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Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

Auckland, New...
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Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I plan to do a Blackwater dive (probably with Jacks) and I'm looking for ideas that my wife could do if she decides to sit that one out. We're staying in North Kohala and she'll be more than happy just staying there with her feet up while I come down to Kona. That's a very viable option and we'd plan that day around the north part of the island to suit.

Alternatively, we might (for example) visit Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau that day and go from there to Jacks if there was something that she might enjoy doing in the Kona area.

I'd thought of perhaps a lu'au (even if was a cheesy one) but they seem to start in the afternoon and end in the early evening. The dive finishes around 10pm.

We're not the sort to hang around a dance/kareoke bar until closing time. Maybe a quieter, Hawaiiana character place could be an option.

Best I've come up with so far is a movie and I don't think I'd even bother mentioning that.

We'll both be doing the manta dive the night before.

We have a good "plan A" but am open to suggestions for a plan B. It's nice to have options.

Any thoughts ?

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

>>> Maybe a quieter, Hawaiiana character place could be an option.

Know of nothing in town like that, but she could wait at the Four Seasons bar? Just north of airport.

Puʻuhonua o Honaunau is a wonderful site and everyone recommends it. It does not take all that long to see though, and itʻs quite hot in the afternoon, even in winter. Better in morning or after 3 PM, if that works. The Painted Church is a good sight to see while in the area. A coffee tour is another popular activity south of Kailua Kona.

Huliheʻe Palace is a historical site in town, but most things like that close at 4 or 4:30 and are not 7 days a week, so you should check the hours if interested.

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I always advise going to the Four Seasons for people waiting out night snorkels and dives. The Beach Tree is a fantastic place for sunset, hula, local music, and of course great food and wine. She won't even miss you :-) There's also the sushi lounge and bar at 'Ulu which is lovely, but I prefer the more outdoorsy, beachy feel and better sunset views from the Beach Tree.

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I counted on Shea to arrive and give a more detailed description of the allures of the Beach Tree, and she came through. ;-) Itʻs all true. Be sure to get there before sunset.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I've heard a lot of good things about Beach Tree...it's on my must go to list whilst in the area.

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5. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

It does sound nice. So nice in fact, that we'd probably prefer to go there together.

It's certainly a good option and one I hadn't thought of.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

There isnʻt anywhere in Kailua Kona town that I would want to sit and wait for my husband to do a dive. Not being on vacation, I would opt for the movie if I were in a similar situation and was saving the Beach House.

I would not bypass it in order to save it for the two of you though. You could go earlier in the trip and then she could go back, being already familiar with it.

As you are going up Mauna Kea as your main focus, I assume you are diving after you do that, but I could be wrong.

Auckland, New...
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7. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I agree with exactly what you've said. We might stop there for lunch earlier in the week and then we can make an informed choice for that night, as the mood takes us.

Since we're going to be there the week of New Years, are we going to have to book a mile ahead ?

Jack's do their Blackwater dive on a Thursday night and Saturday night is our preferred option for visiting Mauna Kea. That gives us about double the recommended dive-fly (visit MK) stand-down time. Thanks for the thought though.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

Shea would know, but there can be restrictions on non-guests bookings during "festive" periods. Beach Tree is one you can visit without a reservation, that is, I donʻt believe the bar tables are reservable. But whether non-guests can even come in then, I do not know.

I forgot you were coming then, canʻt keep everyoneʻs dates in my head, sorry. :)

I canʻt tell from Thursday and Saturday without the dates attached, which is first.

You should keep in mind that Mauna Kea can close any time during that season, for weather, so I would be wary of assuming you will have much choice; I wouldnʻt book something that will restrict your chances until you see what the weather is like.

Auckland, New...
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9. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

I'm having enough trouble keeping my own dates in my head. :)

We're getting a bit off the subject here, but our style of traveling is very mellow and flexible. We'll book things that have to be booked (flights, accommodation and maybe one or two key activities) but then we'll make the most of whatever nature or circumstance throws at us. The key for us, is doing some homework beforehand.

While the plan is to dive around Kohala for the first few days, if the swell is coming in we might opt for Kona. If there's a storm, we'll be in for some good waterfalls on the other side of the island.

If we have to shuffle some times, BI divers do a blackwater dive on Mon, Wed & Fri but Jack's has a number of advantages.

In this context, Saturday comes after Thursday.

For Mauna Kea, the Saturday night closest to a new moon is when the local astronomers either go to the VIS or a site close by. Also Sat and Sun is when the VIS run their (BYO 4x4) tours to the summit during the day. It would be nice to spend some time talking astro-babble with the locals, but if it doesn't work out that way, it's not the end of the world.

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Passing away an evening in Kailua-Kona area

Thanks, Steve!

Flexibility is good, and more people should try it. ;-)

I did not realize that 48 hours was enough time after diving to go that high.

I am not sure how much chit chatting will go on outside, as it is capable of being cold and windy enough to freeze peopleʻs lips numb. Inside, yes.

But you never know, even in winter ... I know someone who drove up to the summit New Yearʻs Eve (in his own 4WD), this last year, and said it wasnʻt that bad. The lack of wind that night was the factor that make it OK.

All that said about flexibility, Iʻm not so sure you can expect to book those popular dives last minute that time of year. Popular tours sell out year round, but during the holidays it is tough to even get a table at a restaurant without advance planning. It is that busy.