South Kohala

There is hardly a more interesting moku or district on the Big Island than the moku of South Kohala. The moku stretches from the highlands cattle ranching town of Waimea to the glorious crescent shaped white sand beaches of the Kohala Coast. Panoramic vistas range from across the treacherous Alenuihaha channel to the summit of Maui's Haleakala on the clearest of days to the snow capped summit of Mauna Kea in the winter months. In-between there are wide open spaces where lava fields meet pasturelands and it is not unusual to see wild goats, turkeys, donkeys and pheasants along the roadside in the early morning hours and horses and goats grazing happily in the cool moist misty air. South Kohala is also the home of a string of Hawaii's grandest luxury resorts and golf courses. The Kohala Coast is the home of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, The Fairmont Orchid, the Mauna Lani Resort to name a few. Golf is also grand in North Kohala. World class courses include the fabulous and expensive Mauna Kea Golf Course and the Francis H. Ii Brown courses at the Mauna Lani Resort. South Kohala also has some of the best beaches on the island. Hapuna Beach is a large expanse of white sand, lively surf and warm blue waters. Just as gorgeous is Spencer Beach Park less than a mile down the road that offers a huge beachfront along with lifeguards, camping facilities and more. Another wonderful spot is Anaehoomalu Beach in the Waikoloa Resort. A wonderful beach that has an abundance of palm trees, calm waters ideal for families, picnicking and snorkeling. South Kohala also has the only commercial harbor on the west side of the island at Kawaihae. This is where inter-island barges that bring everything from cars to milk and all other types of freight from Oahu. Next to Kawaihae Harbor is one of the largest Hawaiian war temples in the state. Pu'ukohola sits just above the beach and is the site where Kamehameha the Great launched his fleet of canoes to conquer and unify the Hawaiian Islands. A visit to Pu'ukohola should to be missed.

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