Kohala Coast, Big Island

Kohala is the name of the northwest portion of the island of Hawaiʻi. In ancient Hawaii it was often ruled by an independent High Chief called the Aliʻi Nui. Marvel as you drive and take in the rugged lava fields surrounding you on both sides. 

The Kohala Coast is a mix of the island's best beaches and luxury hotels not far from ancient valleys and temples, waterfalls, and hippy artist enclaves. On a clear day, you can see Maui in the distance, and during the winter months, numerous humpback whales in the waters just offshore and onto cascading waterfalls, lush valleys, awe-inspiring volcanoes.

Map of Hawaii Big Island

Explore Big Island by region: HiloHamakua CoastNorth KohalaKonaPunaKau.

Download Tour Map of Hawaii (Big Island)

Island Highlights

- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
- Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona): Lively, historic gathering place in the heart of Kona.
- Hilo: Home to botanical gardens, waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path local shops and restaurants.
- Waimea: Experience the cool uplands of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country.
- Holualoa: Visit coffee country and taste why 100% Kona coffee is so famous.

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site


The majestic, stone Puukohola Heiau can be seen off the road, just north of the resorts of the Kohala Coast. This National Historic Site is home to one of the largest restored heiau (temple) in Hawaii and is part of the National Park System. Heiau were sacred places of worship for Native Hawaiians, and Puukohola Heiau was a site built to fulfill a historic prophecyand played a crucial role in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands

Location: On the Kohala Coast, one mile south of Kawaihae Harbor on Highway 270.

Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

Puako Petroglyph

The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is one of the most extensive petroglyph fields in Hawaii and the largest concentration of petroglyphs in the Pacific, lies within the 233-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological District.

These Malama Petroglyhs were made thousands of years ago. The field has over 3000 carvings including paddlers, sails, marchers, dancers, and family groups, as well as dogs, chickens, turtles, and deity symbols. 

Location: Kohala Coast near the Mauna Lani Resort on Highway 270.

Hapuna State Historical Park

Hapuna Beach State Park

The largest of Hawaii Island’s white sand beaches, Hapuna Beach has consistently been rated on numerous international Top 10 lists. Hapuna also offers consistently good conditions for swimming, bodyboarding, sunbathing and snorkeling. Hapuna Beach is long and expansive, and there is more than enough room even on a crowded day. 

Location: West of Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19, called Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway) on Hapuna Beach Road.

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Memberships and Certification

 Hawaii Tourism Authority

Certified Hawaii Tourism Authority 'Destination Expert'.

A member of Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  

 Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Acknowledgements & Credits


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Island Guides: Tips & Fun Things To Do