We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

We're here & having a fantastic time!

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
12,891 posts
44 reviews
Save Topic
We're here & having a fantastic time!

After all those months of planning, it's wonderful to be here and the vacation is shaping up to be as good as, if not better than we had anticipated! It's our first visit to the the Island of Hawaii but 4th to Hawaii. It's been a busy few days and I've finally found a few minutes to report back and thank all those who have helped so much with our planning...especially KK and Shea, plus everyone else who have so generously offered their help, including Wanderlust!

So far we've snorkelled at Makaiwa, Honokaope and Honaunau; with Honokaope being the clear winner for extensive reefs and number/variety of fish. Fortunately we had calm water on all 3 mornings, and this morning we had Honokaope all to ourselves for the first half hour. It doesn't get much better than having a beach like that to yourselves!

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was great ... enjoyed both the ranger talk and strolling the grounds (very educational, and a beautiful spot with nice picnic grounds.) The Painted Church was definitely worth a visit, and a tour of Greenwell's Coffee farm exceeded our expectations (the coffee was excellent too, so we came away with a pound of their Estate Private Reserve.)

A drive along Ali'i Drive, a stop at Magic Sands Beach, and a stroll in town and out to the end of the pier was interesting, but also confirmed that our decision not to stay in Kailua Kona, but instead at a condo at the Mauna Lani (Fairways) was the right one for us. The ML resort is beautiful and the condo we've rented is really nice ... beautifully decorated, spacious and comfortable. We do miss having an ocean view (which we've had on all of our other Hawaiian vacations) but the amenities here, the beautiful grounds and the quick drive to such great beaches offsets the negatives of not having the view (plus we're headed to Maui for 2 weeks after our BI stay, so we'll get our ocean view fix then.)

We've signed up for a short term tennis membership here at ML (very reasonable rates), and we'll be golfing at the ML South Course tomorrow (also at rates that I was surprised at...expected them to be much higher). Yesterday we golfed at Waikoloa Village course - a warm up round since our golf season at home ends in early October and we're pretty rusty....hopefully we can play a respectable round tomorrow :)

We brought our golf clubs, tennis racquets, snorkelling gear and hiking stuff, so the baggage load was pretty heavy (2 checked bags each) but worth it to have our own equipment for a 4 week trip.

The drive up to Hawi and beyond to Pololu Valley was a beautiful one and we thoroughly enjoyed the Pololu Valley hike ... made it almost to the top of the second ridge (I think we were close to the top) but we did it late afternoon and with an eye on our watches, decided that going to that summit might make our hike too late. We lingered in the valley for a bit, tried out some of the swings and a hammock, and then back up (hiking poles were worth having here.) The road up to 'Iole and the church that had to be rebuilt after the earthquake was an interesting diversion ... wish we had had time to hike at 'Iole.

Still lots on our list, but we're half way through our Kohala Coast stay, so I don't think we'll complete the "wish list" ... have to save some for next trip.

We're really 'wowed' by the spectacular scenery and variety of places to visit here. We're heading back out now to enjoy more, so I'll try to post an update again when there's more to add. Sorry if this sounds disjointed ... rather than do a day by day report, I just wanted to jot down some of our highlights.

Thanks again to all those who have been so helpful with your advice and feedback!

Susan

Hayden Lake, ID
Level Contributor
1,517 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Susan,

Did you end up at the condo I recommended?

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
26,497 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

KK & Shea are the two best on the Island of Hawaii forum.

They and others have given advice to thousands on the Island of Hawaii forum.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
25,764 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Yay! I'm so happy you're having a good time. Funny, I am sitting at Honokaope right now! We probably just missed you. But the whole Kona Kohala coast as you know is now experiencing rain and clouds, so far we've just got sprinkles here, but a flood advisory has been issued. Hopefully it will clear up for you tomorrow. Thanks for checking in!

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
37,748 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Susan, whew!, so relieved you are happy! Sounds like great fun. It's always a pleasure to hear that our beautiful island has won over a new fan. I'm so glad that you got beautiful water conditions.

Oh, and thank you for the high praise.

Thank you dusty!

Canada
Level Contributor
9,106 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Hey Susan,

Glad to hear you are having a great time.....sure makes all that planning so worthwhile!

It sounds like you are ticking off quite a few stops on your list. The decision to stay in South Kohala is an easy one.

The scenery truly is spectacular..

Continue to enjoy........Look forward to any future updates you can share.

LA
Level Contributor
9,601 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

What a nice report!

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
12,891 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Karen, Yes ... thanks so much for your helpful feedback on the condo... I would definitely stay here again, and the owners have been great to work with.

Shea - I'll keep an eye out for you in case we cross paths...we were close today! We just went out to Hapuna beach ... the light rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the many people swimming there. DH joined them, but because I'm a 'fair weather swimmer', I decided instead to post a lookout with my binoculars for whales .. no luck in seeing any after 4 days here. Maybe last week was their 'last hurrah' before heading north? I thought it was just last week when I was reading reports of the great shows that they were putting on. I'll keep watching and hoping.

We've been watching the forecast today, trying to time our visit to the Mauna Kea Visitor Centre (decided to forego the summit this time.) Thought we might go this afternoon, but after driving up Haleakala two years ago, thinking we might break out of that big cloud once at the top (which didn't happen), we decided to use better judgement this time. Yesterday would have been a good day to go ... hindsight is 20/20!

KK - I was won over before I arrived :) The more research I did, the more I realized how much we were going to enjoy the BI. Live and learn though ... I should have allocated our time differently ... it's split between the BI and Maui, but we need more time here. We'll be back!

Thanks everyone for your responses! With the weather the way it is tonight, I might take time to learn how to use wordpress so that I can post some photos. Hope the weather clears for Easter w/e!

Susan

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
37,748 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Susan,

You'll want to watch Guy Hagi for the weather, but NOAA does say that tonight is the only cloudy for Kohala. Easter Sunday very sunny.

Over in Hilo we are having Heavy Rain from now until Monday. I hoped we would have a nice opening for Merrie Monarch, but it looks like festival goers will have to bring their own sunshine. I'm sure they will.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
25,764 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

I actually saw a few whales this afternoon at Honokaope, and it was just last weekend that they were putting on a spectacular show at the Mauna Lani....stay positive!

Kapiti Coast
Level Contributor
629 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: We're here & having a fantastic time!

Glad to hear you are having a fabulous time Susan. You have been so helpful in our planning that it is only fair you are having such fun.

We have to wait until Sep,but the way the year is flying by it will be here soon enough!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday.