On the Road – Three Driving Tours
This old cane road is a great drive which starts with a stop at the Punalu’u Bakery for a Lilikoi Malasada.
- Instead of heading back out onto the highway, make a right and head for the hills.
- There’s a blind spot in the road about a half mile in, a few bumps, and some potholes, so take it slow.
- Catch it on a good day and enjoy the mountain vistas, the green pastures, and an occasional coastal view.
- Stop above Na’alehu for a great view of the town. This is cattle and coffee country, and you’ll see both along the way.
- It’s a meandering drive that lands you just above Pahala, where you can cut over to the road out to the Ka’u Coffee Mill and the Buddhist Temple in Wood Valley.
- Once you are back in Pahala, you can make your way to the highway and head back towards Na’alehu.
- Of course, it’s a heck of a lot easier if you take our detailed map book with you.
- Combine all of this with a visit to Punalu’u Black Sand Beach and another stop at the bakery, and you have a great afternoon drive.
Around the Island
No matter where you begin your around the island trip, if you want to end up where you started, plan a full day of sightseeing.
- The driving time is approximately 5-6 hours without traffic delays.
- With stops, we suggest you leave early and plan for a full day.
- You’ll pass through Volcano, stop in Hilo for a look around Front Street,
- Then, take the 4 mile scenic drive north of Hilo, stop at Akaka Falls
- You can make an 18 mile detour to the Waipio Valley Lookout, then have lunch in Waimea
- Either drop down and stop at Hapuna Beach Park or take the faster mountain road, and end up in Kailua-Kona.
- From there, it’s a stop at Kealakekua Bay and Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park or Ho’okena Beach Park.
- Now, you are less than an hour away from a big comfy chair on the lanai at Kalaekilohana.
Four Wheel Drive
There are a few places where a 4×4 can definitley be helpful.
- If you are here on Saturday or Sunday, a visit to the new part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is enhanced by having a 4×4 vehicle.
- It allows you to travel over the sometimes rough gravel road that goes up to the upper trail heads.
- There are also a few spots between Naalehu and Punalulu where relatively safe use of 4×4 is possible.
- It can also come in handy for parking at the lower parking area at Ka Lae.
- Of course, all of this can still be accomplished without a 4×4, but it can make it easier.
- One place where a 4×4 is not recommended, and is not legally allowed is the drive out to Papakolea Green Sand Beach.