Day Trip to the North Coast and

King Kamehameha Country

Printer-friendly VersionTo_North_Coast_files/Day%20Trip%20to%20North%20Kohala_1.pdfTo_North_Coast_files/North%20Kohala.pdfshapeimage_3_link_0
 

This day trip will take you to unique shops, historical sites on the north end of The Big Island, a beautiful hidden valley, and a sleepy plantation town with great restaurants. And it all starts with the prettiest drive on the island.


Stops Along the Way *

The Kohala Mountain Road : This is probably the prettiest drive on The Big Island. The road rises quickly from Waimea and parallels the Kohala Coast at an altitude that provides sweeping vistas of land and sea.


Bamboo Restaurant and Hawi Town: Several small shops, galleries, and restautants make this a pleasant place to stretch and pause for lunch at Zagat-rated Bamboo Restaurant and Bar - our favorite on the north coast.


Kapa`au and the King Kamehameha Statue: The area around this tiny plantation town was once home to the first king of Hawaii. A statue of him stands in a park in the center of town.


Kalahikiola Church: A short detour through an arch of trees takes you to a pretty church consecrated in 1855 and nearly destroyed during the massive October 15, 2006 earthquake.


Pololu Valley Overlook and Snack Shack: This area of The Big Island is just gorges - literally. Pololu Valley is the first of five notches carved by wind and water and filled with tropical vegetation that scar the northeast end of the island.


Lapakahi State Park (click here to view the official park brochure) and Whale Watching: The remains of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village are scattered throughout a state park on the ocean side of the Akoni Puli Highway. Between November and April that portion of the highway is also a good spot to pull off and watch for kohola (the Hawaiian word for humpback whale).


Macadamia Nut Factory Tour: Take a free self-guided tour of the factory and sample a variety of nut products, Open daily from 9AM -5:30 PM.


* Restrooms are located near the King Kamehameha statue, in Hawi, at Lapakahi, at the Macadamia Nut Factory, and in the Kawaihae Shopping Center (although these are sometimes locked).






Our Recommendations


Click below to download

itineraries for these day trips

on the Big Island


  1. Place of Refuge and Kealekekua Bay

  2. Kohala Coast Resorts and Attractions

  3. Volcanoes National Park

  4. North Coast and King Kamehameha Country

  5. Plantation Towns and Secluded Valleys

  6. Kailua-Kona

  7. Hilo and Hamakua

Getting to the Start Point


This day trip starts in Waimea (also known as Kamuela). Here are directions for getting to the start point:


From Kailua-Kona: Drive north from Kailua-Kona about 20 miles on the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway. Turn right on Waikoloa Road and left onto the Mamalahoa Highway about 13 miles later. Continue on the Mamalahoa Highway into the center of Waimea. Stop at the Starbucks in the Parker Ranch Center for a drink and drain before starting the day trip. You will return to Kailua-Kona via a different route.


From Kohala Resorts: Turn left as you exit the Kohala resorts and either turn right on Waikoloa Road and left onto the Mamalahoa Highway about 13 miles later. Continue on the Mamalahoa Highway into the center of Waimea. You can also drive to the north terminus of the Queen K Highway and turn right onto the Kawaihae road, which will take you into the center of Waimea.


Stop at the Starbucks in the Parker Ranch Center for a drink and drain beefore starting the day trip. You will return to your resort via a different route.


From Waimea: You are already at the starting point for this day trip.


From Hilo: It will take about 1:25 to get to the start of this day trip. Drive north from Hilo on Hwy 19, (the Mamalahoa Highway). As you get close to Honokaa, be sure to stay on Hwy 19. There is a chance that you will encounter rain on the way into Waimea. That is normal as the clouds build up against the mountains.


This day trip starts at the Parker Ranch Center in the heart of Waimea.. Stop at Starbucks for a drink and drain, then begin the day trip. It is safest to return to Hilo via the same route.

  1. You are here: Day Trips  > Day Trip to the North Coast and King Kamehameha Country