best Snorkeling Beaches of the Big Island:

Hawaii Island Snorkeling Tips Part VI: Wilderness Beaches of the Big Island!:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #1: Introduction: Kona Coast:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #2: Kona South to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hilo:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints # 3: Kona North to Waikoloa and the Kohala Coast:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #4: Waikoloa to Pololu Valley;

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #5: Hawi to Kona via the Kohala Mountain road, Waimea and Waikoloa:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #6: Waimea and the Hamakua Coast:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints # 7: Around Hilo:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #8: Mysterious Puna!:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #9: Made for Adventure: The Jungles, Volcanoes, Hot Springs and Tidepools of Puna!:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #10: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

Frank’s Travel Hints # 11: Exploring Deeper Into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #12: More fun in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii:

Frank’s Big Island Travel Hints #13: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Chain of Craters Road:

Best Interesting Stories and General Reading about Hawaii

The Beautiful, Enigmatic and Cryptic Petroglyphs of Hawaii Island:

Hawaii’s Amazing Lava Fossils:

The Sugar Industry in Hawaii: Kona Sugar Company and West Hawai’i Railway Company:

Captain Cook’s Legacy: Exploring the History and Waters of Kealakekua Bay:

Kilauea’s Eruption Just Keeps Getting More Fantastic!:

Kalapana, Hawaii: From the Fires of Hades to the Eden of Rebirth:

Pu’u Loa Petroglyph Field, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles: Honu of the Big Island:

Heartbreak of the Gods: Kuasmo’o BattleField and Lekeleke Graveyrd:

A Brief History of Ranching in Hawaii:

Rising From The Past: The Rebirth of Hapaiali’i Heiau, a Hawaiian Temple for Honoring Royalty:

The Hawaiian Snow Goddess Poliahu and the Summit of Mauna Kea…:

Mo’okini Heiau: Warrior Kings and Human Sacrifice on Hawai’i:

The Call of Aloha…:

Why I love Hawaii…:

Hilo Askance:

Conjuring Visions of Paradise:

Volcano Art Center—A Kipuka of Creativity on the Rim of Madam Pele’s Home:

Jagger Museum, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

This article reprinted from

Bishop Museum Sky Map for Hawaii, June 2008


The patterns we see in the sky exist only in our imagination. The points of light we group to create the shapes we call constellations are arbitrary and usually don’t have any connection with each other at all except that they happened to line up in someone’s mind at one time. The 88 “official” constellations are recognized by a group of professionals called the International Astronomical Union to help keep order and structure to the science of astronomy. Otherwise, imagine what chaos might reign—how would anyone know how to distinguish one part of the sky from another if names were random? For instance, the constellation Crater the Cup in the southern sky next to Corvus looks remarkably like my Weber grill, but I can’t very well start referring to it as such. As it is, we sometimes “shorten” the constellations anyway. Sagittarius is often referred to as the Teapot, and part of the Big and Little Bears are called the Big and Little Dippers, respectively.

Informal groupings or segments of constellations are called asterisms. They are usually parts of constellations that are more easily recognized, like the Dippers and the Teapot, and at times the references are updated. Some constellations are simply easier to recognize by these nicknames. I have heard the constellation Boötes the Herdsman referred to as a “bowtie” or “ice cream cone”, which most people relate to better.

Sometimes asterisms include groups of stars or constellations, like the Summer Triangle. Known anecdotally as a basic element of celestial navigation, the Summer Triangle is comprised of the three brightest stars in three separate constellations forming a large, distinctly triangular shape in the sky. First to rise in the east is the star Vega in the constellation Lyra the Lyre. Lyra is a small constellation that takes a bit of effort to imagine the harp-shaped instrument from the parallelogram of stars, but it is an area rich in telescopic sights. One is the famous Ring Nebula, M57—a little smoke-ring object that is the remains of a dying star seen at the center of the ring.

Vega is a white star and the fifth brightest star in the sky. Twelve thousand years ago Vega used to be our North Star, but because the Earth slowly “wobbles” (think of a spinning top, except our wobble is 26,000 years long!) the North Pole points toward different stars periodically. Right now, almost halfway through the wobble’s circle, Polaris is our North Star but in another 14,000 years Vega will take that title again.

Almost two hours after Vega rises the second point of the Triangle appears in the east in Cygnus the Swan. Although this constellation can be easily visualized as a bird, it does have an asterism associated with it. Part of the body and wingspan of the Swan is known as the Northern Cross. The star Deneb is the tail feather of the bird and is the brightest star in that constellation. Opposite from Deneb is an interesting star called Alberio. With a low powered telescope or even binoculars what looks like a single star will split into a beautiful sapphire blue and golden pair of stars.

