THE MOKU LANI ALOHA PALM TOUR
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS - ELEVEN EXCLUSIVE GARDENS
ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII
PRE or POST 3 DAY OAHU ISLAND STOPOVER
Sterling Tours, with consultation and advice from Palmpedia and Floribunda Palms, will be offering a week long adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii. The tour will be centered around some of the exceptional palm gardens on the island, but will also offer the opportunity to experience some of the other exciting things the island has to offer. The other options and extras include, scuba and skin diving, volcano watching, loads of sight seeing, etc. There will be three nights on the West Kona side, and four nights on the usually wetter East Hilo side.
You will need to schedule your flight arrangements to arrive in Kona (KOA) on May 14th, and depart from Hilo on May 21st. You are welcome to arrive early, stay late, or visit other islands either before or after. But those additional arrangements will be your obligation. Please register here on Palmpedia so you can ask questions or discuss the trip with others who will be coming. Click on the "Discussion Tab" above, or start a new topic in the Forum.
LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES - as of JAN 18
Unfortunatlely the Moku Lani has been cancelled due to lack of participation. Additional info HERE
PRE or POST 3 DAY STOPOVER - NOW OFFERED
- "On your way to or from the Big Island, why not stop on the island of O’ahu -- “The Gathering Place” -- to tour some of the delightful botanical gardens and interesting sites. Many airfares to the Big Island allow a stop in Honolulu for little or no extra airfare. The 3 night package is priced at $349 per person based on 2 sharing a room and car, or $698 if travelling alone. Package includes a centrally located hotel, a compact rental car, all taxes, plus information on the many places to visit on the island. Let Sterling Tours know you want to stop in Honolulu on your way to or from the Moku Lani Aloha Palm Tour and they will set you up."
CLICK HERE FOR MORE STOPOVER INFO
MOKU LANI ITINERARY
Minor details of the itinerary may still be subject to change.
MAY 14th - SAT.
- "Aloha E Komo Mai" Arrival at Kona International Airport (KOA). You will be staying at The King Kamehameha Hotel in the town of Kailua-Kona, less than 10 minutes from the airport. Two shuttles will be arranged that should accommodate most of the major arrivals. We will do our best to help with any others on a case by case basis. If you end up needing to provide your own transportation, you will find the small Kona airport and the short trip to the hotel a breeze to negotiate.
- Get comfortable and enjoy the newly remodeled hotel, and your room classed as "partial ocean view." Or explore the quaint oceanfront town immediately outside the grounds until we hold a "laid back" evening orientation, with a complimentary lei, your information packet, commemorative T-Shirt, and a provided welcome dinner in the evening.
Note: All breakfasts and dinners (except for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners) for the remainder of the tour will be on your own - available in the hotels or one of the dozens of eateries a short oceanfront walk away in Kona. In Hilo, we will provide you with a list of options. Lunches will be provided on all tour days.
MAY 15th - SUN.
- Meet at 9:00 for a short trip up to the Kaloko Mauka forest and IPS Director Norm Bezona's Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary. At noon we travel just down the hill to Dean Ouer's relatively young garden for a catered lunch and tour for an example of what 5 short years of gardening can accomplish in Hawaii.
- Then depending on how much interest is shown, the optional Manta Ray Night Dive begins at 3:30-4:00. This world famous scuba or snorkel adventure may be offered (for additional cost) if enough people are interested. More on this special one-of-a-kind option HERE
- For everyone else, a sundown stroll through town is always pleasant and entertaining, and any of the locals can help you find what "floats your boat" for activities and food after dark - all conveniently located.
MAY 16th - MON.
- A drive south for a little over an hour to the garden of ex-IPS President Al Bredeson at Papa Bay. Al has been at this game for a long time, and with a great eclectic eye. You will see many plants you haven't seen before. After a couple of hours there, we will make a stop for lunch and a quick experience of some Hawaiian History at Puʻuhonua o Hōnounou National Park (The City of Refuge) - a special peaceful place loaded with coco palms and ancient hawaiian culture.
- From there we will proceed to another private garden on the return to the hotel. The Garden of Brent Kittle is an aesthetically pleasing colorful design with many interesting specimens on a beautiful property. Brent owns a terrific California nursery (Plant Depot), and the tour will be lead by the landscape architect, Brian Lievens.
- Your last evening in Kona will be on your own, with an opportunity to try something interesting you probably made note of the night before.
MAY 17th - TUES.
- MOVING DAY - Meet at 9:30 for what would be a 2 1/2 hour direct drive to the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. However, we will stop on the way to stretch our legs at two locations. First at Akaka Falls for a short pleasant walk down to the falls in the area of the Big Island that begins to turn lush and wetter.
- Then on to one of the more beautiful places on the island - Onomea Bay and the Scenic Drive down to The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden - a garden you will always remember. You have finally arrived in the true tropical paradise of Hawaii. A good place for another provided box lunch.
