Effective Feb 18 2011
This tour has been
With consultation and advice from Palmpedia and Floribunda Palms, Sterling Tours 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.
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.
Kona Cloud ForestMAY 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.
Place of Refuge 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 Hōnaunau National Park (The Place 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.
HILO 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
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, 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
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.
For information please contact:
Sterling Tours, Ltd
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262 Terms and Conditions
San Diego, CA 92106 Tel: 619 299-3010 800-976-9497
CST2023849-40 Insurance Information