Discover the Elegant Mac Nut
More than a century ago, a Big Island sugar plantation manager introduced macadamia nuts to the island. Although native to Australian rainforests, mac nuts thrived in Hawai‘i, and the state became the site of the world’s first commercial plantations. Today, these delicious hard-shelled nuts are one of the Big Island’s largest crops.
Macadamia nuts aren’t picked from the tree; instead, they fall to the ground fully ripened. However, don’t pick one up expecting to shell it and pop it in your mouth—it requires 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to crack a mac nut shell.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp., located six miles south of Hilo on Macadamia Road, welcomes visitors to tour its 2,500-acre orchard, processing plant and chocolate factory.
For more information, look up the Great Hawaiian Mac Nut Trail, a self-guided tour of Hawaii’s macadamia nut industry. You’ll find everything from processing plants to small familyowned farms and bed-and-breakfast stops where visitors can pick macadamia nuts.