Kohala, Hawaii

Kohala, Hawaii
The districts of the Big Island. From Northernmost, clockwise; Kohala (highlighted), Hāmākua, Hilo, Puna, Kaʻū, Kona
Hilton Waikoloa in the South Kohala district

Kohala is the name of the northwest portion of the island of Hawaiʻi in the Hawaiian Archipelago. In ancient Hawaii it was often ruled by an independent High Chief called the Aliʻi Nui. In modern times it is divided into two districts of Hawaii County: North Kohala and South Kohala. Locals commonly use the name singularly when referring to the area surrounding the towns of Hāwī and Kapaʻau. The dry western shore is commonly known as the Kohala Coast, which has golf courses and seaside resorts.[1]



The area was named after the dominating geological feature Kohala Mountain,[2] the oldest of Hawaiʻi Island's five major volcanic mountains. The current districts cover the north and western sides of the mountain, 20°7′55″N 155°47′38″W / 20.13194°N 155.79389°W / 20.13194; -155.79389Coordinates: 20°7′55″N 155°47′38″W / 20.13194°N 155.79389°W / 20.13194; -155.79389. It was one of the five ancient divisions of the island called moku.[3]

This Landsat satellite image of Kohala shows the effect of trade winds on vegetation and valley erosion.

The natural habitats in Kohala range across a wide rainfall gradient in a very short distance - from less than 5 inches (130 mm) a year on the coast near Kawaihae to more than 150 inches (3,800 mm) year near the summit of Kohala Mountain, a distance of just 11 miles (18 km). Near the coast are remnants of dry forests, and near the summit is a cloud forest, a type of rainforest that obtains some of its moisture from "cloud drip" in addition to precipitation. This precipitation allowed the northeast coast to be developed into sugarcane plantations, including one founded by Rev. Elias Bond used to fund his church and girls' seminary.[4]

South Kohala District from Mamalahoa Highway

King Kamehameha I, the first King of the unified Hawaiʻian Islands, was born in North Kohala west of Hāwī, at an ancient site called the Moʻokini Heiau, preserved within Kohala Historical Sites State Monument. The original Kamehameha Statue stands in front of the community center in Kapaʻau, and duplicates are found at Aliʻiolani Hale in Honolulu, and in the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Other parks include Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Samuel Spencer Beach, Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Lapakahi State Historical Park.[5] and kēōkea Beach County Park.[6] The end of Akoni Pule Highway (Hawaii state route 270) provides access to Pololū Valley.[7] The Hawaii Belt Road connects in the southern end of the Akoni Pule Highway to Kona in the south and Hāmākua to the east.

Kohala has two small airports. Upolu Airport is on Upolu Point at the northern tip of the island.[8] Waimea-Kohala Airport is south of the town of Waimea, Hawaii County, Hawaii.[9] Neither has commercial flights.

Populations of Kohala

Census-designated places of North and South Kohala

Unincorporated towns of Kohala

  • Kawaihae

See also


  1. ^ "Kohala Coast vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii". www.kohalacoastweb.com. 2009. http://www.kohalacoastweb.com/index.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kohala Summit
  3. ^ Lloyd J. Soehren (2004). "lookup of kohala". on Hawaiian place names. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library. http://ulukau.org/cgi-bin/hpn?e=p&a=q&l=en&q=kohala&d=HASH3ae5c9d1226a6b5d6b4dac. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  4. ^ Edward D. Beechert (1985). "The Reverend Mr. Bond and Kohala Plantation". Working in Hawaii: a labor history. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 71–72. ISBN 9780824808907. http://books.google.com/books?id=Tf5CI8Db-egC&lpg=PA71&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  5. ^ "South Kohala map 2". Shoreline access. on official Hawaiʻi County web site. http://www.co.hawaii.hi.us/planning/spa/southh_kohala/map2.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. [dead link]
  6. ^ "North Kohala map 2". Shoreline access. on official Hawaiʻi County web site. http://www.co.hawaii.hi.us/planning/spa/north_kohala/map2.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  7. ^ "North Kohala map 1". Shoreline access. on official Hawaiʻi County web site. http://www.co.hawaii.hi.us/planning/spa/north_kohala/map1.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  8. ^ "Upolu Airport". official web site. State of Hawaii Department of Transportation. http://hawaii.gov/upp. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  9. ^ "Waimea-Kohala Airport". official web site. State of Hawaii Department of Transportation. http://hawaii.gov/mue. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Kohala Historical Sites State Monument — Mookini Heiau U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. National Historic Landmark …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii Belt Road — The Hawaiʻi Belt Road is a modern name for the Māmalahoa Highway and consists of Hawaiʻi state Routes 11, 19, and 190 that encircle the Island of Hawaiʻi. The southern section, between Hilo and Kailua Kona is numbered as Route 11. The section… …   Wikipedia

  • Hawaii County — Verwaltung US Bundesstaat: Hawaii Verwaltungssitz: Hilo Gründung: 1905 Demographie Einwohner: 148.677  (2000) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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