Consider Kau for a Unique, Low Cost Hawaii Vacation

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

Little-known Kau along the Big Island’s southern region isn’t known for its tourist-friendly accommodations, but it does offer the option of a low cost hawaii vacation. Vast, sparsely populated, and mostly agricultural in its economic output, Kau is more of a haven for locals than it is likely to appear on a “Top 5 Things to Do in Hawaii” list. But that doesn’t mean Kau isn’t worth visiting – the opposite may be true for those traveling on a budget.

Why Ka’u?

Kau’s famously undeveloped, especially compared to the rest of the Hawaiian islands. Boasting the largest undeveloped coastline in all of Hawaii, the people of Kau are vocal, organized, and protective of their home, stopping many a development project over the years. This means guests to Kau enjoy a look back at mid-20th century island life that’s quickly disappearing from the Big Island. Huge, uninterrupted fields of fruit and vegetable crops line every roadway and there are very few hotel options, meaning the casual tourist isn’t likely to give up their luxury room in Kailua-Kona for the alternative. Those that do provide lodging are very competitively priced, while state campgrounds are numerous and provide a closer look at the natural scenery.


Leilani Bed and Breakfast
(808) 929-7101
92-8822 Leilani Parkway
Ocean View, HI 96737
A lava rock home built by an early settler to Kau, Leilani Bed and Breakfast offers the standard B&B experience with a Big Island twist. Tropical fruit is served each morning and the property is well-kept, featuring unique flora and fauna right out your door. It’s within easy distance of Green Sand Beach, South Point, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, making it the perfect stopover for a visit to Kau.

Big Island B&B
(808) 929-8097
94-6263 Kamaoa Rd
Naalehu, HI 96772
Positioned on a working macadamia nut farm, this B&B offers a unique opportunity to stay on a tropical agriculture property and provides the benefits of that you’d expect. Quiet and withdrawn, the farm offers private walking paths and entrances to guest rooms while the breakfast options always include freshly-picked nuts and fruits.

Sea Mountain Resort
(888) 249-8810
95-788 Ninole Loop Rd
Punalu’u, Hawaii 96777
Just steps away from Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Sea Mountain Resort is the only resort located in Kau. From natural wonders within a few steps to golf, swimming, tennis, and more, there’s never been a better option to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Big Island’s southern coast than a stay at Sea Mountain.

Activities in Ka’u

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
One of the most famous black sand beaches in the world, Punalu’u shines like black gold, a result of the centuries of volcanic activity on the Big Island. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (honu) call the beach home and can often be encountered morning, noon, or night.

Ka Lae
Widely considered to be the first landing spot and settlement of the Big Island by Polynesian explorers as far back as 200 A.D., Ka Lae is also known as the southern point of the Big Island and represents the southernmost point in the United States. Aside from the historical significance, Ka Lae is also a world-class deep sea fishing location for anglers.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Kau’s proximity to the world-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park makes it an ideal destination for first-time or returning visitors to the Big Island who have yet to experience the wonders of the park for themselves. With crater tours, extensive hiking trails, and up-close looks at active lava flows, a trip to the Big Island is simply incomplete without a stop at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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