Description: The Hamakua district runs from Waipiʻo, the largest cultivated valley of ancient Hawaiʻi, to just north of the county seat of Hilo. This 40 mile stretch of coastline is as fertile as its seaside views are beautiful. The Hamakua district is steeped in agriculture and provides cattle, sheep, timber, ginger, vanilla, macadamia nuts and exotic plants and flowers to Hawaiʻi and the world. This is a land of cascading streams and waterfalls, pristine valleys, spectacular gorges, and large tracts of productive farmlands and orchards. The Hamakua coast is the definition of Old Hawaiʻi in its simplicity and grandeur.
Activities: The Hamakua coastline is for those who cherish the slow pace of small town life coupled with a natural beauty that is unmatched. Forget your shopping malls and the amenities of big city life – Hamakua is country living at its finest. Laupahoehoe and Honokaʻa are the larger towns, but beyond a grocery store and a few shops, you’ll want to go to Hilo for a more expansive shopping experience. Popular activities here are home-grown: hiking, swimming, fishing, surfing, and horseback riding are all popular. The lookout at Waipiʻo Valley is a major tourist draw but a four-wheel drive vehicle is required to visit the lush valley below. Waipiʻo Valley is a spectacular highlight of the Big Island with it's sheer cliffs, rain forest-covered valley, and black sand beach. A visit to Waipiʻo confirms why this sacred place has been revered by over 50 generations of Hawaiians.
Heritage: The Hamakua Coast was settled by the Hawaiians some 1,500 years ago, and in the 19th and 20th centuries it was the heart of the sugarcane industry. The Hamakua Coast was one of the first areas cultivated by the ancient Hawaiians, and for obvious reasons: access to the bountiful sea, scores of waterfalls, streams, and plenty of rain to nurture productive lands. The historical heritage of Waipiʻo Valley is legendary. When King Kamehameha was a baby he was hidden here to protect him of a death sentence resulting from a prophecy that he would one day rule the island.