Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

Waipio Valley or Pololu Valley


syr101
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would choose Pololu - there are some nice beaches to stop at on the S. Kohala coast (although you could incorporate those into a Waipio drive as well) - but the drive up #270 and down #250 provides a lot of amazing scenery, which for me would be the deciding factor in favour of Pololu.

 

The hike at Pololu down to the beach is shorter than the one at Waipio, but it's on a hiking trail, vs. Waipio where you'll be hiking on a poorly maintained, very steep road shared with vehicles. Waipio will give you a much better workout on the hike back up.

 

Waipio and Pololu are at either end of a series of valleys ... Waipio overlook has more 'wow factor' for the view, but Pololu has some great views as well. Once down at the bottom, it's a nice walk parallel to the beach at Pololu (we haven't hiked down Waipio, but I think it's the same there ... however, there's a creek at the bottom of Waipio that could be difficult to cross if the water is high.)

 

The town of Hawi (on the way to Pololu) is good for a lunch or ice cream stop. Some nice stores with local art work there as well.

 

The town of Honokaa near Waipio is worth a stop if you go to Waipio - I think Hawi has more character, but Honokaa is an interesting town as well.

 

Swimming at either beach is dangerous (rip currents & undertow), so you'd want to limit your swimming to beaches on the S. Kohala coast on the way there or back.

 

Going to either would be a great way to spend a day!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Susan - I thought Rte 19 was the way to go to Pololu. Also, I keep hearing about the traffic in Kona, how bad is it. I have a car rented at King

kam hotel and want to go to Pololu, the farthest point than work our way back stopping at places that interest us, hopefully beach. How long of a stay at Pololu do you think is adequate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, north on #19 which connects to #270, through Hawi and then to Pololu. They by coming back down #250 you get a completely different view and it makes a loop of the drive ... per this route.

 

I included a couple of beaches on the route (Hapuna and Waialea) that would be worth checking out on the Kohala Coast.

 

Agree that it's probably best to go to Pololu first, and beaches on the way back - except if you get an early start, I'd try to do a quick stop at the beach at the Mauna Kea resort. Public parking spaces are limited there, so I think your best chances of getting one are on the way there.

 

For Pololu, 1 to 1.5 hours should do it, depending on how much time you want to spend walking along the beach - the path that parallels the beach is through a forest that's 'magical' ... here's a photo where you can see the path on the left side.

 

Traffic in Kailua Kona can be slow, but we found it was more of a problem with congestion trying to drive from one end of the town to the other - e.g. north to south or vice versa. At the King Kam, you shouldn't have too much trouble heading north on #19 - same with coming back. Good idea to get the car at the King Kam hotel to eliminate the extra time needed for shuttles.

 

Just curious what your hours in port are?

 

p.s. here's an even better photo (a 360 degree panorama) of the trail at Pololu beach.

Edited by Susan-M
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're welcome:)

 

8-6 is a good length of time ... you would be able to get back to Kailua Kona with a comfortable amount of time to spare, and if you have an extra hour there, you can wander around the area near the port.

 

I think you'll really enjoy having rental cars ... very easy to drive in Hawaii (except for Honolulu which is more of a challenge) and it's so nice to just go at your own pace.

 

Forgot to mention - when you're on the #270, if skies are clear you'll be able to see Maui ... wonderful views!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are very, very few public access parking spots at Mauna Kea. Better to go down to the next spot at Hapuna State Park. Shares the beach area with the Prince Hapuna Beach Hotel. Really good bodysurfing here. I've stayed at both hotels, both good beaches. Just be sure not to poach any of the loungers that are there for hotel guests…

 

When I visit the Big Island, I always have to make the drive all the way up to the Pololu Lookout. I'll stop in Hawi for Tropical Dreams ice cream…yummy:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are very, very few public access parking spots at Mauna Kea. Better to go down to the next spot at Hapuna State Park.

 

Probably still worth trying to get one of the spots at Mauna Kea - people come and go all day, so a spot just might be available, or if you get there early enough, it might not be filled yet ... gorgeous beach, and Hapuna is now charging $5. for parking (not a deal breaker ... if you can't get a spot at MK, then worth paying at Hapuna and/or Waialea.)

 

Syr101 - Just a note that there aren't any food concessions at the beaches so bring some food or pick up some along the way if you're planning to eat at the beach. Or, you can eat at restaurants at the hotels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably still worth trying to get one of the spots at Mauna Kea - people come and go all day, so a spot just might be available, or if you get there early enough, it might not be filled yet ... gorgeous beach, and Hapuna is now charging $5. for parking (not a deal breaker ... if you can't get a spot at MK, then worth paying at Hapuna and/or Waialea.)

 

Syr101 - Just a note that there aren't any food concessions at the beaches so bring some food or pick up some along the way if you're planning to eat at the beach. Or, you can eat at restaurants at the hotels.

 

Locals will take those spots fast first thing in the morning, then leave later. It is a gorgeous beach (I've stayed there a few times pre-earthquake). Another option is trying to find a parking spot over at the Hapuna Prince Hotel (I was staying at the Hapuna Prince DURING the earthquakes!!) and take the shuttle that goes between the two hotels...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The earthquake of 2006? That must have been quite the experience!

 

Re locals using the parking lots ... I thought it was more so on w/e's.

 

Yeah, it was, interesting… I had been through the Northridge 'quake in SoCa, too, with some other lesser quakes. The Hapuna Prince handled it well - safety was absolutely their first thing. Some bitched and moaned about not being able to use the elevator, not being able to get right back to the rooms (they checked every one of them for issues like things fallen off walls, TVs fallen down, cracks), stuff like that. Fortunately, they only had some cosmetic cracks, even though some of them were pretty scary-looking. Couldn't cook in the restaurant kitchens, so they set up BBQs outside and they cooked/baked/roasted whatever they could. The Mauna Kea had some major damage, so they brought over some guests from there for the rest of their stays.

Locals will try to get some wave time in before heading to school/work…The gate keeper is pretty strict on how many cars he will even let through to look for spaces. Last time I was there, he kept a "tick" list and wouldn't let anyone through once he ticked off enough cars to take up the public access parking. You had to wait until he "unticked" and would allow a car to take that "tick"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...