Despite staying at a resort I spent most of my time at Waikoloa by not being in Waikoloa. I’m not a resort kind of a guy. Instead I took day trips to cultural sites up and down the leeward side of the island. It was great that the Petroglyphs and King’s Road were around to visit before or after those trips but I had to get out of the entire resort campus.
The first trip I took was to Kaloko-Honokōhau National Park. It’s a beach with a few well-preserved fishpools and fishponds and is intended to teach how the Hawaiians fished and lived on the shore. It also feels like the smallest national park I’ve ever been too—literally just a trailhead marked by a ranger hut and bathrooms situated next to a parking lot next to the highway.
It was nice. We walked along the beach, totally missed the fishponds, and ended up walking miles longer than we planned. But it was was also pretty isolated and being alone on a beautiful beach—albeit one with super-coarse sand which started to cut our feet—is always a plus. Also, we got to see our first sea turtle of the trip.
We caught the ponds on the way back from our walk and it’s amazing to see the different climates separated by just thirty feet of rock and sand. On one side is the pounding surf, blowing wind, harsh sun, and bleached out trees and wood. On the other side is calm water, still air, and all kinds of vegetation and wildlife.