Two different tourism agencies are holding Instameets this week to promote the beauty of Hawai‘i Island. An InstaMeet is where Instagram users come together in an informal setting to network and share tips, as well as take pictures. Instagram is different from Twitter or Facebook in that it focuses on people posting photographs. The social media network has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2010, announcing earlier this week that it now has 400 million users.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, in conjunction with the Big Island Visitors Bureau, will hold a #HawaiiIslandInstaMeet at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Participants should have an Instagram account prior to attending and follow @HawaiitheBigIsland and @HawaiiVolcanoesNPS. The hashtag for this event is: #HawaiiIslandInstaMeet.
The photo walk will include a casual 1.6-mile roundtrip hike from Crater Rim Drive to Keanakakaoi crater. Attendees will get a chance to enjoy the views of Mauna Loa, Keanakakoi, and Halemaumau crater while interacting with visiting photographers and Instagrammers, such as Elisabeth Brentano (@elisabethontheroad), Emily Dickey (@ienjoyhiking), Dustin Lefevre (@dustinlefevre), Larry Marshall (@larrymarshallphotography), Tyler Schmitt (@tyschmitt), and Mahesh Thapa (@starvingphotographer).
After the walk, participants are encouraged to drive over to the Jagger Museum Observation Deck at 5:45 p.m. to take pictures of Kilauea’s lava lake.
Participants should meet at the Devastation Trail parking lot to check-in with the group at 3:30 p.m. Once you enter the Park, take the first left after the entrance station onto Crater Rim Drive. Drive past the Thurston Lava Tube and pull into the Devastation Trail parking lot. Look for the “Find Your Park” vertical banner. The Park entrance fee is $15 per vehicle, for 7 days.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, social media enthusiasts and travelers are invited to attend an Instameet sponsored by Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) at Rays on the Bay, Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa in Keauhou, from 6 -7 p.m. as part of the United Nations World Tourism Day.
HTO is partnering with helloworld, a leading Australian travel group, to promote the first-ever world relay Instameet, entitled #helloworldRELAY, that will capture countries, cities, people and places, through creative images on the same date across the planet.
Hawai‘i Island has been selected as one of 75 locations across 60 countries on five continents to be featured in Sunday’s global Instameet. As the sun rises in each destination on September 27, Instagrammers will start taking and sharing images in their locations until the sun sets that day. The Instameet relay begins at sunrise in Samoa, the westernmost point of the earth, traveling across the world until it finishes at sunset in the Cook Islands 36 hours later.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania has chosen Australian landscape photographer Pauly Vella as their Instagrammer for the day. Over a 12-hour period @paulyvella will show his 296,000 followers, as well as @helloworldAU and @alohadownunder fans, the natural beauty of Hawai‘i Island.
Island residents are encouraged to participate and can be part of the relay by following @helloworldAU @alohadownunder, and @paulyvella on Instagram. The day-long event culminates in the Instameet at sunset at the Sheraton Kona Bay and Resort.
For more information on Thursday’s Instameet at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, email For more information on HTO’s global Instameet relay, go to www.relay.helloworld.com.au.