Let’s finish up the trip to Hawaii. The drive up the Hamakua Coast was beautiful, lush, dramatic in that wooded gullies sliced down to the coast constantly. Remember, we were there in a rare, dry spell. Leaving Hilo, the Pepe’ekeo scenic drive was a fun detour off the main hwy. The narrow road crosses several one lane bridges through lush rainforest. Here’s a glimpse of Onomea Bay. There’s a botanical garden and some hiking here I was sad to have to pass up.
Our main destination that day was ‘Akaka Falls. A turn left led up hill to the little town of Honomu, described as a former sugar town that stays alive due to tourists heading to the falls. I found the town charming, spending some time chatting with an eclectic gallery owner who demonstrated his silk painting.
Open vistas framed Mauna Kea, the highest point on the island at 13, 796’.
This detour out of the trees with a green, sweeping view to the ocean fueled my draw to open spaces.
Up we continued until the road dead ended at ‘Akaka Falls State Park. A short, concrete path makes a loop through forest, so unlike what I’ve ever seen.
It was hot and very muggy. Vines and trees entwined.
The blooms were vivid. I dallied to enjoy.
We made it to the falls, all 442 feet of it. I’ve never seen such a large waterfall. Of note, you do pass the 100′ Kahuna Fall, off in the distance, before this one. My photo of it did not turn out.
More exotic flora:
This was one of my fave stops on the trip and a do-not-miss place in my book.