Diverse landscapes, numerous climatic zones and a feel for open spaces and the country life drive many real estate seekers to the Big Island. Not as crowded or busy as Oahu nor flashy and trendy as Maui, the Big Island has a bit of all islands plus more. There are several districts or moku on the island and each offers a different experience.
North Kohala – This district could well be an island in itself with landscapes hat range from dry arid lava fields, to rich tropical uplands with stream fed waterfalls and scenic valley. The North Kohala district thrives around the small towns of Hawi and Kapaau. Hawi is a wonderful example of life in North Kohala. Set along Akoni Pule Highway, small businesses, restaurants and galleries bring character to a former sugar plantation town. The centerpiece of neighboring Kapaau is the original statue of King Kamehameha the Great. Born in North Kohala, his birthday is celebrated each year with a parade.
South Kohala – Known as the district where Kamehameha the Great launched his unification of the Hawaiian Islands. At the lower elevations, South Kohala district is home of the most beautiful beaches on the island and several upscale resorts along with an abundance of luxury resort homes. At the upper elevations find sprawling ranches with panoramic ocean and mountain views, which include snow, capped Mauna Kea in the winter and glimpses of the summit Haleakala on Maui on clear days.
Hamakua Coast – Stretching from Honokaa to Hilo, this windward coastline is a string of small plantation towns, ranches and estates connected by Mamalahoa Highway. The coastline is sloped toward the ocean and is filled with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. Fresh water streams feed waterfalls that spill into the ocean, while the upper elevations have homes embraced by untouched native Hawaiian forests filled with ohia lehua trees and acres of native koa trees.
Hilo –Known for cloudy and damp weather, the small bayside town has a historic feel complete with art deco buildings and plantation homes. Along with city and state buildings, Hilo is home to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, along with numerous big box stores, restaurants and historical Palace Theatre and the Hawaii Tsunami museum.
Puna – Currently known as the fastest growing district in the islands, those attracted to Puna come for the remote, secluded rainforest atmosphere along with inexpensive land prices. Most homes in the Puna district are “off the grid” that depend on rain catchment systems and generators.
Volcano – Located just 45 minutes outside of Hilo, Volcano is certainly Hawaii’s most unique district. Misty mornings and cool temperatures find many homes with fireplaces set in a blanket of thick forest of palapalai ferns and ohia lehua trees. Nighttime brings cloud-covered skies that reflect the warm red glow of the eruption at Halemaumau crater.
Kau – The largest district on the island happens to be the least populated. The tiny town of Pahala is tucked on the slopes of Mauna Loa and offer temperate weather conditions and panoramic views of the coastline and Pacific Ocean. Naalehu is a small ranching town wedged between the tropical green hillsides and the rugged coastline.
Kona – Second only to Hilo in population, Kona is home to numerous residential areas, new hosing developments and coffee plantations. Located on the slope of Hualalai, Kona offers an abundance of ocean views and modern amenities including big box stores, an airport beaches and more. Homes in Kona come in all price ranges with small older homes on large lots to modern homes with central air-conditioning and even a good selection of oceanfront condominiums.
Contributed by Paul Adams of www.hawaiis.com
Almost a perfect circle, Hawaii’s Garden Island is what many in vision as a classic tropical island with an abundance of rainforests, waterfalls and numerous white sand beaches. Kauai is this and much more.
Located at the center of the island and known by many as the wettest spot on earth, Mount Waialeale is not only the tallest mountain on the island, it produces just under 500 inches of fresh water annually which makes it the center of all life on the island.
Kauai has divided into ahupuaa or districts by ancient Hawaiians. These districts are very much alive today. Each district was designed to provide Hawaiians with various land areas to insure access to fishing, farming, gathering, fresh water, living areas and more. On Kauai there were originally over 50 districts, but today, the island has just five delineated much like slices of a pie on this circular tropical island. The largest is located on the western shore on western side of the island. Waimea is one of the largest and least populated districts with typical leeward weather patterns that include lots of sunshine, dry arid landscapes, not to mention the red iron rich soil that was the favorite of sugar companies in the mid- 1800’s. Waimea includes rural towns of Kekaha, Eleele, Waimea and Hanapepe.
Along the south shore of Kauai is the sunny tourist mecca of the ahupuaa of Koloa. Most famous for the resort area of Poipu, Koloa is a mix of established older neighborhoods on the mauka or toward the mountains and with large mega resorts, vacation condos strung along the beach and shoreline. There are an abundance luxury condominiums and homes in Koloa along with several golf courses and historical and natural points of interest.
