This is article 2 in a 9 part series on why we call the Big Island  home, what makes the Big Island of Hawaii such a unique place to live and why this beloved island is a treasure to call home. Hawai’i Island is referred to as the ‘Big Island’, the largest island of the main Hawaiian Island chain and the most youthful. The island is comprised of nine regions or districts known as, ‘moku’s comprised of North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona, South Kona, Kau, Puna, North Hilo, South Hilo, and Hamakua. This article will focus on the North Kona district home to Kailua-Kona and magical sunsets.

A little background history about the Hawaiian Islands-situated in the Pacific Ocean they are the most isolated islands on earth. The Polynesian first settlements go back to 124 AD and remained isolated from any other inhabitants for another 500 years. The nearest distance between the State of Hawaii and the West Coast is approximately 2,500 miles, while Japan is 4,023 miles away and Australia an astounding 5,595 miles.

The Big Island was the origin and youth home of King Kamehameha the Great, the first founder to unite the islands, shaping the Kingdom of Hawaii. He likewise settled the realm’s most memorable seat of government on the Big Island also known as the Orchid Isle. North Kohala

At the point when you hear somebody allude to “Kona” or “the Kona Coast,” they’re discussing the western shore of the Big Island, ‘the west side’. In particular, the Kona region includes two of the Big Island’s nine districts or ‘moku’s’, North Kona and South Kona.

*****The Second Region of Our Series Is About South Kohala *****

Welcome to ‘Part II’ of this nine-part series which we share about the nine Hawaii Island districts known as ‘moku’ in Hawaiian. The island is large with sunrises to the East and majestic sunsets on the West Hawaii island offers something for everyone’s lifestyle and budget. The island is the youngest of the 8 major islands in the Hawaii chain. Much of the  island landscape is young with black lava and stunning white, black and green sandy beaches, lush green ranch land, mesmerizing and captivating waterfalls, and towering ‘mauna’ mountains in the nine districts of Hawaii Island. Every district moku and community has those unique features. Annual picture-perfect weather in 13 eco system climate zones attract visitors and prospective homeowners who fall in love and have that desire to call Hawaii home.  Being born and raised in Hawaii there is not a day that goes by I am constantly reminded of the Aloha and the beauty of the people and the place. Are you curious about our lifestyle and real estate and where do you start in your real estate journey? Drop me a text call or email I am here to help in every stage to learn, discover and helping you make that dream of yours a reality. I have over 25 years in Hawaii real estate selling grass shack to a gorgeous luxury property. My clients cover a wide range and types of properties from investment, second homes, primary homes, custom lots to build their dream home or investment, vacation property, and first time homeowners. Let me help you on this exciting journey!

We will explore South Kohala, a combination of resort area’s known for its luxury hotels and golf courses, Waimea ranch and countryside, the quaint beach community of Puako and the ever-developing community of Waikoloa Village.

The history of South Kohala begins in the early 18th century when King Kamehameha I, the ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, conquered the district and made it a part of his kingdom. The area was originally settled by Native Hawaiians who established small villages along the coastline. The South Kohala region or district is located on the northwest coast of Hawaii island. The area covers the area from Upolu Point in the north to Puako in the south. The famous sites of south Kohala include several well-developed villages and resorts. You might be thinking, why are we mentioning the alternatives specifically? Then let me tell you that as Hawaii Island is a famous tourist destination, the resorts and tourist spots have an important place to earn a livelihood. So if you are planning to live here, then it is necessary to explore these areas:

Waimea Town also known as Kamuela

Waimea is located 2676 feet (815 m) above sea level and the temperatures here are generally cooler upcountry weather and especially the many clear nights can feel crisp. The dry side of Waimea faces East towards thevolcanic summits of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai. The wet side of Waimea is about 20 minutes from the quaint town of Honoka’a and the majestic Waipio Valley.

How does it feel to live in Waimea? We have often heard this question by the people as this place is home to the Waimea cattle ranch and several other farms and ranches. Not just this, but the people of Waimea are also involved in teaching, astronomy and medical with the North Hawaii Community Hospital located here. The Waimea Parker Ranch is a historic ranch founded in 1847 by John Palmer Parker, a British sailor who arrived in Hawaii in 1809. It was created to provide a place for British sailors to live and work after they arrived in Hawaii. The ranch was also intended to be a place where British culture could be preserved and passed down to future generations. The annual rainfall between the dry and wet side of town averages 20 to 25 inches on the dry side to over 70 inches on the wet side.  There are excellent selections of schools in Waimea including public, private and charter schools in the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school levels.

Waikoloa Village 

Are you looking for a small town village feel? Waikoloa Village offers some of the most affordable real estate in the region with a handful of condo complexes and several neighborhoods. Then Waikoloa village may be a good fit for you. This Village is counted as one of the happiest areas in the US. 

