In my blog post about Kamehameha Day activities in North Kohala, I mentioned that the theme for the 2011 celebrations statewide was Wahine Holo Lio.
Wahine means “woman” and we hope it is one of the first words visitors learn, so as to not make the wrong choice when visiting the lua (bathroom). The word lio is one of the dearest to my heart, “horse.” The name of our quarterly horse magazine in Hawai’i is Malama Lio and their back issues are a wonderful resource for anyone considering moving to Hawai’i with horses (or buying horse property here).
Young Hawai’ian cowgirls in Waimea, Big Island, courtesy of Jesse Acosta Photography
Although in modern day Hawai’i we have polo teams, dressage tests, and natural horsemanship clinics, the history of the horse in Hawai’i, especially here on the Big Island, is intertwined with the history of cattle ranching. Even today, many horsewomen in Hawai’i, certainly the majority of pa’u riders in the Kamehameha parades, are not recreational riders. They are ranchers who, in just the past month, helped with branding and competed at the Honoka’a rodeo for fun.
As a real estate agent with large acreages listed, I notice a lot of interest lately in working ranches, or larger acreages suitable for ranching, equestrian facilities, or diversified agriculture.
Two large historic ranches are currently in escrow:
- One of them is in south Kona, the 1,593-acre Ho’omau Ranch, formerly owned by actor Jimmy Stewart.
- The other, just north of Kailua-Kona, is the 170-acre Huehue Ranch, about which I’ve blogged before.
Both have old ranch buildings and cattle already on them, and one can only hope the new owners plan to continue to keep these properties in agriculture. If your dream is to own such a ranch, there are several to choose from on the Hamakua Coast, near Honoka’a town in the Paauilo area between Waimea and Hilo.
Pohakea Ranch (MLS# 243611) near Honoka’a includes 86.3 acres, plus an architect-designed home
Pohakea Ranch would appeal to the buyer who wants a ranch home with all the upgrades for the gentleman rancher lifestyle. Included are Viking and SubZero appliances in the kitchen, a wine cellar, a formal dining room for entertaining, and a separate guest cottage for your friends and family.
This is a real working ranch (MLS# 243611) with a herd of Brangus cattle; it also is said to have grown the first coffee on the Big Island, as this area has the volcanic soil and misty mountains, which give “Kona” coffee its distinctive style. It has 86.3 acres, 4,945 sq. ft. of living area, and an asking price of $2,990,000.
Cattle graze in the mist at SC Ranch in Paauilo Mauka (MLS# 238314)…66.2 acres and multiple homes for $3.4 million
Just up the hill is SC Ranch (MLS# 238314), comprising two parcels with a total of 66.2 acres…and with a lease on over 7,000 acres of State land. One parcel has a main dwelling of 2,164 sq. ft. plus an office, plus three cowboy houses. The smaller parcel has another home. With a herd valued at almost $1,000,000, it would be a shame for this not to continue as a working ranch. The asking price is $3,400,000.
If you are shopping for a Big Island ranch in this $3 million price range, there is one more you must consider.Â A bit closer to the Hilo side lie the gates of Kukaiau Ranch. This ranch offered for sale on Lot 3-A-1 (MLS# 244636) has a recently constructed home of 5,575 sq. ft.
Family venture? Its two master suites have big ocean views and gorgeous finishes. The other buildings on the 195 acres include a 4-stall horse barn, workshop, and utility building for the state-of-the art water treatment system (catchment water is the norm on these ranches).
Over 1,000 acres of pristine Big Island upcountry ranch offered for $3.7 million (MLS# 229804)
If your preference is to start with the raw land and build your own dream ranch, the 1,077-acre Mauna Kea Ranch is the centerpiece of Kukaiau Ranch Road. The elevation and soil are perfect for the kind of fruit orchards you might not believe exist on the Big Island; apple, pear, or plum trees thrive here. Realtors talk of “magical” locations, but that is not hyperbole in the case of this old growth ohia and koa forest.
Perhaps next year you will be spending Memorial Day watching your ranch’s paniolo compete at the Honoka’a Rodeo!