Dis­cover King Kame­hameha Coun­try

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - IT’S A BIG, BIG ISLAND -

While South Ko­hala at­tracts most tourists, just 11 miles up­s­lope is a land de­vel­op­ers for­got. North Ko­hala is lush and green, sparsely pop­u­lated and un­pre­ten­tious; it is South Ko­hala’s coun­try cousin—a breath of fresh moun­tain air in a land­scape barely touched by con­tem­po­rary in­flu­ences.

The re­gion’s neigh­bor­ing ham­lets of Kapa‘au and Hawi, com­pris­ing the most densely pop­u­lated area in the district, re­tain a coun­try feel, and mer­chants take an in­ven­tive ap­proach.

And nowhere is King Kame­hameha the Great, who united the Is­lands in 1810, more revered than in North Ko­hala. His birth­place, marked by a sim­ple plaque, is west of Hawi on a dirt road near the ru­ins of Mo‘okini Heiau. To get there, take the turnoff to Upolu Air­port, then turn left at the air­field.

For an­other Kame­hameha view, check out a more-thancen­tury-old, nine-foot statue of Kame­hameha that com­mands a hill in Kapa‘au and is eas­ily vis­i­ble from High­way 270.

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