This district is famous for tourist destinations, making the resorts and tourist spots important for the South Kohala and Waimea residents. There are three major resorts in this region: Mauna Kea Resort, Mauna Lani Resort, and Waikoloa Beach Resort. These resorts are each located in a vacation rental “node’ as recognized by the County of Hawaii. Being in a node allows for vacation rentals less than 31 days legally which make these resorts very attractive investment opportunities for islanders and from Buyers around the world.

Mauna Lani Resort

Mauna Lani Resort is a luxury oceanfront resort located on the Kohala Coast of the island of Hawaii. Click to view the Mauna Lani Resort Map. Two world class hotels are located at Mauna Lani Resort: The Mauna Lani Auberge Resorts Collection and the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. The resort has two championship golf courses, Hawaiian fishponds, a world-class spa, and various dining options throughout the resort.

Mauna Lani was first settled over 800 years ago, and the site was marked by archaeological sites, foot trails, fishponds, and petroglyphs. There are three beaches which visitors and owners at the resort enjoy. Being an owner at Mauna Lani Resort entitles the owner to the Advantage Club which

Real estate opportunities at Mauna Lani Resort includes estate homes, condominiums, and vacant land for future homes sites.

The Islands (Condominium)

Palm Villas (Condominium)

The One (Oceanfront Residential)

Laulea (Condominium)

Mauna Lani Terrace (Oceanfront Condominium)

49 Black Sand Beach (Oceanfront Residential)

Champion Ridge (Residential)

Mauna Lani Point (Oceanfront Condominium)

Pauoa Beach (Oceanfront Residential)

The Fairways (Condominium)

Nohea (Residential)

Point Estates (Residential)

The Cape (Oceanfront Residential)

Villages at Mauna Lani (Condominium and Residential)

Golf Villas (Condominium)

Ka Milo (Condominium and Residential)

Kulalani (Condominium)

Mauna Kea Resort

Considered the crown jewel of the Kohala district, this extraordinary world class resort was constructed in 1965 in the vision of Laurance S. Rockefeller. Click to view the Mauna Kea Resort Map.This report contains 1,839 acres on which two world-class hotels the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort with two 18-hole golf courses. These golf courses are considered a benchmark for all the golf courses on Hawaii island. Not just the golf courses but the beauty of the beachfront and pristine water can be matched with any other resort.

This resort has the lowest density on the coast and has natural rolling topography raising 1000feet above sea level. This change in the area affords the property owners coastlines, unparalleled ocean, and a view of the island. There are also multiple real-estate options like villas, condos, duplex, and estate homes.

Fairways at Mauna Kea South (Residential)

Fairways at Mauna Kea North (Residential)

Villas at Mauna Kea Resort (Villas)

Kauna’oa (Oceanfront Villas)

The Bluffs at Mauna Kea Resort (Oceanfront Residential)

High Bluffs (Residential)

Kumulani at the Uplands (Condos)

Apa’apa’a heights (Residential)

Moani Heights (Residential)

Hapuna Beach Residences (Oceanfront Condos)

Wai’ula’ula at Mauna Kea (Condo & Residential)

Amaui Estates (Residential)

Amaui Villas (Villas)

The Waikoloa Beach Resort

With vast real estate opportunities and a myriad of cultures, this resort is constructed on 1,352 acres that was started in the 1980’s. See Waikoloa Beach Resort Map Here. This resort features two major hotels, the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa plus golf, beaches, two shopping malls the Queen and King Shops plus many exciting amenities and restaurants. The resort also features two historic fishponds and award-winning golf courses. The real estate opportunities span across the resort from Oceanfront residential estate homes to many selections of condominium choices:

Fairway Villas (Condos)

Kolea (Condos)

Kolea Kai (Oceanfront Residential)

Vista Waikoloa (Condos)

Waikoloa Colony Villas (Condos)

Hali’i Kai (Oceanfront Condos))

The Shores at Waikoloa (condos)

Waikoloa Beach Villas (Condos)


You might be curious and want to know the factors essential to living in a particular area and what are those area’s offer prospective residents. Below we have compiled all the information about weather, culture, important places, education, and much more to give you an idea about how it will feel to live in south Kohala rather than visiting it.


South Kohala is a very large area spanning from Waimea aka Kamuela, Waiki’i Ranch, Waikoloa Village to the 3 major resort areas to Kawaihae. If your kids are not home-schooled options for elementary, middle and high school can vary on what is in proximity and to student that commute quite a distance from home. Waikoloa Village offer a public elementary and middle school. For high school most students from this region will commute and either attend school in Waimea, Honokaa or in Kailua-Kona. Popular high schools for this area are Honoka’a and Kealakehe (public) and Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) and Parker School both in Waimea.

