The little settlement of Puako Beach today fronts a single road on the Big Island that starts at the Queen Kaahumanu Highway, ambles along the shoreline for 3 miles, and terminates at Paniau. It lies South of Hapuna Beach State Park and Waialea Bay and just North of the Mauna Lani Resort.
The major portion of Puako land was subdivided by the Territory of Hawaii in the early 1950’s into approximately 160 lots. They were sold at auction with the proviso that a building costing at least $1,000 be constructed on the property within 5 years. Some of those houses still stand today and they are the basis of the contemporary Puako.
The life story of that small community began nearly a millennium ago. It has been a fishing village, a sugar plantation farm, a honey farm, a feeding stop for cattle drives, and today, the only residential oceanfront community on the South Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii.
Over the years, real estate and vacation rental prices have skyrocketed. Homeowners, residents, and mainland visitors became the witnesses of revolutionary changes; Puako has gained fame and multi-million dollar properties started to float along the winding shore.
It is said that the old Hawaiians come back in the night from time to time, marching down the old trails, speaking to each other in low, musical voices, and for all we know, checking out the current action in the old neighborhood.
Why don’t you come by and see what you can hear being whispered along the shoreline?