Continuing counterclockwise, Lihue is the next district. The most populated, Lihue has grown from a small sleepy town to the business, government and transportation center of the island. Lihue boasts the island’s largest airport and harbor and is home to many of the island residents. In this district one can find many older island homes in established neighborhoods with names like Puhi, Hanamaulu and Wailua with schools, churches and big-box stores within a couple of miles of white sand beaches, golf courses and waterfalls.
The district of Kawaihau is certainly the most suburban of all the districts on Kauai. Divided by the Wailua River from the Lihue district, Kawaihau includes the eastern shore of the island. Kapaa, the largest town has an abundance of churches, restaurants, strip malls and a handful of oceanfront resorts and vacation condos.
Hanalei is by far the lushest and most beautiful of all the ahupuaa on the Garden Island. Sheer waterfall covered cliffs, turquoise blue waters, white sand beaches it is truly the tropical fantasy that most dream of. The small town of Hanalei and the thriving resort area of Princeville line the shores of picturesque Hanalei bay where unforgettable sunsets and dazzling views exist even while it’s raining.
For those who are interested in real estate on Kauai, newer homes and modern amenities can be found in the Prineville and Poipu, while unique one of a kind homes are nestled at the base of cliffs and streams while large oceanfront homes in pockets from Hanalei to Kapaa. Most importantly, Kauai is a small place where it’s best to embrace the island lifestyle and respect the Hawaiian culture and customs.
Contributed by Jeff Manson of www.adrhi.com
Hawaii Loa Ridge is an impressive prestigious area in Oahu. The area was built in the 1980s and is located off of Kalanianaole Highway on Pu’u’ Ikena Drive on a winding road up the hill.
The drive to downtown Honolulu from Hawaii Loa Ridge is only half an hour, but most residents prefer to shop at Kahala Mall that is only five minutes away. It is three stories of shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.
Most residents in this area prefer to send their kids to one of Honolulu’s private schools, but some do attend the public schools in the area. Some of these include Aina Haina Elementary School, Niu Valley Middle School, and Kalani High School.
Hawaii Loa Ridge residents are also not at a loss for recreational activities. Hiking is available further inland that takes about three to four hours. Residents can enjoy some of the more breathtaking sites that Oahu has to offer. There is also a community recreation and fitness facility nearby, which has tennis courts, trails, and a playground for kids.
A person seeking real estate in Hawaii Loa Ridge should be prepared that it is expensive real estate. It does, however, offer much more for the price than many other luxury communities. Most of the more than 500 homes in the gated community will cost well over $4 million. The average price of a 5,000 square foot home here is $3,923,219.
Every major city in Hawaii had started to build many luxury homes. Over the years people started to realize that Hawaii has great potential. And that it deserves to invest massively in it. Who did that did not regret it.
In Maui you can find some of the world’s finest luxury homes. Here you can find yourself the ocean front dream home. Most of the Maui luxury homes are characterized by huge windows. So the light can penetrate the room. By a huge and bright living room, palm trees around the propriety or maybe just the front of the house. Anywise palm trees are something that you cannot miss when you buy a luxury home in Maui.
The only condition to have a luxury home in Maui is to be able to afford one. Then you can easily make it a vacation home or even a permanent home for yourself and your family. The beautiful island has more to offer then incredibly pleasant weather and perfect beaches. Maui can be the perfect location for you. It s a place which makes you feel welcomed, like it’s waiting for you with open arms. You must buy a luxury home in Maui to able to call it home.
The Poipu real estate market, part of the larger Kauai housing market, has seen an increase in condominium sales despite a relative stasis in single family home sales. According to an October 5, 2010 article from Pacific Business News, “Condominium sales on Kauai rose substantially in September, while the number of single-family homes sold remained unchanged from last year, according to statistics from the Hawaii Information Service. There were 16 single-family homes sold last month, the same as September 2009, but the median price for those homes rose nearly 5 percent to $496,750, up from $474,500. The 20 condo units sold last month represented a 54 percent increase from the 13 units sold in September 2009. The median price, however, fell 40 percent to $299,500, down from $501,500. The September figures nearly mirror the pattern for the first nine months of the year. Single-family home sales were up 49 percent through the third quarter, with 251 homes sold, while the median price of $465,000 was up 3 percent over last year. Year-to-date condo sales of 178 units were up 57.5 percent from the same period last year, while the median price of $350,000 was down 11 percent from last year.”
