Just steps from Hale a Kimo Kali, is the Red Road, also known as route 137, Kapoho Kalapana Road. This 12 mile scenic ocean drive is considered by many to be the most beautiful on the island. Many areas of the road are nearly covered by a canopy of trees creating “tree tunnels”. On the Red Road there are many sites to explore, some of which we mention here. All these attractions are just a short drive from Hale a Kimo Kali.
Kehena Black Sand Beach
What drew us to the community of Kehena Beach Estates is that, just a short 5 minute walk from Hale a Kimo Kali is Kehena Black Sand Beach. Enjoy beautiful and breathtaking views of the turquoise blue ocean water from the upper vantage point or take the short rocky trail down to the beach. What we like about this area is the sense of “community” among those that enjoy this special beach. It attracts locals, couples both gay and straight, hippies and nudists, are all accepted and welcomed.
You can find the path down to the beach, to the left of the small parking lot / overlook. Be careful descending the steep lava stone path down to the beach. On occasions you might see dolphins, sea turtles and seasonal whales pass by. Clothes are optional at this beach. On the weekend the beach is popular with locals. Sundays are known as “drum-circle” day and the beach can get crowded. On some days the surf can be rough for swimming. On those days just find a spot, sit yourself down and take in its beauty & uniqueness. This is a great place to enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sunrise. Kehena Beach
Mackenzie State Park
Beautiful views of the steep rugged coastline from this scenic park forested by ironwood trees. This park is also a favorite place for fishermen casting off the cliffs. A large lava tube cave can be seen near the park’s picnic pavilion, as well as numerous sea caves along the cliff’s edge. Mackenzie State Park
Star of the Sea Church
There are four painted churches on the Big Island. This one is the most special and we are lucky to have it just a few miles from our home, just off route 130 in Kalapana. Video
Known for its trompe l’oeil murals and the stained glass adorning its interior, the Star of the Sea Painted Church boasts a history as colorful as its walls. It was moved to its present location in 1990 to survive the lava flow that destroyed most of the village of Kalapana. Star of Sea Church
Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar & Farmers Market
Located at the end of route 137, just a few miles from the house you will find Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Farmers Market. It’s the hot spot for locals and tourists to visit on a Wednesday evening starting at 5pm. Uncle Robert’s Video
Here you will find live music, food vendors and artisans selling their crafts. This is an ideal place to experience the local culture. It’s become a gathering place for people not only to eat and shop, but to socialize, share and expand their connections. If you arrive early you can take the short 5-10 minute walk to Kaimu Black Sand Beach. Uncle Robert’s
Isaac Hale Beach Park
Just minutes from the house, this park is a haven for local fishermen and is also enjoyed by surfers when the waves are up. The island’s newest black sand beach is located here. Created from the recent Kilauea volcanic eruption. This park is popular with picnickers, shoreline fisherman, surfers and campers. Swimming conditions can vary here due to the ocean currents and waves. Isaac Hale Park
Pohoiki’s “New” Black Sand Beach
Located at Pohoiki, also known as Isaac Hale Beach Park is the island’s newest black sand beach. The beach was created during the most recent volcanic eruption of Kilauea. The former boat ramp and harbor that were located here have been blocked by the 14,000 cubic yards of black sand that the eruption created. The new beach is steep and features coarse sand that in time will get finer with age as the ocean waves grind down the small fragments. The beach is now open for residents and the public to enjoy.
Pohoiki Beach is located at the intersection of Pohoiki road and the scenic Kapoho – Kalapana road (route 137).
Pohoiki Beach Video
Lava Tree State Park
Lava Tree State Park has some of the most fascinating lava rock formations in the entire Hawaiian Islands. The 1790 lava flow left a thick coating as it flowed through the old forests encasing the larger trees and burning them to ashes, but not before creating free standing tubes in the shapes of trees. The walk through the park is short and there is free parking. Lava Tree State Park
Kalani Oceanside Retreat
Located along the scenic Red Road is Kalani, an educational retreat center offering individual retreats, group workshops, yoga classes and community life experiences. Kalani Retreat Center
Kilauea Volcanic Eruption
The recent Kilauea volcanic eruption and lava flows that began in Leilani Estates in May of 2018, claimed homes, farm land, beautiful natural wonders and reshaped the Big Island’s coastline. The drive along the scenic Red Road has forever changed and with this latest eruption we have lost beautiful Kapoho Bay, the Waiopae tidepools, Green Lake, Hawaii’s largest fresh water lake and Ahalanui warm ponds, the only warm ponds in all of Hawaii. These scenic spots will live on in our memories and will be missed by those that got to see and experience them.
Madame Pele, Hawaii’s goddess of volcanoes destroys and she also creates. Dozens of small to large brand new black sand beaches have appeared all along our southeast coast. Pohoiki’s Isaac Hale Park now has a brand new black sand beach for residents and tourists to enjoy. Kapoho and Mackenzie State Park also have newly created black sand beaches.
Soon vegetation will appear on the barren lava fields created by Kilauea’s eruption and it will take some time for fertile land and lush rain forests to build back up. Residents displaced by the lava will reclaim their lots and rebuild the life they knew. The new black sand will wear smooth and coconut trees will sprout and grow. Once again, creating the cycle that Hawaiians have lived with for centuries. Being willing to accepting these changes is just part of living in paradise. Ask anyone who lives on the Big Island and they will tell you, there’s no place like “da big rock” to make your home.
Some of the operators offering tours are:
Lava Ocean Adventures
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava Flow Webcam