A half hour later, Altair in Aquila the Eagle makes its appearance over the eastern horizon. Altair and Vega represent two figures in Japanese folklore that are celebrated with a national holiday in the country. Altair is the handsome herdsman Hikoboshi (also known as Kengyu) that fell in love with Orihime (Vega), the beautiful fabric-weaver. Their preoccupation with each other began to interfere with their duties, and as a result the gods separated them across a vast river in the sky. You can see that “heavenly river” in the dark sky as the white band of light called the Milky Way.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end here—the gods heard the unhappy cries of the two lovers and took pity on them. On the seventh day of the seventh month, the two are united for one day as a flock of magpies build a living bridge to bring the two together. Today this occasion is celebrated by a festive holiday called Tanabata in Japan on July 7, although in early times this date was determined by the lunar calendar.

Following the Summer Triangle (and the parallelogram of Lyra) is the big Square of Pegasus. But because it is not included on this month’s map, I will save that “astro-geometry” lesson for another month!

The Planets


Summer kicks off, at least astronomically, with the solstice on June 20. At 2:00 P.M. HST the sun crosses from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere, marked by the celestial equator. (The celestial equator is an imaginary line that extends the Earth’s equator into space)


Mercury is passing in front of the sun for most of the month and will reappear in the morning sky during the last week of June. It hangs over the red “bull’s eye” of Taurus in the light of the rising sun.


Venus is behind the sun right now, what is referred to as superior conjunction. It will be another month before it will appear back in the evening sky and blaze in the west after the sun sets.


Mars quickly moved from Gemini through Cancer last month and will settle in the constellation Leo during June. Saturn has also been a resident of Leo recently and the two planets are heading for a conjunction in July. You can watch the Red Planet edge closer to yellowish Saturn over the month, with Regulus (the brightest star in Leo) in the middle.

The NASA mission to Mars, called Phoenix (see May’s article) will make its descent to Mars on May 25. Unfortunately I cannot update the status of this mission because this article is filed before this date, but I will definitely talk about Phoenix next month.


The King of Planets rules the night, shining brighter than any other object besides the Moon this month. Jupiter rises by 10:00 P.M. in early June and about two hours earlier by the end of the month. On June 18, the full Moon enters Sagittarius, the same constellation as Jupiter, and the next evening the waning Moon moves just south of the giant planet.

Look for Saturn high in the west at nightfall during the first half of June, then only about halfway up in that direction by the end of the month. The rings of the gas planet is continuing to tip edgewise to our line of sight and well worth watching over the upcoming months. You will need a telescope to really appreciate this sight, however.

Questions? Contact Carolyn Kaichi @ or 847-8203.

For information ad videos about visiting Hawaii in general and touring the Big Island in particular, visit and

Deeper into mysterious Puna!

As you continue along the coast road, you will next encounter McKenzie State Park. Here the Ironwood trees create an unusual ambience of a pine tree forest. The sheer cliffs and majesty of the ocean beg for photographing. Swimming would be near impossible here, but the hiking is spectacular. Tour Guide will give more information about this other- worldly park. A permit is required for camping and the facilities are a bit run down.

Not far away is Kahena Beach. This beautiful black sand beach involves a bit of a scamper to get down the cliff, but is well worth the effort. Tour Guide will give you the easiest path to take. You may notice that this beach is “clothing optional”, thus it’s popularity. Swimming here is good, but currents can be strong if you get too far from shore.

Drive just a few miles further and you come to what used to be the town of Kalapana. Kalapana and Royal Gardens were destroyed in the lava flows during the late1980’s.

What remain are a few homes and businesses where the road now ends. From here one can see the plume of smoke coming from the vent upslope. Sometimes the lava reaches the ocean about 2 miles from this spot.

A short five minute hike will bring you to Kaimu Beach, the newest black sand beach on the island. Tour Guide will give you the rich history of the ancient fishing villages that were here and the touching stories about the palms at Kaimu Beach.

Heading back from Kalapana, you will want to take Highway 130 toward Pahoa. This is your best chance of watching Kilauea erupt. Just a few hundred yards north of Kalapana, is the old turn off to Royal Gardens. This is now the official County of Hawaii Lava Viewing Site. Drive as far as the attendants will allow you, park and walk into where you can safely view the lava flowing into the ocean. Daily updates on the volcano and conditions at site are available at the Hawaii County Lava Viewing Desk, phone number 808.961.8093; more information is here and here.

Farther along the highway to Pahoa, you will see a “scenic turnout” where you can view the Puna Geothermal Vents. Here a company has tapped the natural steam to create electricity from these fumaroles. Tour Guide will show you how, with a short hike off the road, and you can sit in one of these natural sauna vents for some real relaxation.

Now you’re ready to head back to Kona. Take Highway 130 to Highway 11 and go south. If time permits, you may want to stop in Volcano Village, just off the highway, for some food, gasoline, shopping or maybe even some wine tasting. This may be the last gasoline available until you get back to Kona. Find your hotel in your Tour Guide and get turn-by-turn directions right to the door.