Waipi’o Valley and Waikoloa

A long sightseeing trip to the North of Big Island.

Hanging Waipi’o Valley from the lookout terrace. It formed through water erosion, was partly filled up and leveled with sediment from the same rivers as they reached sea level.
Valley flank in detail. Surprisingly covered in greenery (for an exposed windward shore).
Far below, the black sand beach melts away the waves.
Billbergia pyramidalis (Flaming Torch Bromeliad)
Pachystachys lutea (Yellow Golden Shrimp plant or Lollipop flower)
Begonia coccinea x Begonia aconitifolia (Angel wing begonia pink cane)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Hawaiian pink hibiscus)
Stop in Honokaʻa. All way. We call it the stop-game, because it’s based on who stopped first (can resume driving first), if it’s more than one other car, it can get tricky and I always let my co-driver play the game too, just to be sure.
The long soup corner. We wonder if there is also a short one?
Fudge’n Coffee sounds ridiculously delicious. Looks kinda closed though.
We just keep on walking the Main Street. In 1930, the bustling little plantation town of Honokaa was the biggest and most happening town on the island outside of Hilo. Honokaa was the recreational and commercial center for the plantation workers, ranchers, soldiers, farmers, and the native Hawaiians along the beautiful and rugged Hamakua coast.
The grand dame of Honokaa, the Honokaa Peoples Theatre, was built by the Tanimoto family, who owned several theatres throughout the island. The 525 seat movie house was packed regularly, as the height of the silver screen era brought Hollywood glamour as well as international films to entertain the multicultural audience, including regular Japanese , Portuguese, Philipino and Spanish language films.
The lively town was a multicultural melee built in a strategic location as a gateway providing access to the chain of valleys to the North, including the regal Waipio valley, the rolling slopes of Mauna Kea, and the sea.
The western style of the buildings belies Honokaa’s heritage as horse town, annual races were held on the main thoroughfare, Mamane Street, and horse drawn carriages were the norm.
Some of the best cowboys in the nation honed their skills on these mountain slopes, and competed regularly at the frequent rodeos in town. Honokaa boasted several dozen stores, including the legendary and still operating B. Ikeuchi’s and T. Kaneshiro’s.
Mural of Sugar Cane Farmers in Honokaa.
Honokaʻa’s economy was based primarily on the sugar production of the Hāmākua Sugar Company from 1873 to 1994. With the closing of the Honokaʻa sugar production and the most recent staggered tourism, the local economy has been in decline. Many places are abandoned and decaying.
From Hamakua Sports Bar to First Bank of Hilo :) The only constant in life is change!
Honokaʻa United Methodist Church, entrance.
Plate lunch style meals, we weren’t brave enough.
The red coffee cart, wondered if it was open.
An absolute adorable (if I’m allowed to say that lol) hardware store, like in the movies!
Ke Ola Mau Loa Church (the green one) and Imiola Congregational Church (the yellow one), Kamuela.
After Waimea we met friends at the lava fields of Kalāhuipua’a Historical Park.
Right away, we stumble into a huge lava tube with several skylights, but mostly well preserved. This lave tube sheltered ancient Hawaiians from 1200-1700 AD.
Shore dwelling near the ponds.
Since men first found them, the fishponds at Kalahuipa’a [name of the ahupua’a on which Mauna Lani sits] have been a delightful oasis along this arid coast. These brackish ponds are fed and cleansed by fresh water springs seeping into them and the tidal action of the sea.
By modifying them and managing them wisely, the prehistoric Hawaiians were able to raise a variety of fish in these ponds.
‘Ama’ama (mullet) and awa (milkfish) were the most commonly raised fish, but others such as papio (jack) kaku (barracuda) and puhi (eels) as well as ‘opae (shrimp) lived here also.
These ponds are among the few anywhere that are still being managed in much the same way as they were in ancient times. They are still producing fish.
The path along the ponds leads us to the shore and back on a narrow stone wall.
The structure also sports a sheltered harbor.
Seems the only thing you can do here is either boating or fishing, everything else is crazy dangerous.
The small path merges with a toad.
… and evolves into a gravel footpath once more with stunning views of the green tinted waters of Mauna Lani.
Almost as cool as the Wanaka tree.
Once more, with feeling.
Very recommendable easy walk!


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