Hawi, Hawaii Guide

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Address , Hawi, HI 96719
Complete guide to the city of Hawi, Big Island, Hawaii.

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• General: Educational • General: Guide
• General: History

Matt Anderson's Take
Guide Series: Hawaii City Guides
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Hawi Location


The town of Hawi, pronounced "ha-vee" is located at the northwest tip of Hawaii's Big Island, a bit north of the Waikoloa area. To the east is the town of Kapaau which, together with Hawi, make up the most densely populated region in the district of North Kohala. The area is easily accessed via Hawai Road (250) and Mahukona-Niulii Road (270).

Hawi History


North Kohala is the birthplace of King Kamehameha and the Mo'okini Heiau, built in 480 A.D., is located here in the Kohala Historical Sites State Monument.


Sugarcane has a long history in this part of Hawaii, dating all the way back to 1863 when Rev. Elias Bond planted the first stalks of sugarcane. Hawi, along with nearby Kapaau, was once busy commercial center during the days of the Kohala Sugar plantation. See Sugar in Hawaii for more on that.


Even though sugar died out, Hawi remained and today has a charming, small town feel to it. It's full of art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants houses in plantation style buildings.

Hawi Attractions


Hawi is home to some old, charming buildings along its "main" street so be sure to explore the main town area a bit.


There aren't many beaches in this area due to the rugged coastline, but there are a few notables exceptions that including Kapa'a Beach Park, Mahukona Beach, and nearby Keokea Beach Park.


Thrill seekers should check out the Kohala Zipline where you can enjoy some white knuckle speed thrills. Or try your hand at kayaking through the Kohala Ditch at Flumin' Kohala.


Those who enjoy learning about Hawaii's rich history and culture should explore Kohala Historical Sites State Monument which includes the Mo'okini Heiau State Monument (one of Hawaii's oldest historical sites) as well as the King Kamehameha I Birthsite.


Lapakahi State Historical Park, just a short drive to the southwest, is a historical park that contains the remains of a traditional Hawaiian fishing village.


Everyone is sure to enjoy seeing the sights at nearby Pololu Valley Lookout, be sure to bring a camera!

View all that Hawi has to offer here.

Hawi Fun Facts


Hawi is the turnaround point for biking leg of the annual Ironman World Championship - Kona, to learn more about that see Ironman World Championship - Kona.

Evolutionary biologist Stephen C. Stearns, and entertainers Napua Stevens and John Keawe are all from Hawi.


On a clear day you can see three of the five mountains on the Big Island: Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai. You might even be able to see Haleakala National Park over on the island of Maui.
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