The Hāmākua Coast – Exceptional Rural Living on the Beautiful Big Island
The Hāmākua Coast is a unique, scenic coastal area that runs about 50 miles north from Hilo along the northeastern coastline of Hawai‘i’s Big Island. It’s one of the most beautiful places to live in the state of Hawai‘i.
Stunning oceanfront cliffs with panoramic ocean views and lush greenery are two of the most notable aspects of this stretch of coastline. The abundant natural beauty of this rural area lends itself to a slower pace of life that has endured from Old Hawai‘i.
Here you’ll find tranquil valleys, abundant waterfalls, volcanic peaks, upcountry slopes, charming small towns, taro fields and farms growing tropical flowers, sweet potatoes, mac nuts, Hamakua mushrooms, and more.
While the Big Island offers a variety of climates, the Hāmākua Coast residents enjoy a cooler, comfortable climate. While the west side of the island is generally hot and dry, this northeastern coastal region enjoys regularly occurring rainfall and cooling ocean breezes. The rains here contribute to thick, tropical foliage and verdant valleys, and to the area’s rich agricultural heritage that dates back to the Hāmākua Coast’s sugar plantation days.
Large gulches separate the northern and southern sections of the Hāmākua Coast. To the north, you’ll find the ranching town of Waimea, also known locally as Kamuela, and toward the south is Hilo town and Akaka Falls.
Hilo is one of the larger population centers on the Big Island. The other larger town is Kona on the west coast, reachable by the Saddle Road that traverses the island between the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.
Living Along the Hāmākua Coast
Along this approximately 50-mile stretch, you’ll find an enticing array of Hāmākua Coast real estate to choose from. You can find mostly single-family homes in the area, with some situated along the many bluffs closer to Waimea and Waipi‘o, in charming towns like Honoka‘a, Āhualoa or Pa’auilo.
Or you can opt to buy a Hāmākua Coast home further south, at slightly lower elevations and nearer the water’s edge, in towns like Papa’aloa, Hakalau, Honomu, and Laupāhoehoe, which are closer to Akaka Falls and Hilo town.
With regards to price range and affordability, there are Hāmākua Coast homes for sale to suit every budget. Home prices range from fixer-uppers under $200,000 to spectacular oceanview estates in the multimillion-dollar range.
For those with a green thumb for personal farming or commercial growing, the soil is fertile and irrigation is not often required. Investors will find opportunities to sub-divide larger parcels for residential development in this area, as well.
Rural Living & Small Town Charm
Finding secluded property and privacy is fairly easy in along the Hāmākua Coast, or you can choose to settle into a more concentrated community with all the charms of small-town Hawai‘i living in Honoka‘a, with its historic downtown district.
Regardless of where you choose to buy a home along the Hāmākua Coast, keep in mind that this is a rural setting. There are plenty of amenities and services, and all your essential needs will be met. However, you can expect to drive a little further along the coast to find larger “big box” stores and more restaurant choices.
The major tradeoff is that along the Hāmākua Coast, you’ll enjoy majestic backyard ocean views and unbelievably scenic drives. You can whale watch in winter and enjoy lush tropical greenery that thrives year-round.
For more information about properties for sale on the Hāmākua Coast, Waimea (Kamuela town), Honoka’a, or Waipi‘o, or to make an appointment for a personal tour to see specific homes or land, please contact our Hawai‘i Life Honoka‘a office.