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Kukuihaele is small town is located along a short loop road off of Hwy. 240 less than 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Waipio Valley Overlook. Home to about 300 people, Kukuihaele features the work of local artisans at Waipio Valley Artworks and you can purchase some snacks at the Last Chance Store.

Kukuihaele is the former home of renowned forester David McHattie Forbes who arrived via Cape Horn in 1887 and later ran the Pacific Sugar Mill Company. In Kukuihaele, Forbes planted Hawaii’s first stand of cinchona trees from which quinine is made.

Kukuihaele means “Traveling light.” According to Hawaiian legend Kukuihaele was the home of a healing god named Kamakanuiahailono (“The great eye messenger”).