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Alternative-Hawaii



BIG ISLAND

NORTH KONA / KOHALA
DRIVE GUIDE

Historical Park, Petroglyphs
Beach, Temple, Old Village
Kamehameha Statue, Waterfalls, Ranch

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Created by: Alternative-Hawaii.com
  • Drive starts from the Parking Lot of King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona.
  • Approx. 93 miles from Start to End of Drive.
  • Approx. 3-1/4 hrs. driving time from Start to End of drive excluding time spent at "stops".
  • For your safety, please observe Cautionary Notes on drive "stops" below.
  • Set Odometer to Zero between "stops" below.
  • All distances are to the nearest tenth of a mile.
  • Do not leave valuables in vehicle or unattended.
(Photographs are not viewable on this Printer Friendly page. To view photographs return to Color page.)

STOP 1: KALOKO-HONOKOHAU NATIONAL
HISTORICAL PARK - SOUTH ENTRANCE
PHOTOGRAPH
START: KING KAMEHAMEHA'S KONA BEACH
HOTEL PARKING LOT
 
DIST/TIME: Approx. 3.2 Miles / 15 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Honokohau Marina (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Turn Left from Hotel onto Palani Street & go short way (0.3 mile) to Queen Kaahumanu Hwy (Hwy 19 - traffic light)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 19 & go 2.3 miles to Kealakehe Parkway (traffic light)
  • Turn Left off Hwy 19 onto Parkway to Honokohau Harbor
  • Go short way (0.3 mile) to first right hand turn (at sign for Dept. Land & Nat. Resources)
  • Turn Right and follow the broad curve a short way (0.3 mile) to the Park Gate (right side - the gate has a sign E Komo Mai / Welcome on it and also says National Park Service Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park)
  • Park in the large lot opposite the Park gate (in front of the Kona Sailing Club)
This 1160 acre National Historical Park is of incredible cultural and historical significance and includes an ancient Hawaiian settlement containing fishponds, kahua (house site platforms), kii pohaku (petroglyphs), holua (stone slides) and heiau (temples).

Note: Free, open year-round, tel. 326-9057. Inside the gate, there is a box with brochures including a map of the Park. To reach the beach in the shortest time, turn left from gate onto the trail & keep to left at fork on the trail. Swimming, snorkeling, hiking, wildlife viewing. The park provides the opportunity to spot some of the unique wildlife found in the Hawaiian Islands. Along the shore, watch for sea turtles and shorebirds and you may be lucky enough to see a Hawaiian monk seal sprawled out on the beach basking in the sun. (Visitor Center is located about 1/4 mile north of the Honokohau Harbor entrance - left side).

Caution: No lifeguards. Sea turtles & Hawaiian Monk Seals are endangered species. Touching, disturbing or harassing them is illegal.




STOP 2: PUAKO PETROGLYPH
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISTRICT PARK
PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KALOKO-HONOKOHAU NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK - SOUTH ENTRANCE  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 26.8 Miles / 40 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Entrance to Mauna Lani Resort (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Exit parking lot and return 0.7 mile to Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Hwy 19)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 19 & go 23.8 miles to entrance for Mauna Lani Resort (left side - between Mile Marker 74 & 73)
  • Turn Left at Mauna Lani Drive & go 1.1 mile to traffic circle
  • Enter Traffic Circle and take first right turn (North Kaniku Drive)
  • Go 0.8 mile on North Kaniku Drive to sign for Holoholokai Beach (right side)
  • Turn Right at sign & go 0.4 mile to beach parking lot
  • The path to the petroglyphs is at the entrance to the parking lot (right side)
A Petroglyph Exhibit is located about a 5 min. walk along the paved portion of the Malama Trail to the actual Puako Petroglyph Fields, one of the largest and oldest petroglyph fields in the State containing approx. 3,000 individual designs.

Note: Open daily, restrooms. The trail to the Petroglyph Exhibit is wheelchair accessible.




STOP 3: HAPUNA BEACH STATE RECREATION AREA PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: PUAKO PETROGLYPH
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISTRICT PARK
 
DIST/TIME: Approx. 7.2 Miles / 14 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign: Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Parking Area & return 2.4 miles to Queen Kaahumanu Hwy (Hwy 19)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 19 & go 4.4 miles to sign for Hapuna Beach (right side)
  • Turn Left onto Hapuna Beach Road & go 0.4 mile to beach parking area
A 61.8-acre white sand beach park with swimming, bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Rip currents and pounding shore breaks occur during periods of high surf. Historic coastal trail.

Note: Pavilion, parking, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, lifeguards, food concession, camping.

Caution: Hapuna has claimed more lives than any other beach park in all of Hawaii. Steep paved pathways to beach.




STOP 4: PUUKOHOLA HEIAU NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: HAPUNA BEACH STATE RECREATION AREA  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 3.1 Miles / 9 Mins.
 