The Weather

The weather in South Kohala is beautiful and sunny most of the year. The average temperature is in the high to mid 80s, with very little rain. The winters are mild, with temperatures in the low 80s. There is occasionally a light rain shower, but nothing too heavy. There is also the chance for the occasional thunderstorms and high winds. Overall, the weather in South Kohala is a nice investment option and enjoying the Hawaii life.


Employment in South Kohala is mainly dependent on the tourism industry. Many of the jobs in the area are in the service sector, working in hotels, restaurants, and shops. There are also several jobs in the agricultural industry, as part of the area is home to several produce farms. Field operations and administrative positions with the County of Hawaii, engineering private firms, medical and nursing opportunities, and working remotely from home is an option. Check out this statistics link.

The unemployment rate in South Kohala is relatively low, and the median household income is higher than the national average. However, the cost of living in the area is also high, and many residents struggle to make ends meet. So, looking for a job before living there is a good idea. Many have opted for remote positions so if that is something that can work for you South Kohala could be a great place to call home.

Living Expenses

The cost of living in South Kohala is relatively high compared to other parts of Hawaii. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,800, and utilities can cost up to $300 – $500 per month. Gas prices are also high, averaging about $4.50 to $5.00 per gallon. Electric and hybrid vehicles have steadily been increasing helping residents manage the high cost of living in the area. Food and other essentials is relatively moderate to high depending where you are relocating to Hawaii from.

The higher cost of living in South Kohala is due to several factors. First, the area spans a large area with drive times between Kailua-Kona and Kamuela roughly 1 hour in-between. The area is popular with tourists and those who s=choose to call South Kohala their second home, so prices for goods and services are inflated.

Despite the high cost of living, South Kohala is a beautiful place to live. The area is home to some of the best beaches in Hawaii and the world and plenty of fun and exploring the various outdoor activities.

Fun Activities

The Activities in South Kohala are many and varied. There are several beaches along this coast to relax on at Anaehoomalu Bay, Hapuna Beach, 49 Black Sand Beach, Beach 69, Kaunaoa Beach at Mauna Kea Resort, and Makaiwa Bay at Mauna Lani Beach Resort. Meandering trails through the lava fields, several hikes to explore in the Kohala Mountain about the resorts, and Puuwaaalii can range from an easy stroll to more difficult advanced. The three major resort offer shopping and restaurants both in the hotels and at the various shops of Queens and King Shops at Waikoloa Beach Resort, The Shops at Mauna Lani Resort. There are also various cultural activities to experience, including the Ukulele Festival, Poke competitions, and Luau’s and live entertainment.

Beaches and Surf

One of the most popular activities in South Kohala is enjoying the white sandy beaches. Hapuna and Kaunaoa beaches are two of the most beautiful beaches in the world located at the Mauna Kea Resort and West Hapuna. Beach 69 is a smaller beach nearby and close to the beachy community of Puako. As you head further up the coast Pauoa Beach, Black Sand Beach, and Anaeho’omalu Bay at Waikoloa Beach Resort are a few of the beaches in South Kohala. Everything from body surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, snorkling, surfing, diving and even kitesurfing. The beaches in south Kohala offer something for everyone, whether you want to relax and soak up the sun or get active and enjoy the waves!


The Nightlife in South Kohala includes a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. There is a taste of something for everyone, whether you are looking for a laid-back atmosphere on the beach at Lava Lava Beach Club or Seafood Bar in Kawaihae or a 5-star dining experience at Browns restaurant at the Fairmount Orchid at the Mauna Lani Resort. Several restaurant bars offer live music making for a great night out. Check out Blue Dragon’s website for upcoming live events.

Real Estate

There are several types of real estate available in South Kohala. There are condos, homes, land, and commercial properties. Real estate prices vary depending on the location, condition, views, amenities, and size.

The most popular type of property in South Kohala are the condo’s featured in the 3 resort areas and Waikoloa Village. Price ranges in Waikoloa Village can vary and start from $400K to under $1M. In the reports a variety of complexes and resorts offer different types of amenity packages including golf and resort use perks. Most popular are condos on the lower end averaging $1.2M to the ultra-luxury condos in the $5M range. Each resort is very unique and with that comes a price depending on your budget.  Condos offer an excellent option for those who want to own a piece of property either fulltime, part-time, or just looking for investment vacation income properties and do not want the maintenance and upkeep of a traditional single-family home.

There are also a variety of residential homes available throughout South Kohala in Waimea, Waikoloa Village, Kawaihae, Puako and in the resorts. Residential homes can start in the $800,000 range to skies the limit luxury estates. Upper end luxury homes average benchmark seems to range around the $2.2M to $3.8M mark. There are also several land parcels available for sale in South Kohala. Luxury condos in the resorts have starting points in the

Because this area is highly desirable for its climate, sunsets, and gorgeous beaches there is often a limited supply of properties. Contact Renee to have your own property portal set up matching the types of properties you are looking for. Get notified when new properties hit the market!


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