Laupahoehoe was described in our tour book as a flat lava peninsula formed by the late-stage Mauna Kea eruption. It is located between Honoka'a and Hilo via a steep 1.5 mile scenic drive down to the coast with spectacular cliffs in the distance and dense foliage all around.
We stopped here and took some time to watch the waves violently crash into the huge boulders of lava rocks that line the shoreline here. It made for some terrific photos!
I was sad to learn about the tragedy of the April 1, 1946 tsunami that took place here, wiping out the school, killing 20 young teens and 4 teachers. We took the time to pay our respects at the memorial that lists the names and ages of those who were killed.
There was also a local graveyard nearby and it was interesting to see how the graves were covered in and outlined by lava rock. I was saddened by one tombstone I came upon of a 7 year old girl who died in 1924. It was peaceful and quiet here in contrast to the sounds of the crashing waves we heard when standing at the shoreline.
If you are touring the Hamakua coast (one of our favourite coastlines during our travels of the island), it is well worth the drive and time to stop at Laupahoehoe.
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