Published: April 2021


Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau Media Contact:
Cheyenne Maltezo, (808) 539-3409, [email protected] 

Island of Hawaii (April 22, 2021) – You’ve likely heard of Malama Hawaii, an initiative to inspire mindful travel to the Hawaiian Islands. One where industry partners and volunteer organizations across the state joined forces in encouraging visitors to help perpetuate and even regenerate the natural beauty and unique culture of our communities. Volunteers experience some of Hawaii’s most unique locations while gaining a more enriching appreciation of our island values working side-by-side with residents and other volunteers. Opportunities range from reforestation to fishpond restoration, ocean reef preservation to creating quilts for the kupuna (elders). For a convenient statewide list of these opportunities and special offers from participating hotels, visit Residents are also encouraged to join in on any of the many volunteer opportunities.

Malama Hawaii on Hawaii Island
Understanding the need to preserve nature’s resources, visitors are not only increasingly opting to explore the island of Hawaii with an environmental conscience, but also going the extra mile to seek volunteer work opportunities positively impacting the island’s well-being. And there are multiple opportunities for everyone to pay it environmentally forward while enjoying the island’s boundless natural wonder. If you’re looking to do some good and leave some good on your next trip, the experiences listed here offer ample opportunities to malama (take care of) the island of Hawaii.

Listen to the moolelo (stories) of Hualalai volcano on the Hualalai Crater Experience with Uluhao o Hualalai. Led by guide Kimo Duarte, whose family has been stewards of the 8,271-foot mountain since the 1950s, guests on the five-hour tour will traverse the volcano’s Native Hawaiian koa and ohia forests listening to the sounds of native birds, such as the apapane, akepa, iiwi and palila. They’ll also visit the Duarte family’s cabin, built in the 1950s, and hike two miles around Hualalai’s summit craters. At tour’s end, guests partake in the ultimate giveback: planting a koa sapling to help Hualalai’s reforestation. For more information, visit

Malama Hawaii Offer: Receive your 5th night free when booking the Malama Hawaii package at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay or Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, and participating in this volunteer activity. For more information, visit

In its goal of restoring the native forests that once dominated the 2,000- to 6,000-foot elevations of Hawaii’s tallest mountain Maunakea, the state-government-sponsored Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project brings together volunteer groups and individuals to hand-plant acres of mamane, koa, iliahi and aalii seedling trees. Its efforts are also aimed at bringing back endemic Hawaii birdlife – especially the palila (Hawaiian honey creeper) – to these newly created mountain forests. For more information, visit

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the largest national park on the island of Hawaii, welcomes volunteers to participate in stewardship work within the scenic summit landscapes of Kilauea volcano and the Hawaiian forest Kipukapuaulu, a biologically diverse oasis home to more native tree species than any of the park’s forests. The park’s Stewardship at the Summit work includes clearing out invasive species that keep native and understory plants from thriving. A bonus? Working the forest with a serenade of native apapane and omao bird songs accompanying you. For more information, visit

Mauna Kea Resort is inspiring mindful travel and encouraging guests to leave the island of Hawaii better than when they arrived with a new offer, available at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. Participating guests are invited to join a daily morning e ala e (“get awake”) ritual on The Westin Hapuna’s beach lawn to greet the sunrise, hear a Hawaiian oli (chant) and find peace within. They can then join others in walking the beach to remove trash and take it to the resort’s beach services desk for discarding. For more information, visit

Malama Hawaii Offer: 20 percent off each property’s best available rates. Promotion Code: ZZ1

Castle Resorts & Hotels invites travelers to take a vacation that gives back. Help promote the health and productivity of Hawaii’s forests and earn one free night when you sign up to volunteer with Hawaii Forest Institute. Participating properties include Halii Kai at Waikoloa Resort, Hilo Hawaiian, Kanaloa at Kona by Castle, Kona Reef Resort and Waimea Country Lodge. Booking is available through November 30, 2021 for stays through December 20, 2021. For more information or to book, visit

Malama Hawaii Offer: 3rd or 5th night free, depending on property booked

Puakea Ranch offers individual guest cottages, wide-open spaces to roam, friendly animals to visit, and complimentary fresh fruits and vegetables available from its garden. Situated near some of the world’s most spectacular beaches as well as the North Kohala town of Hawi, Puakea Ranch is committed to sustainable practices for the benefit of conscious travelers and in support of its surrounding community. Guests are invited to volunteer to plant native trees on the Ranch and surrounding lands every Saturday in partnership with Terraformation, a local company that is working to reduce carbon by reforesting native trees all over the planet. For more information, visit

Malama Hawaii Offer: 7th night free

Stay at the Fairmont Orchid and volunteer during your visit to the island of Hawaii and you’ll earn a free night’s stay at the resort. Guests can connect with the resort’s partners Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, Hawaii Wildlife Fund and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative to participate in meaningful voluntourism activities or simply do a self-directed beach clean-up at their leisure to get their free fourth night. For more information, visit
Malama Hawaii Offer: 4th night free with daily breakfast for two

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection’s Malama Honu program creates guest awareness of the endangered Hawaiian green sea turtle through education and conservation practices. In partnership with Oahu-based marine and wildlife center Sea Life Park, captive-reared hatchlings are sent to Mauna Lani to be cared for in the hotel’s saltwater ponds. In two to three years, they grow to appropriate-enough size for release into the wild. During the honu’s stay at Mauna Lani, guests from around the world learn much about the species, which aids its survival. For 30 years, Malama Honu has celebrated the release of its turtles every Fourth of July, a tradition also known as Turtle Independence Day. For more information, visit

