One of the best places that you can visit on the Big Island is the Hamakua Coast. There is a specific area called the Hamakua Heritage Corridor. If you happen to be in Hilo, which is where this drive begins, you can end up at the Waipio Valley Lookout. You will see several areas where there are amazing waterfalls, and this is also where King Kamehameha was thought to have grown up in this Valley of the Kings. Here are a few of the places that you should visit if you get a chance to go to the Big Island, and had North from Hilo on Highway 19.
Hamakua Heritage Corridor
Your drive will begin in North Hilo, allowing you to experience the Onomea Scenic Drive which includes the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and Onomea Bay. There are actually 2000 species of different tropical plants from all over the world that this one location. You will also see the turnoff to Akaka Falls State Park which is one of the more memorable waterfalls, not to mention walking experiences, that you will have in Hawaii. You will need to get ready for a multitude of hairpin turns, and you will pass by Laupahoehoe Point. There is a museum there, and there is also the Kalopa State Recreation Area as you go further down the road toward Honokaa.
Don’t Miss Your Turnoff
If you are to continue driving up Highway 19, which has already veered to the west, you would end up going toward Waimea. Instead, you should be on the lookout for the Tex Drive Inn. You can stop there for a bite to eat and then turn right, and then left again to get on the 240. This will take you through Honokaa and you will drive about 7 miles to Kukuihaele. It is here that you will see signs that will direct you to the Waipio Valley Lookout. Once you have reached this destination, you will have come to the end of your journey. The total drive is almost exactly 50 miles. You can then head back and stop along the way at the different waterfalls in seen existence. If you are not staying in Hilo, and you need to head to the other side of the island, simply turn down the 19 heading West to go through Waimea, following that all the way to the west side of the island.
The main benefit of doing this drive is to reach the Waipio Valley Lookout. This is where you will see lush landscapes, black sand beaches, and incredible soaring valley walls. It is said that King Kamehameha I once hid here from arrival chief, long before he became the uniter of the Hawaiian Islands. If you drive straight down the Hamakua Heritage Corridor to the lookout, and back, you will spend about two or three hours. If you stop along the way at the many different places that were mentioned, it could be an all day trip that you will certainly enjoy.