What better way to discover everything Hawaii Island has to offer – and perhaps discover the precise area you’d like to make home – than exploring the incredible sights from north to south and east to west?
In this four part series, I’m more than happy to share my must-see-destinations in each of these regions together with brief descriptions of the surrounding residential communities. In part one, I detailed the best of North and South Kohala; part two explored North and South Kona; and this blog focuses on the Ka‘u District and Volcano.
Na‘alehu, Ka‘u District
Big Island Green Sand Beach
One of only four green sand beaches in the world, Papakolea (Green Sand Beach) is located in a secluded area of Hawaii Island near the southernmost tip of the United States. Originally a cinder cone volcano ages ago, when it erupted the lava was rich in olivine, a common mineral found in Hawaii’s volcanic rock. Hundreds of years of erosion by the ocean and weather left behind the olivine, resulting in a stunning and rare green sand beach. A must-see destination, the 4-mile hike down to the beach is ranked moderate/strenuous. Get an early start for cooler temperatures along the way; the roundtrip trek will take 3-5 hours. Important tip: Strong currents and rough ocean conditions make swimming conditions extremely dangerous, stay safe and keep your feet planted firmly on the sand!
The tiny towns of Na‘alehu and Pahala are nearby and are primarily comprised of farm and ranch lands. Real estate opportunities range from new homes in the Volcano Golf & Country Club subdivision to charming cottages in the surrounding Ohia forests.
Volcanoes National Park
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is designated an International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited places in the Hawaiian Islands. It protects and preserves some of the world’s most unique geological, biological, and cherished cultural landscapes. With some 323,431 acres, it extends from sea level to 13,681 feet, encompassing the summits of two of the most active volcanoes on earth – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. First stop for visitors — whether regulars or first-timers – is the park’s amazing Visitor Center. Conditions change quickly, which can include road and trail closures, as well as access to some of the many attractions. Park Rangers at the center provide must-know information before you set out. As the Kilauea eruption continues, best viewing of the fiery red lava is typically after dark. Plan to arrive early as parking fills up quickly!
Among the many activities available in the park, including ranger led tours, are the hike (easy) along the Crater Rim Trail and the Crater Rim Drive Tour. The trail passes through steam vents and rain forest while providing spectacular views of the crater. A note to the wise: Slippery and unstable conditions exist around cliffs, earth cracks and steam vents – stay well back for your safety. The Crater Rim Drive provides an easy way to visit the park by car – the road is paved, four-wheel vehicles are not required. The drive makes its way clockwise around the rim with many stunning viewpoints along the way. While Hawaii conjures visions of sunny, warm, tropical weather, at Kilauea’s 4,000-foot elevations temperatures are cool with fog and rain frequent – dress accordingly!
Most residential opportunities mirror those found in most small mountain towns on the U.S. mainland. Properties range from million-dollar renovated farm houses with multiple acres of land to cozy rainforest cottages and vacation rentals. Volcano Village and the nearby towns of Glenwood and Mountain View offer limited services as well as real estate opportunities.
For information on these attractions or about Hawaii Island real estate opportunities, please contact Ben Slough (S), Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, (808) 854-3375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.