HAWAII — North Kohala Coast

This area is off the usual tourist trail but it is worth visiting if you have the time. There are many historical sites found here as well as some magnificent natural features of spectacular valleys and cliffs. This area is home to the Kohala Mountains.

The sights found here are:
Lapakahi State Historical Park
Mahukona Beach Park
Mo´okini Heiau
Flumin´ da Ditch
Kamehameha The Great Statue
Pololu Valley

Lapakahi State Historical Park

Lapakahi State Historical Park
Hundreds of years ago this was a remote fishing village. Today you can take a 1.5 kilometre self-guided tour through the ruins of this village and get an idea of what life must have been like for the former villagers. There are displays of early Hawaiian fishing and farming techniques and how salt was used to preserve the fish. You can even participate in a traditional game. The sea around the park is part of a marine conservation area and so swimming is not allowed.
For information about the park visit the following website at: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/hawaii/index.cfm?park_id=50

Traveller's Tip

If you stand above the water you will be able to see the colurful fish swimming about because the water is so clear.
Mahukona Beach Park

Mahukona Beach Park
This beach is just north of the State Park and was once an important port for the Kohala Sugar Company. You can still see some of the abandoned sugar industry machinery beneath the clear waters. There isn’t a sandy beach here so access to the water is via a ladder off the old dock. Be aware that it can get very rough here and can be quite unsafe at times. If the weather is clear you can get some fantastic views of the island of Maui.

Mo´okini Heiau

Mo´okini Heiau
This is one of the oldest heiaus or temples in Hawaii being around 1500 years old and is considered a very sacred site and should be treated with respect. It is massive and its position on a windswept hill that is rather desolate can make this quite an awe-inspiring place. A short walk from the temple will bring you to a sign that marks the spot of the birthplace of King Kamehameha. There has been earthquake damage here in recent years but you can still visit the site from the outside. You can get the most wonderful view of Maui from here on a clear day and if you are here in winter you may be lucky enough to see a humpback whale swimming by.

Traveller's Tip

If you drive here and find the gates are closed you can open them but just make sure you close them again afterwards.

Flumin´ da Ditch
The ditch is the Kohala Ditch which is a historic irrigation system found in this area which was built in 1906 to water the sugarcane fields. It is a series of ditches, tunnels and flumes and is still used today as a source of water for farms and ranches in this area. It has long been a popular place for locals to ride down with boards, mattresses and so on. You can take a tour called the Flumin´ da Ditch tour which will take you on a kayaking tour of the ditch past beautiful scenery and is a lot of fun. It is not a fast trip but you will get wet.
For information about this tour visit the website at: http://www.flumindaditch.com

Kamehameha The Great Statue

Kamehameha The Great Statue
This statue is found on the front lawn of the North Kohala Civic Centre. You may have seen the other statue which is identical of King Kamehameha near the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The one found here in North Kohala is the original statue that was made in Florence, Italy in 1880 but it was lost at sea on its journey and a duplicate was made from the original mould. Eventually the sunken statue was recovered and put here where it stands at Kamehameha’s childhood home.

Pololu Valley

Pololu Valley
At the end of Highway 270 you will find a lookout with a glorious view over the Pololu Valley with its stunning coastline. You can take a hike from the lookout down to the valley which takes about 30 minutes but it is quite a steep walk and can be slippery after rain. If you do decide to walk it you will get some fantastic views with some lovely cool breezes to help you along the way. There is a black sand beach at the bottom which is nice to look at but isn’t for swimming in.