5 star rating: Highly Recommended 103 Reviews

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  • Address: Kohala, Hawaii, HI, USA
Formed by a 5,400-foot volcano, Kohala is dominated by lush valleys, laid-back plantation towns, verdant pastures and ancient Hawaiian religious sites. The area is an outpost of cowboys and hippies with its beaches, valleys and architecture, the latter of which ranges from the modern resorts of South Kohala to ancient temples constructed entirely of stone. Although the land area only comprises 6% of the Big Island's total area, it could still take weeks to explore in its entirety.

Most visitors to South Kohala are familiar with the resort enclaves of Waikoloa and Mauna Lani, where golf courses sit in stark contrast to the surrounding black lava fields. The white sands of Hapuna Beach are a favorite of beachgoers, and history buffs will love stopping in to the Pu’ukohola Heiau, which was commissioned by the great King Kamehameha. While this national historic site sees thousands of annual visitors, only a mere handful will make the journey to the smaller Mo’okini Heiau on windswept Upolu Point; constructed in the 5th century AD by some of the earliest Polynesian voyagers, this is also where King Kamehameha was born.

Further up the road in the North Kohala plantation towns of Hawi and Kapa’au, travelers will find artisan outposts of craft stores and coffee shops. A massive statue of King Kamehameha presides over Kapa'au and is still draped in flower lei during the annual King Kamehameha Day celebrations each June.

On the eastern coast, rugged valleys with sing-song names such as Pololu, Waipio, and Waimanu form deep clefts into the lush mountainside, and are a favorite of island hikers and thrill-seekers. Waterfall trekking to jungle ziplining are popular in these outdoor playgrounds, and Waipio Valley is regarded as one of the most scenic corners of the island.

Practical Info

Like a large thumb jutting into the sea, the Kohala district occupies the northwestern tip of the sprawling Big Island of Hawaii. 

Tours & Tickets

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Volcano and Kohala Landing Helicopter Tour on the Big Island, Big Island of Hawaii, null
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Volcano and Kohala Landing Helicopter Tour on the Big Island

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

This exclusive Big Island helicopter tour includes not only wonderful views of Hawaii’s famous volcanoes, but also a private landing in a secluded ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $599.00
Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Helicopter Tours
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Big Island Kohala Canopy Zipline Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 36 Reviews

Swing across the lush trees of North Kohala and get a bird’s-eye view of the Big Island’s tropical forest! Experience the thrill of rushing through ...  Read more

Location: Kapaau, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $176.04
Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast, Big Island of Hawaii, Ziplines
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Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 16 Reviews

Discover the best snorkeling off the Kohala Coast on this 3.5-hour Big Island snorkel cruise. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, admire Hawaii's postcard-worthy ...  Read more

Location: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $146.99
Private Tour: Hawaii Island Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Snorkeling
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Private Tour: Hawaii Island Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Experience the best of the Big Island's natural beauty on a full-day private tour with an experienced guide. Explore Hawaii's active Kilauea volcano, lush ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $270.83
Gathering of the Kings Luau on the Big Island, Big Island of Hawaii, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Gathering of the Kings Luau on the Big Island

4 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Experience a traditional Hawaiian luau on the Big Island's gorgeous Kohala coast. Start with a delicious meal that features Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes like ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $113.54
Viator VIP: The Sunset Experience Helicopter Tour from Kona, Big Island of Hawaii, Dinner Theater
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Viator VIP: The Sunset Experience Helicopter Tour from Kona

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

See the breathtaking landscapes of the Big Island of Hawaii like a VIP on this unforgettable helicopter tour from Kona. Home to some of the most biologically ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $685.00
Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Viator VIP Tours
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Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

Experience the Hawaiian beauty of the Kohala Waterfalls on this small group Kohala Waterfalls adventure tour. Drive along the Kona coastline and explore the ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $186.46
Private Tour: Big Island Organic Farms & Merriman, Big Island of Hawaii, Nature & Wildlife
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Private Tour: Big Island Organic Farms & Merriman

Go behind the scenes at Merriman's Restaurant, one of the innovators of Hawaii's regional cuisine. On this unique culinary guided tour, you'll visit two farms ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $248.61

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