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BIG ISLAND

KAILUA-KONA / SOUTH KONA DRIVE GUIDE

Temple, Palace, Church, Coffee Farm
Museum, Historic Park, Ethnobotanical Garden

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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. 30 miles from Start to End of Drive.
  • Approx. 1-1/4 hours driving time from Start to End of drive excluding time spent at "stops".
  • The first 3 "stops" on this drive are a walking tour of 3 historic sites in Kailua-Kona: Ahuena Heiau (on the grounds of the hotel), Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. In addition to the approx. 1-1/4 hr. driving time, allow an extra 50 mins. walking time to visit these 3 "stops" (the 50 minutes does not include the time you spend at each of the 3 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.
(Click on PHOTOGRAPH to view Stop on Tour.)

STOP 1: AHUENA HEIAU PHOTOGRAPH
START: KING KAMEHAMEHA'S KONA BEACH HOTEL PARKING LOT  
DIST/TIME: Not Applicable. Located on the hotel grounds - approx.10 min. walk from pkg.lot.  
WATCH FOR: Kailua Pier  
 ROUTE:
  • Walk across parking lot to hotel side entrance
  • Inside hotel, keep to right & go to beach
  • The heiau is across the way on the grounds of the hotel, next to the Kailua Pier
King Kamehameha the Great's personal heiau, a temple dedicated to Lono who was the Hawaiian God of peace, agriculture and prosperity. He spent his later years here until his death in 1819.

Note: Reconstructed by King Kamehameha the Great between 1812-1813, the Ahuena Heiau is on the register of National Historic Landmarks as one of the most important of Hawaii's historic sites.




STOP 2: HULIHEE PALACE PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: AHUENA HEIAU  
DIST/TIME: Not Applicable. Approx. 15 Min. Walk from Ahuena Heiau.  
WATCH FOR: Plaque - Hulihee Palace (by the entry gate)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Ahuena Heiau
  • Walk South along Alii Drive seawall to the Palace (right side)
A two-story Victorian structure built in 1838 by Governor Kuakini. Contains a great collection of koa wood furniture and Hawaiian artifacts.

Note: Entry charge, self-guided & guided tours, open daily (Tues-Fri 9-4 & Sat&Sun 10-4), closed holidays, tel. 329-1877, gift shop, restrooms.




STOP 3: MOKUAIKAUA CHURCH PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: HULIHEE PALACE  
DIST/TIME: Not Applicable. Walk Across the Street!  
WATCH FOR:    
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Hulihee Palace and walk across the street to Mokuaikaua Church
A Congregationalist missionary church. The oldest house of Christian worship in Hawaii - built in 1836. With a 112-foot steeple, it is the highest structure in town.

Note: Open daily during daylight hours, tel. 329-0655.




STOP 4: GREENWELL FARMS PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: MOKUAIKAUA CHURCH  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 11.2 Miles / 20 Mins.
(Add 15 min. walk from Church to Hotel Pkg Lot)
 
WATCH FOR:    
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Mokuaikaua Church & walk back to the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel parking lot (approx. 15 minute walk)
  • Exit left from hotel parking lot onto Palani Road
  • Drive short way (0.3 mile) to Queen Kaahumanu Hwy (Hwy 11 on right side - 3rd traffic light)
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 11 & go 10.8 miles to Greenwell Farms (right side)
  • Take the farm road short way (0.1 mile) down to the Visitor Center parking lot
Offering complimentary farm and mill tours, and coffee tasting - learn the age old secrets of producing 100% Kona Coffee - some of the world's finest.

Note: Free tours run continuously 8-4 Mon-Fri & 8-3 Sat., closed Sundays, tel. 323-2275, gift shop, restrooms.




STOP 5: KONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: GREENWELL FARMS  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 0.1 Mile / 1 Min.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Kona Historical Society  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Greenwell Farms parking lot & return short way (0.1 mile) to top of the farm road (do not go back on the highway)
  • The Kona Historical Society Visitor Parking Lot is on your right.
Offering a variety of guided tours, lectures, and exhibits including the Historic Kailua Village Walking Tour, the Kona Coffee Living History Farm Tour in Captain Cook and more. (Inquire about their breadmaking in a Portuguese oven!).

Note: Open daily, tel. 323-3222, restrooms. (The Society's living museum exhibit, the H. N. Greenwell Store built around 1875, is scheduled to re-open in early 2007 as a museum exhibit of a Kona general store in the year 1890. An exciting interpretive program is planned.)




STOP 6: KEALAKEKUA BAY STATE HISTORICAL PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 5.6 Miles / 15 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Kealakekua Bay (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Kona Historical Society and turn right onto Hwy 11
  • Go 1.1 mile to turn off sign for Kealakekua Bay (right side)
  • Turn Right at sign & go downhill 4.4 miles to end of road at stop sign
  • Turn Right at stop sign & go 0.1 mile to Kealakekua State Park (dead end)
Viewing of Hikiau Heiau - a luakini (temple of human sacrifice). This place of worship is where priests offered reverence to Captain Cook in 1779, believing that he was the god Lono returning to them as promised. Panoramic view of Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument.

Note: Open daily, parking, restrooms, showers, picnic pavilion, basketball court.

Caution: Steep downhill descent to Kealakekua Bay, no lifeguards at park.




STOP 7: PUUHONUA O HONAUNAU
NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KEALAKEKUA BAY STATE HISTORICAL PARK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 3.7 Miles / 12 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Puuhonua O Honaunau (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Kealakekua Bay State Park parking lot
  • Continue straight along Puuhonua Beach Road (Hwy 160 - narrow one lane road)
  • Go 3.6 miles to sign for Puuhonua O Honaunau Park (left side)
  • Turn Right at sign & go very short way (0.1 mile) to Park Entrance Gate & Visitor Center parking lot
A 181.8-acre park. Until 1819, vanquished Hawaiian warriors, noncombatants, and kapu (taboo) breakers could escape death by reaching this sacred ground. Prehistoric house sites, royal fishponds, coconut groves, and spectacular shore scenery comprise the park. Green sea turtles can often be spotted in Keone Ele cove . Humpback whales can be seen during the winter months. A 1871 historic trail (approx. 1 mile) has many archeological sites including temples (heiau), some sledding tracks (holua), and old houses. There is also an open lava tube cave that ends at the face of a sea cliff.

Note: Park is open daily 7-8, Visitor Center is open daily 8-5, park fees apply ($5/vehicle-7day pass), tel. 328-2288 (inquire about backcountry trail guide & informative handouts on the local plants and birds), restrooms.

Caution: The lava tube cave has a low ceiling and flashlights are recommended.




STOP 8: AMY B. H. GREENWELL ETHNOBOTANICAL GARDEN PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: PUUHONUA O HONAUNAU NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 9.8 Miles / 20 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: The Manago Hotel in Captain Cook Town. The entry lane to the Garden is about 200 yards north of the hotel - right side.  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Puuhonua O Honaunau parking lot & go short way (0.1 mile) to Hwy 160
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 160 & go 3.5 miles to Hwy 11 (Mamalahoa Hwy / Hwy Belt Road)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 11 & go 6.1 miles to entry lane to Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden (sign)
  • Turn Right onto entrance road & go short way to visitor parking (right side)
Fifteen acres of native, Polynesian introduced, and Hawaiian medicinal plants that were important to ancient Hawaiian culture.

Note: Maintained and operated by the Bishop Museum. Open daily 8:30-5, closed weekends & holidays, tel. 323-3318, free (donation accepted), guided tours offered on certain days, restrooms.


END OF DRIVE - RETURN TO KING KAMEHAMEHA'S KONA BEACH HOTEL
(Approx. 12 Miles / 25 Mins.)



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