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What to expect for the Big Island landscape and weather


A photo of a high roof campervan (Big Island Bertha) in the middle of a road with Mauna Kea in the background at sunset.
Big Island Bertha and Mauna Kea at Sunset

The Island of Hawai’i’s landscape is beautifully rich and diverse. Of the 12 different climate zones in the world, the Big Island has EIGHT of them!. Generally, the western side of the island is the dry-side because Mauna Kea blocks the storms from the windward side. The eastern side of the island is the wet-side featuring rugged cliffs along the Hamakua Coast.


With everything from lush jungle hikes near Hilo to black sand beaches to stunning white sand to soaring, white-capped mountains, this island will bring every weather pattern (and every type of natural disaster, too).


Especially when traveling the island via campervan, you'll want to make sure the check the weather forecast each day. If a big storm is coming, it likely will only hit a section of the island. Even if it means changing your plans, avoiding a storm can improve the quality of your experience, so be open and flexible.


Check ahead of times which areas you'll be in and prepare accordingly. You can see weather warnings for Hawai'i county (the Big Island) HERE.



 


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