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Hamakua Coast
Hamakua Coast

Hamakua Coast

Hawaii

The basics

To access the coast, head out from Hilo and venture north toward Akaka Falls, continuing past the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden to the town of Laupahoehoe. Continue along a serpentine road oft likened to Maui’s Road to Hana. The road terminates at the scenic Waipio Valley. If you’d rather leave the driving to someone else, book a circle island tour, which will pass through this part of the coast.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii

star-5
Very good tour took us to...
Mary_M, Jul 2022
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Very good tour took us to unique spots and the water falls were beautiful. Highly recommend for families.
star-5
Great tour
margaret_l, Jul 2022
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Custom tour going all the way around island through various ecosystems.driver very knowledgeble and answered all questions,even stupid ones
star-5
I'd go back in a minute!
Vickey_V, May 2022
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Val was so nice and polite to us. He told us many stories about all the sites and about Hawaiian culture and beliefs. We had a really good day and enjoyed ourselves.
star-4
Visit to shore. Enjoyed...
Michael_R, Feb 2022
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Visit to shore. Enjoyed information and visit to area impacted by 1962 tsunami. Too much agricultural facts and not enough Hawaiian history and culture. Tour guide was nice.
star-5
Great guide!
DrBrendly_S, Nov 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Rough start but awesome day in the end. 🌻 Thank you for a great time. I would recommend this full day to everyone.
star-5
Don’t miss this one!
Aileen_H, Nov 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
This was an amazing tour. The tour guide, Val, was so knowledgeable and customized the tour to our liking since it was just the two of us. He introduced us to unique foods to the island. Even bought us leis for our 60th birthday celebration! The sites were beautiful. Highly recommended!
star-5
Great tour!
Darla_S, Oct 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Val was great, very knowledgeable and personable. It was fun to learn more about the island from someone who is really interested in the history and stories. And the food stops were excellent!
star-5
Twentieth wedding anniversary/vacation
Vanessa_C, Oct 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Went to beautiful places. Learned a lot of Island of Hawaii history. Tried to upload our photos but was unable to do so. Breathtaking views. What a way for my husband and I to spend our twentieth anniversary! Our guide Val was terrific, very knowledgeable of Island history.
star-5
Private Sight Seeing a must!
Amelia_C, Oct 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
We toured some of the most beautiful sights in the Island. Vahl was a wonderful story teller of all things Hawaii. We stopped at some great spots to snack and eat lunch as well.
star-4
It was a very private...
Anzhela_G, Oct 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
It was a very private tour, driver plus my friend and I. Driver was very friendly, pleasant and attentive and you could feel he really loves what he does. Would recommend! Side note: be prepared to get soaked, it rains a lot in this area.
star-5
Wonderful tour!
Don_A, Aug 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Val was our tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and totally accommodating as we had some special requests. I would totally recommend him and this tour!
star-5
Great day!
Diana_G, Aug 2021
Private Full-day Hamakua Coast and Sugar Tour from Kailua-Kona
Val was very knowledgeable and very accommodating! Wonderful experience!!! We got a true Big Island day!!!
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Things to know before you go

  • Remember to drive carefully there are lots of hairpin bends in the area and parts of the road are very narrow.
  • Obey the speed limits, not only for safety, but to avoid getting a ticket (it’s not uncommon for tourists to get pulled over on this road for going too fast).
  • Note that parts of the coast lack adequate cell phone coverage.
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How to get there

Most people approach the coast via Hilo, the largest town on the Big Island, located about a 90-minute drive from Kona. If driven without stopping, the road that stretches along the Hamakau Coast from Hilo to Waipio takes a little over an hour.

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When to get there

This stretch of coastline is windy and wet, although the 80-some annual inches of rain keep the waterfalls and valleys alive. To avoid the rain and beat the wind, mornings are often the best time of day to see it before the afternoon trade winds arrive.

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Stop in Laupahoehoe

Laupahoehoe is a good spot to stop to stretch your legs, with a thriving artist community and some health food shops and restaurants. Here, you’ll find the Laupahoehoe Train Museum, a small building that showcases the history of the Hawaii Consolidated Railway. The train was vital for transporting sugar from the fields to the port of Hilo, although a devastating tsunami in 1946 obliterated the tracks.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Hamakua Coast?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?