One project, which was intended to include dozens of luxury homes for sale in the greater Poipu region, was recently foreclosed at auction. An October 6, 2010 report from the Honolulu Star Advertiser found that “A California-based investment firm keen on acquiring distressed real estate in Hawaii has bought most of a nearly empty luxury residential subdivision in foreclosure on Kauai. Kennedy Wilson of Beverly Hills, Calif., acquired 63 lots and six model homes at the Wainani at Kiahuna subdivision spread around five holes of the Kiahuna Golf Club on Kauai’s South Shore. The subdivision is one of Hawaii’s starkest examples of how hard the real estate market downfall hit developers of luxury residences largely aimed at wealthy second-home buyers. Wainani was planned by local development firm Maryl Group in partnership with an affiliate of insurance giant American International Group, or AIG. The roughly $60 million project was in the early stages of development in 2006 near the height of Hawaii’s real estate frenzy, and plans called for selling 70 homes for about $2 million each. But after subdivision infrastructure and model homes were completed, only one home was sold for $1.65 million in mid-2008, according to property records.”
When planning a trip to Oahu, Hawaii there are a few points worth considering in order to have the best of times. The most important of these considerations is the weather. As Oahu is a tropical area, make a trip to the place when the weather is at its best i.e. in the last two months of the year, when it is not too hot or cold to suit your senses. A number of tourists make the mistake of visiting Oahu in the high season – when the prices of most of the vacation resorts are quite high. This is generally in the months of January to march, when the weather is not too inviting. Moreover, traveling to Oahu, in these months automatically means that you will be paying a tad extra for your accommodations and car travel. Moreover, for those who wish to take a blessed reprieve from the crowded cities, traveling to Oahu in the high season is only going to get you a lot of congested beaches and packed resorts. Even though the high season adds a lot of excitement and night life to the place, followed by abundant activities, it is still recommended that when planning a trip to Oahu, make sure you make your reservations as early as possible to save you from unwanted troubles.
Contrary to this, the Oahu off-season is the time when you will not only enjoy the best rates and plenty of serene atmosphere but also an incredibly pleasant weather. Hotels and airfares offer a range to packages to their visitors most of which are suitable enough to cover your major expenses thus giving you firm hold over your budget. You might want to try Waikiki Vacation Rentals which can save you up to 50% from hotel rates.
When visiting Oahu, don forget to take a tour at the famous Pearl Harbor which is a living monument of the world history. You can also visit the USS Missouri Memorial, situated in Pearl Harbor where the World War II came to an end.
Package tours for Oahu are highly sought after for they enable tourists and visitors to buy the airfare, accommodations to some of the best resorts and hotels and other expenses which include car travel, car rentals and sometimes even tours and other activities. The biggest advantage is of course that you can be free of worries of any hidden expenses that may arise in case you forgot to make any reservations. Moreover, a number of hotels offer considerable discounts to their visitors thus making packages highly desirable for the trip.
Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture. Historically, the chief was often the most skilled wave rider in the community and rode the best board made from the best tree. Today, while surfing is no longer a status symbol, the sport indigenous to Hawaii has been spread around the world, including the southern hemisphere where surfing is now a popular industry in Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, and a variety of other Pacific destinations. At the heart of the surfing craze is the capital of surf – the north shore. Surfers and other fans of the ocean will quickly jump at the opportunity of north shore Hawaii homes for sale because of the superb surf available on the north shore almost year-round. Especially during the rougher winter months, notable surf spots like Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach come alive with towering waves and pounding surf. A particular spot on Ehukai Beach, known as Banzai Pipeline, is the most renown surfing spot and hosts a number of competitions during the high surf season. Every December, three competitions are held on the north shore to comprise the Triple Crown of Surfing: the Reef Hawaiian pro, the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters. A similar arrangement for women is also held.
The “rainforests” of the ocean, coral reefs are important ecosystems with high biodiveristy that makes it a great source of genetic materials. Not only are they filled with food and medicine resources, but they also protect coastlines from wave erosion.
Many animals make up parts of the coral reef. In fact, corals are animals related to jellyfish and anemones. Solitary and colonial coral feed on plankton, which are microscopic plants and animals, using arm-like tentacles to bring food to the centrally located mouth. Hard corals also host algae with which it forms a symbiotic relationship. Because of algae’s photosynthentic properties, it can provide an additional food source to the coral. Corals secrete hard, calcareous (aragonite) exoskeletons, which provide structural rigidity. The shapes colonial coral can form range from finger-shaped, brancing, or moundshaped structures that can span tens to hundreds of miles.
