Kawaihae is a small town located along the northwestern shore of the Big Island’s Kohala Coast. In the 1800s Kawaihae Harbor was a bustling trading and whaling port. In the 1950s the area was developed into a deep draft harbor to accommodate large ships and is now one of the state’s biggest harbors.
Kawaihae is also where the first horses and cattle were brought to the Hawaiian Islands. Just south of Kawaihae is Puukohola Heiau, an important cultural site that served as a war temple for King Kamehameha who united all of the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler.
To reach Kawaihae from Kailua-Kona follow Hwy. 19 north to the Akoni Pule Hwy. (Hwy. 270) and continue onto Kawaihae. Just north of Kawaihae on the western slopes of the volcanic mountain of Kohala is the botanical garden called Pua Mau Place Botanical Garden featuring an abundance of blossoms as well as fun activities for children.