Kona Coast Attractions
The Kona Coast refers to the west coast of the Big Island. This region receives considerably less rainfall than the east coast and is known for its sunshine.
Captain Cook, Hawaii
Captain Cook village, situated on the Kona coast near Kealakekua Bay, is named after the British seafarer and discoverer of the Island of Hawaii, Captain James Cook. The village itself has no tourist attractions but is recognized nowadays as the center of Kona coffee production.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park
The present temple site was restored by the national park authorities and is a replica of the original which dates from the end of the 18th c. The division of the temple site by means of a 10ft/3m-high, 16ft/5m-wide wall into the City of Refuge area and the Palace Grounds can be seen today. The thick wall between the former palace and the sanctuary has been preserved over the centuries, with repair work being carried out in 1902 and 1963-64.Using information gleaned from pictures, replica koa wood carvings of temple gods have been placed in their original positions.There is more to be seen on the 952sq.yd/800sq.m estate and a free map is available at the visitor center. Attractions include the landing place of the royal canoes ("keone'ele"), the stones on which the royal family played a type of Hawaiian nine men's morris ("konane"), the Kuuhumanu Stone (behind which the Queen hid from Kamehameha's henchmen but was discovered when her dog began to bark), a royal fishpond ("he-lei-palalu"), the Keoua Stone (supposedly the favorite place of Keoua, King of Kona), burial vaults, rock carvings (petroglyphs) and models of houses belonging to the priests and inhabitants of the City of Refuge.When the whole temple has been reconstructed, Hawaiian history will come to life in a vivid and varied way. Nowhere else in Hawaii - with the possible exception of the Bishop Museum - can so much be learned about island traditions.
Painted Church (St Benedict's Church)
This small Catholic wooden church stands not far from Puuhonua o Honauhau National Historic Park and is well worth turning off Road 160 to look at, not only because of its lovely position but because of the original decoration of the interior. The Belgian priest, Jean Berchman Velghe, who built it at the turn of the century, used whitewash for painting the walls and added pictures of various biblical scenes and Hawaiian motifs which reveal an astonishing talent. Behind the altar he created an image in perspective based on Burgos Cathedral in Spain. The church columns are painted with Hawaiian motifs such as flowers and palms. Velghe, who was only in charge of this church for five years (1899-1904), also painted other church interiors in the South Seas.
Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
The 12acre Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden displays 250 types of native and Polynesian plants, including some rare native plants. This Ethnobotanical Garden highlights Hawaiian cultural traditions such as land use and conservation of plant resources used in traditional Hawaiian cultural activities.
Kealakekua - Kona Historical Society Museum
The Kona Historical Society runs a small museum, housed in the former Greenwell Store established in 1875. The Kona Historical Museum concentrates mainly on the coffee industry as depicted in old photographs and through artifacts. Other aspects include agriculture such as sugar, pineapples and macadamia nuts.
Captain Cook Monument
Looking out from Kealakekua Bay a small white monument can be seen in the distance, protruding from the water. It marks the place where Captain James Cook met his death. The obelisk can only be reached by boat.
Royal Aloha Coffee Mill Museum
On the way to Kealakekua Bay a visit can be paid to the coffee museum. Here it is possible to find out everything about the growing and processing of the very fine blend of Kona coffee cultivated in this area.
Holualoe is regarded as an artist's community, known for its art galleries and craft shops. This small town is located in the hills above Kailua-Kona.