While coral can be found in many of the world’s oceans, the reef-forming variety can only be found in shallow, clean, tropical waters between the latitudes of the 30° north and 30° south. If the conditions are suitable, coral larvae can situate themselves on hard substances, so that they may start to grow. As reefs grow, they build upon the remains of previous colonies. Brilliant and vivid coral reefs are found along coastlines, volcanic islands, and isolated atolls.
Coral reefs primarily can be found in two distinct regions: the Wider Caribbean (Atlantic Ocean) and the Indo-Pacific (from East Africa and the Red Sea to the Central Pacific Ocean)
Coral is much more diverse in the Indo-Pacific, especially in the waters around Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papaua new Guinea. Marine fauna follow the coral trend, as they are most varied in this region as well.
The Atlantic Ocean has fewer species, but are just as unique as those found in the other regions. In fact, there are very few common species between the two regions.
Coral Science from Outer Space to Inner Space
Coral reef systems can be found surrounding approximately 100 countries. These fragile and endangered ecosystems are home to more than 25% o the world’s marine life. In the past few decades, more than 35 million acres of reef have been destroyed. When temperatures change or any other aspects of the environment change, coral reefs lose the algae cells they rely on and appear white. Depending on the duration of stress, the coral may recover, or in some cases die. If the present rate of destruction continues, 70% of the coral reefs will be destroyed in the coming decades.
Hawaii has a very unique ecosystem, and a large part of it is comprised of its beautiful coral reefs. These reefs offer so much biological diversity making them great locations for fishing and tourism, in fact, many tours like to show off these reefs. The colors of the reefs have garnered the name the “tropical rainforest of the sea.” Many creatures nestle in the reefs for food or breeding. Because Hawaii is a younger geological formation, the reefs surrounding it are also younger when compared to reefs around the world. As reefs grow and develop, they become fringing reefs, which are seen in shallow water, then become barrier reefs which have a lagoon separating it from the shore.
Hawaii’s reefs grow westward because of the islands’ westward growth. Since there are no fully developed reefs, Hawaii’s reefs are not as prolific, and mostly consist of coral due to the lack of nutrients and feeding animals. The reef lacks species such as sponges, soft coral, tunicates, and other animals found in the Great Barrier Reef. Hawaii only has 40 kinds of reefs when compared to the parts of the Pacific Ocean, which has over 300. While Hawaii’s reefs are much smaller when compared to other parts of the Pacific, its young and growingreefs still make it a popular stop while on a Hawaii tour or vacation.
With a coastline in vicinity, you’ll know there are many diving spots waiting for you. While accessibility is important, nothing can beat the amazing experience you’ll get while exploring the reefs and seeing the unique sea creatures in the area. Places like these are only found in certain parts of the world, making it a very exclusive experience you should take part in. Hawaii scuba-diving is very popular, particularly on Maui. It has clear water that makes every Hawaii diving experience memorable. Maui is not the only Hawaiian Island you can scuba dive on, so keep your options open.
Memorable Scuba Dive Hawaii Spots for Beginners
With a number of islands available in this archipelago, choosing where to start can be a task. Out of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, focus on Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii (the Big Island), and Maui, especially if you’re just a beginner. On Oahu, Sharks Cove is the most popular with novices, and is named for the rock formations shaped like its namesake. It is especially popular with beginners because of the depths that allow you to explore and see turtles and parrotfish among the many creatures. Another great spot to head to is Turtle Street, there are turtles and lobsters that hang around here, as well as porcupine fish that are hidden in the cracks. Bring your camera to capture these extraordinary experiences.
Memorable Scuba Dive Hawaii Spots for Advanced Divers
Advanced divers have a number of options. A favorite Maui dive spot is Hidden Pinnacle, perfect when the currents are nice. While here, you can see octocoral and beautiful pyramid butterfly fish. Be sure to consult a professional dive guide before exploring this area. If you’re looking for an authentic sea life experience, look no further than The Cove on Molokai’s eastern coast. You’ll see a large variety of fish, such as hawkfish, puffers, and manta rays, and different lobster species at night.
From novices to experts, diving in Hawaii is something you must do, especially since the underwater terrain of the islands can cater to everyone. The varied sea life and coral make diving in Hawaii an experience you will never forget.