To be mindful while exploring nature in the Puna District’s Volcano area on the island of Hawaii is to listen to bird songs, take in the changing light as it filters through trees or around mountains, and pick up scents from the forest’s plants and wildflowers. Adjacent to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, find unique lodging options in Volcano Village’s quiet, lush rainforests and gardens, including everything from a boutique hotel to bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rentals. Experience Volcano Hawaii, a Volcano Village-based community group, recommends seeking volunteer work with the area’s Volcano Art Center helping remove invasive species from a native-plant trail behind the center’s Niaulani Campus. The group can also assist with visitor sign-ups for volunteer stewardship projects at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park once programs resume. For more information, visit

Social distancing doesn’t mean lost connection. Shaka Guide offers five GPS audio driving tours of the island of Hawaii on its mobile app. Each provides a guided-tour experience users can enjoy in the comfort of a car while driving. On their journey, travelers listen to stories and music giving them a deeper understanding of the island as they become more mindful of its culture, respectful of the aina (land), and immersed in the experience. Through GPS-triggered audio narration, the tour offers users advice on being a responsible traveler as they explore the island. For more information, visit

Founded and originally nurtured by noted Hawaii botanist Amy Greenwell, the 15-acre Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is a legacy of her dedication to Hawaiian botany, archaeology and culture. Home to more than 200 species of endemic, indigenous and Polynesian-introduced Hawaii flora, the garden welcomes volunteers for workdays spent caring for plants and pulling invasive weeds. Volunteers also get to tour the garden and pick up knowledge of its rich flora and Hawaiian ethnobotany. For more information, visit

The nonprofit Edith Kanakaole Foundation invites volunteers to participate in its monthly community workdays at Haleolono fishpond just outside of Hilo. In addition to helping with the gritty work of restoring and repairing Haleolono’s lava rock sea wall, participants learn about Hawaiian aquaculture traditions, including traditional fish farming, and the fish and seaweed propagation still practiced at the site. The foundation also caretakes a number of other critical island cultural sites. For more information, visit - HaleOLono.

The Puna district’s Keauohana Forest Reserve is home to one of the largest and most intact lowland (from sea level to 1,000-foot elevation) rainforests in Hawaii. Since 2014, the Hawaii Environmental Restoration project has relied on volunteers to control invasive plant species in the forest, restore native flora, create trails and post educational signage about restored species. You can volunteer on quarterly or weekly workdays, or schedule a private workday for your group. For more information, visit

Fairmont Orchid invites guests to care for the aina (land) as the aina cares for us with the launching of its complimentary weekly Aloha Aina garden tour. Guests on the tour are introduced to the resort’s chef’s garden, botanicals collection and four on-site beehives, whose buzzing occupants produce raw, white, monofloral kiawe honey, one of the world’s rarest varieties. The special tour features an in-depth exploration of several tropical plant species and is led by Fairmont Orchid’s director of Hawaiian culture Kaiulani Blankenfeld who shares Hawaiian legends and stories behind pollinator-friendly plants such as the native naupaka. Tour guests also learn about becoming good stewards of the land by participating in the tending of property trees, including the ulu (breadfruit), and plants, such as the ti, which grow abundantly in the chef’s garden. For more information, visit

In honor of its 30th anniversary, Fairmont Orchid is celebrating three decades of aloha with its new 30th Anniversary Package. Book a three-night stay and you’ll enjoy your fourth night free and receive a $300 dining credit per stay. Plus, $30 from every stay benefits the nonprofit Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, which works to protect, promote and restore the native Hawaiian dry forest. Fairmont Orchid has planted 30 wiliwili trees in the Waikoloa Dry Forest in honor of the resort’s 30th anniversary and is excited to invite guests to join in its efforts to restore and preserve the forest for future generations. For more information, visit

Being stewards of the land and sea at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is taken to heart with their Marine Life department. They maintain the eight ponds and marine resources of the resort and have developed unique programs for guests and residents to learn about and interact with Hawaii’s fascinating wildlife and ecosystems. At Kumu Kai Marine Center, director of natural resources David Chai and his team offer a plethora of programming and experiences that educate guests on marine preservation and ocean health such as the Behind the Scenes Pond Tour which takes a closer look at how the resort operates their saltwater systems and maintain the health of their fish. For more information, visit  

A part of a series of exclusive "Only at Hualalai" experiences curated specifically for guests and club members at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, the Iliahi (Sandalwood) Farm and Spa Experience takes guests on a spiritual journey to a Native Hawaiian iliahi farm followed by a sound bath and health spa treatment. This experience allows guests to further explore the natural healing properties of the native plants and flowers Hawaiians used as medicine decades ago. Iliahi is a native tree to Hawaii with anti-viral, mental clarity and anti-inflammatory properties, and has long been over-harvested in the islands. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai elected to partner with Haloa Aina, an organic and sustainable sandalwood farm, for its dedication to restoring the native forests and environmentally and culturally responsible reforestation plan. For more information visit

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has partnered with Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods to offer a custom tree planting experience. Guests can participate in a curated experience where they’ll visit the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods farm, learn about sustainability efforts and plant a dedicated tree. For more information, visit

The Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert) defines malama as: 1. To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain; to keep or observe, as a taboo; to conduct, as a service; to serve, honor, as God; care, preservation, support, fidelity, loyalty; custodian, caretaker, keeper. In many cultures, values are often reciprocal. In Hawaii, the concept of malama is no different, e.g. if humankind takes care of nature, nature will, in turn, take care of humankind. 

I ke kanaka no oe ke malama i ke kanaka.
You will be well-served when you care for the person who serves you.
Olelo Noeau, Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings, Pukui (#1185)


About the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau
The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is an Island Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) for marketing management services in the continental U.S. The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau also supports HTA's international marketing partners in Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Oceania. The state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii's cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, economic goals and visitor industry needs. For more information about the island of Hawaii, visit