- Another 15 min drive and we are at the Hilo Hawaiian to freshen up and get comfortable.
- You're on your own for dinner and a get acquainted evening with your new hotel and Hilo Town. Rooms here are "ocean view," which is actually a peaceful view of beautiful Hilo Bay. We will have a hand out explaining your options. The presentation from Jeff Marcus originally planned for tonight has been combined with a special farewell dinner and moved to your last evening here (more below).
MAY 18th - WED.
- Get ready for a one/two punch of palm overload. And make sure you have enough batteries and room on your camera for today. Skip breakfast if you can and look forward to an early lunch at Jerry & Cindy Andersen's. Gardens just don't get any nicer than this.
- After being blown away here, we move a stone's throw away to the Lundkvist Palm Garden. Nothing will prepare you for this palm masterpiece of IPS President Bo Lundkvist, and wife Karolyn, so be forewarned - seriously.
- We will be asking on the booking form if you would be interested in taking an early evening "Lava Walk," with Bo as your guide, to a location where you may be able to see fresh lava, and from a distance, where the lava is entering the sea. Because there is no way to know what will be occurring so far in the future, we will have to play this by ear. So, depending on how many are interested, and the conditions at the time, the rest of the day will be up in the air.
(But this is how we envision it. After visiting Bo's, those who wish to attend the Lava Walk will be taken into the small town of Pahoa for dinner at 5:00PM. Dinner will be an extra cost, and we will probably try and arrange a single price situation - payable at orientation. The others will be taken back to the hotel for an evening of their own choosing. After dinner and a short drive to the lava area, we will proceed to what will hopefully be a short hike with a return to the hotel around 9:00PM. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the entire event, the exact logistics will probably not be available until your arrival in Kona. We will do our best to offer this experience of a lifetime. So let's hope that Pele will cooperate.)
MAY 19th - THUR.
- A 9:30 start for another day of some extraordinary palms. First stop will be the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo, with a tour provided by HIPS (The Hawaii Island Palm Society). Then on to Floribunda Palms for the treat that is Jeff and Suchin's "Noah's Ark" of palms. Jeff always provides an awesome and informative tour of some incredible palms - and thatʻs an understatement. And a Thai lunch in the Marcus garden is on the agenda to round out what will be a memorable afternoon.
- You have probably made some friends over the past six days. And some were friends before even arriving. So tonight and tomorrow are up to you to plan and enjoy the rest of your stay.
May 20th - FRI.
- FREE DAY - You have had six days to prepare for your free day. There are several ideas and suggestions featured on the "Extras and Options" page, and there are many more possibilities available, depending on your interests. Rent a car and car pool with some like minded individuals if you like. Work out a way to get back to Jerry's and Jeff's with some friends and buy some rare palms. Both can ship to most locations and will be available, so this is an opportunity you won't often get.
- We anticipate that many of you may like to see the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. So, if we have enough interest we will offer (for a small extra charge) transportation and a guided tour offered by Bo to this unique National Park. Seriously consider this option. Or you could always rent a car with a few friends and make the trip on your own with other stops along the way. You could then keep the car and have convenient transportation to the airport the next day.
- In the evening we are offering a "double header" of a Farewell Dinner with complimentary drink(s), and a slide show presentation and talk by Jeff Marcus featuring photos and stories from Peninsular Malaysia that includes some never before seen species of Licuala and monster Johannesteijsmannia. If you haven't yet experienced a Marcus Presentation, bring your seat belt.
MAY 21th - SAT.
- "Aloha A Hui Hou." Transportation to the airport will be offered for most. For those we are unable to accommodate, the airport is 10 short minutes from the hotel. As mentioned, if you would like to stay longer, you can make the necessary arrangements. Or since many of you will be connecting through Honolulu, there is always the option to spend a day or two there. There are some fine public palm gardens there on Oahu if you haven't yet seen enough.
Reservations will begin on Sept. 1, 2010 for the first 50 who sign up. All the details, price, and instructions are available HERE
BOOKING FOR LOCAL PARTICIPANTS
A trimmed down Local Package is available for 12 participants who live on the Big Island and can provide their own transportation and lodging on one side of the island. Their package will include hotel accommodations on one side of the island, and all meals and farewell presentation. They will not be included on the transfer day bus trip that includes Akaka Falls and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. All the details, price, and instructions are available HERE
EXTRAS AND OPTIONS
To be announced
LIST OF WHO'S COMING
If you plan to attend and you register for Palmpedia, you can add your name to THE MOKU LANI FORUM topic of "Who's Coming." You can also use this Forum for any questions or suggestions, or to plan anything with other attendees if you wish. If you add yourself to the list with a real name and valid email, it will also help us stay in contact and immediately send you any notices and/or news that may interest you.