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Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Chatham, Canada
posts: 26
reviews: 16
Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Aloha. We are staying near Keahou next month and will be doing a day trip up to Pololu Valley and Hawi and also want to spend time at one of the beaches in North Kohala. Should we head to Pololu Valley first and do our hike first thing in the morning or go to one of the beaches and snorkel first? Assuming we pick a day with no rain in sight. Sorry for the spelling mistakes but hopefully you understand all my destinations. Thanks.

9 replies to this topic
Denver, Colorado
posts: 2,240
reviews: 25
1. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

No real good beaches to the north. Even Pololu is not "safe". If you want to do the beach that day I would do Pololu hike early then maybe swing back around to South Kohola such as Wailea Bay early afternoon.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
posts: 15,234
reviews: 69
2. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

I assume you mean the South Kohala beaches which are indeed in the northwest part of the island but not in the district of North Kohala where Pololu is :-)

I would probably spend one day to go to Pololu, visiting the Pu'ukohola heiau, Lapakahi state historical park, maybe Mo'okini and then down into Pololu and driving back via the Kohala Mountain Road through Waimea, and a second separate day, maybe even two, to explore the South Kohala beaches, especially for snorkeling which really deserve some time. It would be a packed day trying to fit that all in on one day.

TJ, it's Kohala, not Kohola, and Waialea, not Wailea.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 2,693
reviews: 30
3. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

I agree with Shea's advice, but if I'm to answer the question you asked, I'd say go to Pololu Valley and Hawi first. Because if you start at one of the nice snorkeling beaches, you probably won't make it any farther up north that day.

Canada
posts: 7,067
reviews: 24
4. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Hard to say... I might be inclined to say....snorkel as early in the day as possible ....for best conditions, then venture up to North "Kohala" for a lunch stop, and tour of the area.

Don't worry about rain...it is not a common occurence in South Kohala....truly....

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
posts: 15,234
reviews: 69
5. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Agree, in general snorkeling is best earlier in the day. While rain is very uncommon in South Kohala, if it's going to be windy that generally happens as the day progresses. Also coming down Kohala Mountain road as the sun is getting lower is magic.

Edited: 11:34 pm, January 22, 2014
Chatham, Canada
posts: 26
reviews: 16
6. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Thank you everyone! Much appreciate the quick responses.

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 29,199
reviews: 4
7. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Hi, just to offer an alternate approach ...

I think that South and North Kohala are worth a lot more time than one day for the two of them, and also I donʻt think beach-hopping is a good way to enjoy beaches here, at least not more than a couple. It would be different if you could drive right up to the beach, but in most there in more involved to get to the sand, and it is better to settle in and enjoy that beach.

My suggestion would be take two days, and take the first as a beach day (if weather is good). Snorkel in the morning, then maybe some lunch to get out of the heat, then another beach, whatever feels right.

Itʻs going to take you about an hour to get up there, and another to get back.

Second day, you can go to North Kohala on either the upper or lower highway, and you can drive the loop either way. I would agree that the views of Mauna Kea are very fine, going towards Waimea, but the view of Maui going towards Hawi is lovely, and you can see more ocean going that way. I used to live up there and drove the road regularly, and neither direction is bad, depends on whether you want to end up in Waimea or pass through there en route.

The drive along the coast has a fine view of Maui going north, but the ocean view is better going south, especially for the passenger who is going to be right along the ocean.

The sites like Puʻukohola and Lapakahi close early, and are cooler in the morning, a point for taking the coast up and back over the mountain.

If you do this day separately, you can also take in Waipiʻo Lookout and Honokaʻa as a side trip, in you are not going to be up that way otherwise. But it would take a couple more hours, and you would want to do that first, so not the best way to go really.

After North Kohala, you could always make a late afternoon stop at a beach on the way back.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 9,327
reviews: 1
8. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

I agree with KK.

I'd do two differen trips.

I would want time to poke around north Kohala, Pololu Valley, and that beautiful drive along Kohala mountain road at leisure, maybe ending up in Waimea for a wonderful dinner.

I'd do the beaches as a separate trip, giving myself the choice of the better day for the beach depending on the weather. You can also enjoy the petroglyph trail in Waikoloa and restaurants in the Waikoloa area at the end of the day. I wouldn't want to have to limit myself to beach time for a schedule.

Chatham, Canada
posts: 26
reviews: 16
9. Re: Pololu valley first or north Kohala beaches?

Yes 2 day trips was the plan anyway. Thanks for the advice.

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