South of Hilo, covering a large part of the Big Island, is the District of Puna. Puna is the second largest district on the Big Island and varies in altitude from sea level to 4000 ft.|
Puna District Overview:
Puna is an area of forests, old plantation towns and black sand beaches, including the famous black sand beach at Kaimu near Kalapana. The beaches are inviting although conditions can be rough, particularly when winds are out of the south east (which is rare). Experienced surfers will find good waves throughout most of the year.
Being on the west side of the island Puna receives the cooling trade winds. This also means that Puna receives more rainfall than other parts of the island, averaging about 130 inches a year. Gentle rainfall and cooler temperatures makes for wonderful growing conditions - thus much of Puna is very lush, with forests and flowers everywhere.
The largest towns in Puna are Keaau and Pahoa, both of which are fairly small towns. Kea'au is an old plantation town and has a shopping center, fast food and gas stations. Kea'au is about 5 miles from Hilo and about 7 miles from the airport.
Pahoa is a quaint old town with a raised wooden sidewalk in front of many of the shops. Several good restaurants and many interesting shops line the main street through Pahoa.
Puna has several subdivisions, including the nation's largest privately owned subdivision, Hawaii Paradise Park with over 6000 lots and homes. Most land in Puna is zoned agricultural and many flower and fruit farms are in the area.
Major Towns in Puna:
Located four miles south of Hilo, Kea'au retains its old-world, plantation-style quaintness, and it essentially remains an agricultural community. Kea'au is centered within the district of Puna. Bordering roughly nine miles of coastline, Kea'au extends some 26 miles inland. Kea'au is one of the major flower growing areas in the State of Hawaii.
This gateway to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is quilted with fertile agricultural industries, including flowers, vegetables and plant nurseries, and affords the traveler with stunning views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Pahoa (find listings in this town)
Nine miles from Kea'au, is Pahoa Village, characterized by old western-style boardwalks, quaint shops, ethnic restaurants and the oldest theatre in Hawaii. Everything is easy to find here along one main street. Visitors who arrive hungry will experience the town's best-kept secret, a variety of international cuisines. Beginning as a rugged sawmill town, and later a major stop on the sugar plantation train line, Pahoa has retained its charming turn-of-the-century Victorian style. Pahoa maintains the historic Akebono Theater, Hawaii's oldest theater.
Just minutes away is Lava Tree State Park, an enchanting setting for a rainforest walk or a scenic picnic. An excellent example of a forest of lava trees, the result of a lava flow that swept through this forested area and left behind lava molds of the tree trunks.
Kurtistown (find listings in this town)
Our large sparsely-populated area was once homesteads where you could own property by clearing and working the land. Kurtistown is on Volcano Highway 11 about 10 miles from Hilo and 20 miles from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center and Hawaii State Bonsai Repository is a unique visitor attraction in Kurtistown with a substantial and varied collection of artistic potted plants.
Mountain View (find listings in this town)
Mountain View is a village of nurseries located near the Olaa Forest Reserve and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The area is one of the best places in the world for growing anthuriums and orchids.
Volcano (find listings in this town)
The town of Volcano is located near the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Olaa Forest Reserve. Volcano Villiage is home to a lively mix of artists, scientists and active folks of all ages. The rich volcanic soil has always supported farming.
Volcano's obvious distinction is the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which holds not one, but two active volcanoes. Mauna Loa is the most massive volcano on earth, containing 10,000 cubic miles of solid rock, built up from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to an elevation of 13,677 feet above sea level. Its sister Kilauea remains the world's most active volcano, with lava flows often visible from the end of the Chain of Craters Road. Within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are sulfur banks, steam vents, moon walks, lava tubes, and the newest land on earth.
One of the world's most unique wineries is adjacent to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Volcano Winery is home to one-of-a-kind Hawaiian wines made nowhere else on Earth.
Major Subdivisions in Puna:
The following subdivisions are in Puna District: