Circling the Kohala Peninsula

From Kona to Waimea, in a circle and back.

The everchanging brush grass landscape between Waikoloa and Waimea.
It’s grand cinema when you enter the always lingering saddle cloud.
A nod to the paniolos, who trace their roots to Mexican cowboys taken to the island in the 1830s.
The short distances and the exciting koai’a trees, which are low to the ground with twisting and gnarly branches, make the Koa’a Tree Sanctuary an ideal place to hike with small children. Other beautiful native trees you can expect to see are hala pepe, ala’a, māmane, and some of the largest ʻōhiʻa trees in the area. Birds are abundant in the sanctuary, and it is not uncommon to see pueo (Hawaiian owl) soaring overhead. On clear days, the Koai’a Tree Sanctuary offers rewarding views of the Kohala coastline and the three southern volcanoes: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. This is also an excellent spot to catch the sunset.
The Koai’a chamaeleon.
In the 1960s a fence was put up by foresters to protect the area, and the sanctuary reflects the forest that has rejuvenated since then. Before the fence was put up, many of the older trees within the gulch managed to escape being ravaged by destructive cattle hooves because of the steep gulch and numerous rocks.
Now the Kohala Watershed Partnership has volunteer days in the sanctuary and along the 220-acre 2-mile corridor all the way up to Pu’u O Umi Natural Area Reserve. Volunteers help remove invasive fire grass, construct retaining walls, plant saplings, and construct sediment dams to protect the coral reefs along the Kohala coast.
A dead prickly pear cactus: Cultivated in the wrong place, this species can develop into a destructive weed: it can overrun cattle grazing lands, eventually ruining them with its invasive overgrowth.
Looking into the valley.
Over the hills to the Kohala coast.
A healthy exemplar of Opuntia ficus-indica, called Panini in Hawaiian.
Hideout of the one who can’t be named?
Kapaau, the Bond Memorial Public Library. Looks permanently closed if you ask me.
Statue of King Kamehameha the Great. There’s one just like it in Honolulu, across the street from Iolani Palace, but this is the original: an 8-foot, 6-inch bronze by Thomas R. Gould, a Boston sculptor. It was cast in Europe in 1880 but was lost at sea on its way to Hawaii. A sea captain eventually recovered the statue, which was placed here, near Kamehameha’s Kohala birthplace, in 1912.
At the Pololu Valley lookout. The cliffs of the Kohala coastline were formed during a catastrophic landslide between 250.000 and 300.000 years ago during which a large part of the volcano slipped into the ocean.
This would probably be a cool spot to watch the sunrise (less clouds in the early morning hours)
The stunning views from up there. Unfortunately we couldn’t make the hike down to the valley floor this time due to the heat.
The flower of Orange Lilikoi, Passiflora laurifolia.
Kawaihae Beach with a friendly coconut stump carving.

Red alien clinging to the stones.
The way back to Kona is not very eventful, we thought.
There was a big brush fire for a few days, but it seemed under control.
The nearer we come, the bigger it looks.
Residents within Waikoloa have been asked to evacuate as a brush fire in South Kohala has jumped Highway 190.
So far, two homes have been confirmed destroyed in the blaze. County officials say more abandoned shed-type structures have also been taken in the flames.


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)