WATCH FOR: Sign - Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site  
 ROUTE:
  • Exit Left from parking lot and return 0.3 mile to Queen Kaahumanu Hwy (Hwy 19)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 19 & go 2.2 miles to end of the road
  • Turn Left onto Akone Puli Hwy (Hwy 270) & go 0.4 mile to Park entrance (left side)
  • Turn Left at Park Entrance & go 0.2 mile to Visitor Center parking lot (right side)
85.3 acres. Ruins of Puukohola Heiau ("Temple on the hill of the whale") built by King Kamehameha the Great between 1790-91. The remains of John Young's homestead, who fought for Kamehameha during the period of his ascendancy to power, may be toured at this site.

Note: Open daily 7:30-4 all year, tel. 882-7218, restrooms. Footpath, guided and self-guided tours, exhibits and interpretive talks, bird watching. During winter and spring months, you can enjoy whale watching and shark sightings. Hawaiian arts and crafts demonstrations and special Hawaiian programs are presented to the public throughout the year.The parking lot closes at 4pm but if visitors want to go to adjacent Spencer Beach County Park - they can park there until 8pm and walk to the heiau.





STOP 5: LAPAKAHI STATE HISTORICAL PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: PUUKOHOLA HEIAU NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 12 Miles / 15 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Lapakahi State Historical Park (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Puukohola Heiau parking lot & return 0.2 mile to Akone Puli Hwy (Hwy 270)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 270 & go 11.6 miles to Lapakahi State Park (left side - just before Mile Marker 14)
  • Turn Left into Park Entrance & go 0.2 mile on park road to a 600 year old fishing village
A 262-acre historical park. Learn about the early Hawaiian lifestyle by taking a self-guided tour through the partially restored remains of this ancient coastal settlement. Nearby ocean waters comprise a marine preserve.

Note: Park gate closes at 3:30 pm - visitors must be out of Park by 4pm. Restrooms.

Caution: Normal beach activities such as sunbathing, snorkeling, etc., are not encouraged.




STOP 6: KING KAMEHAMEHA STATUE - KAPAAU PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: LAPAKAHI STATE HISTORICAL PARK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 9.6 Miles / 15 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: King Kamehameha Statue in front of North Kohala Civic Center (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Park & return 0.2 mi. on park road to Akone Puli Hwy (Hwy 270)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 270 & go 9.4 miles to King Kamehameha Statue in Kapaau Town (beyond Hawi Town)
  • Park across the street from statue
Located in the heart of Kamehameha's ancestral homelands - site of the original statue of the King - cast in bronze and remaining as strong as the great King's will. Kapaau is a sleepy community awakening with small boutiques and art galleries catering to tourists.

Note: Restrooms.




STOP 7: POLOLO VALLEY OVERLOOK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KING KAMEHAMEHA STATUE - KAPAAU  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 5.4 Miles / 12 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: End of the Road  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave King Kamehameha Statue in Kapaau & continue 5.4 miles on Akone Puli Hwy (Hwy 270) to Pololu Valley Overlook at the end of the road
An outstanding vista showing the raw, untamed side of the Big Island. Pololu Valley was once one of the richest wet taro plantations in Hawaii. Beautiful waterfalls cascade down from high up in the valley.




STOP 8: PARKER RANCH HISTORIC HOMES & GARDENS PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: POLOLO VALLEY OVERLOOK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 29.2 Miles / 1-1/4 Hrs.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Parker Ranch Historic Homes (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Pololo Valley Overlook & return 5.4 miles on Hwy 270 to King Kamehameha Statue in Kapaau
  • Continue another mile to Kynnersley Road (at Aloha Gas Station in Kapaau)
  • Turn Left onto Kynnersley Road & go 2.3 miles to Kohala Mountain Road (Hwy 250)
  • Continue 17 miles on Kohala Mountain Road to Kawaihae Road
  • Bear Left at Kawaihae Road & go 2.1 miles to Mamalahoa Hwy (Hwy 190 - traffic light)
  • Turn Right at traffic light & go 0.9 mile on Hwy 190 to entrance road to Parker Ranch (right side)
  • Turn Right onto Parker Ranch entrance road & go 0.5 mile to the Ranch
The heart of paniolo (cowboy) country. Parker Ranch, founded in 1847, is one of our nation's oldest and most historic cattle ranches. At approximately 150,000 acres, it is counted among the largest ranches in the United States. Two historic homes, Puuopelu (a century old family mansion) and Mana Hale (the original Parker Ranch homestead) are available for tours. Mana Hale, built in 1847 by ranch founder John Parker, has native koa wood interiors, handmade furniture and Hawaiian quilts. Puuopelu, ranch home of Richard Smart (a sixth generation Parker), exhibits extraordinary paintings and art.

Note: Open Mon.-Sat. 10-5, closed Sundays & holidays, last tour 4pm, admission $9/adult, tel. 885-5433, restrooms. (Visitor Center & Museum located at the Parker Ranch Shopping Center 885-7655.)


END OF DRIVE - RETURN TO KING KAMEHAMEHA'S KONA BEACH HOTEL
(Approx. 38.9 Miles / 50 Minutes based on following directions:
Return 0.5 mile along Ranch Road to Hwy 190; Turn Right onto Hwy 190;
Go 38.2 miles on Hwy 190 to King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel)



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