E Komo Mai! Welcome!
Mahalo you for your interest in our home.
Location: Hale Honu is about an hour drive south from Kona in a subdivision down by the sea known as Milolii. The views are unobstructed due to the terrain and a neighborhood of only single family homes, no high-rises. The drive passes through the Kona Coffee Farms and several Macadamia Nut Farms. There is really one road around the Island, sometimes it has different names. It starts in Hilo and travels south passed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to end of the island and then heads back north to Milolii and Kona. MMs are used to refer locations of interest.
Milolii is about halfway between Kona and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There is a grocery store about 20 minutes from the house in Oceanview. There are also a few cafes and a pizza joint. There are two sides to the Island. They are east and west, rainy or sunny, Windward or leeward. Locals refer to the first as the Hilo side and the later as the Kona side. Milolii is on the Kona side, west, sunny, leeward.
The turn off to the house from the Queens Highway is MM89. The road winds down to the sea. The house is located at the end of the subdivision and is very quiet. Except for the morning walkers (about a half dozen or so), you may see 5 cars go by all day.
Homomolino Beach is a five minute drive and a 15 minute easy hike to a black sand beach lined with coconuts palms. It is simply stunning and private. The swimming is excellent. Snorkeling is good; you just have to swim out past the surf. Sometimes dolphins visit here. Snorkeling is better when you do not have a beach. There is good snorkeling three blocks from the house at the chrome bar or pole. We see schools of fish here. It is always best to swim, snorkel, or do any water activities in Hawaii in the morning as the trade winds and surf pick up in the afternoon.
Pu′uhonua O Honaunau, is a National Park. This is a favorite place. It has it all, hiking, history the very best snorkeling and an area for picnicking. Set up camp for the day. There is a picture of the picnic area on the Hale Honu web site. The hiking here is along the coast so take water with you. It is Ok to leave the chairs etc at your spot usually, but do not leave valuables or expensive equipment such as masks or snorkels. The snorkeling is just outside the park. There is also a small beach here. You can park here, too without the 5.00 park fee. Anyway, the Park is 5.00 to enter for 7 days. The park is a place of refuge. In ancient Hawaii if you committed a sin, you could travel here to hide from your enemies and be forgiven. That is if you made it here!
An honor fruit stand (although lately someone is there) is located at MM95 and another fruit stand around MM104. There is a seafood market in Captain Cook about MM 108. Sometimes you can find locals selling fresh fish. If you do, buy it. The most popular fish is Ono. Ono is known as Wahoo in other parts of the world. Ono is also the Hawaiian word for oh so good. When they catch you can find local fisherman selling Ono across from the market next to the in Oceanview. Oceanview is about a 20 minute drive. There is also a new market in Oceanview that has great choices.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers everything from lava viewing, steam vent viewing, sputniking and hiking. It is a day trip. Lava flow changes often. Sometimes the lava flows outside the park at the end of 132 (north of the park, phone 808-961-8093). This viewing area opens at 2pm. Useful web sites and phone numbers:
The drive is very easy. It will take you down the south end of the island and then back up the Hilo side. It is best to pack the cooler as I have yet to find any good food at the Park. The famous Punaluu bakery is in Naalehu, hours 9-5pm. Once you pass the end of the Island and turn back north you will come to Punaluu Black Sand Beach. There are many turtles here. This is definitely worth a stop. Sea Mountain Golf course is here. Eighteen holes with a cart is $26.00. No, this is not a misprint, it’s $26.00. There is a sandwich shop in Pahala with good sandwiches but expensive.
Trails and roads can close due to the Kileau’s emissions, so check the web site. Admission is 10.00 for a 7 day pass. If you have a National Park annual pass it is good here. Currently lava is not flowing to the sea. That can change so you should check the web site.
Also on the Hilo side is where you will find waterfalls and forest. Many hiking trails around the falls, Akaka, just north of Hilo. You can also take the four mile Onomea Scenic Drive, a very nice drive. Still further north is the wild Waipo Valley. The shoreline here is very dramatic. The valley is still very Hawaiian and some areas are sacred. You need to have a lot of knowledge (hint a tour operator) to hike around this area. Kens House of Pancakes in Hilo is a very local restaurant with authentic local food and fun. It is on the corner of 11 and 19.
Hiking: A good Hiking book is Hawaii Trails by Kathy Morey. The Big Island is the island for hiking. I have this book. I love it. Another good book is The Big Island Revealed by Andrew Doughty.
Dinning on Alli drive in Kona. The best fish and chips are at Splashers. Coupons for 10% off can be found in the drawer of the activities desk in the house. This is not a fancy place.
Fish Hoppers, (sister to Fish Hoppers in Monterey California, same owners and they brought the chef who is from Hawaii over to open it).
Huggos not Huggos on the rocks
Don the Beachcombers in the Royal Kona resort. Dress is still casual at these places, all outdoors.
All Luaus are somewhat of a show that tells the journey of the Polynesians to the islands. But everyone should try them once. I like Firenesia at the Sheraton Keauhou. It is a beautiful lawn next to Keauhou Bay. You can also visit the Manta Ray bar at the hotel to see the Mantas feeding after dark. The hotel turns on lights to attract the plankton and then the manta rays show up.
Clothing: Do not bring too much clothing. If you would like a nice dress or Hawaiian shirt for that dinner I would buy something here. Then you can wear it to BBQs at home. You do need reef shoes. You can get them at Wal-mart for about 8.00, or just a pair of old socks and old shoes. Bring an extra collapsible bag to take home souvenirs.
Plastic bags have been banned on Maui and Kauai. This may soon happen on the Big Island. You may want to bring a few reusable bags with you as you may have to buy them at checkout. If you do buy bags in Hawaii, they do make nice souvenirs.
Boat adventures: Fairwind offers the best of the boat adventures. The Hula Kai is the newest vessel. It travels south to 2 diving spots one just north of Milolii. If you have a group, you may want to consider a private charter which offers an entire boat for $500.00 and up. Some boats will carry up to 6 people. This is a great day out on the ocean. In Hawaii, skippers will usually keep your catch, enough to eat.
Wal mart has good selection of small inexpensive souvenirs. They also have good prices on a wide selection of all kinds of Macadamia nuts and Kona coffee. It is also a good pace to pick up condiments in small quantities. Longs drugs also offer a wide selection of souvenirs, coffee macadamia nuts
Costco is your best bet for large volumes of food. The gas line is always long, we tend to skip it. However gas us usually about .50 cheaper here. It is very common to see fellow passengers from the plane in Costco.
Rental cars: Book your car as soon as possible. Try www.discountHawaiicarrental.com.
A word here about jeeps. Jeeps are very nice for cruising the island. They are easy to break into. Hawaiian Airlines offers good fares from the west coast and Nevada...
There are several fleas markets. The main flea market in Kona is down on Alii drive. It is open Wed-sun. Alii market place is also further down on Alii. Both are good for local crafts. There is also ABC and General Whaler’s stores along Alii drive.
Wednesday is cruise ship day in Kona; Tuesday is cruise ship day in Hilo. You will find more tourists in these towns on these days. On Wednesday morning if you are up about 4AM(still on mainland time?), you can see the Pride of America as she sails past the house up to Kona.
Hope to have you and your Ohana(family) as our guest
Peggy and Roger