What is the weather like on the Big Island?
That usually depends where you happen to be at any given time. The island of Hawaii has 11 of the 13 climatic zones in the world. Almost any weather is possible; you can be in brilliant sunshine, pouring rain, snow, or desert-dry all in the same day! During the winter it is possible to experience a 60F degree temperature change when driving from the summit of Mauna Kea to Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona.
Where can we see dolphins or sea turtles?
Not always predictable, but you have a really good chance of seeing them while you are diving, snorkeling, kayaking or swimming here on the Kona Coast. Turtles can usually be found grazing around the rocks of many beaches, while dolphins are regular visitors to Kealakekua Bay, Honaunau Bay, or Ho’okena Beach Park. Many of our guests have had up-close wild dolphin encounters while snorkeling in Honaunau Bay (Two-Step), which is just 15 minutes away from the Aloha Guest House!
How far is the volcano from the Guest House?
The Volcanoes National Park Headquarters is a 1 and 1/2 hour drive going south on Highway 11. There are many scenic areas between South Kona and Volcano to enjoy as well. One of the big attractions is the Green Sand Beach at South Point.
What is it like driving up Old Tobacco Road to the Guest House?
Coming up Old Tobacco Road, you will pass ancient stone walls from the days when the Hawaiians grew taro. You will also pass coffee farms and macadamia nut orchards. If you are lucky, you might see wild turkeys, pigs, chickens, or pheasants. If you relax and take in the scenery as you drive, you will enjoy the sense of living in Old Hawaii.
Old Tobacco Road is a one-mile, one lane, semi-paved farm road. It winds up from the highway and is bumpy in several spots. Our road is not dangerous to drive; it just requires a little patience as the typical speed is approximately 8-10 MPH. This type of road is not unusual for rural South Kona and we even get UPS and FED-EX deliveries to our front door. Over the years we have seen a mix of guest vehicles ranging from large SUV's to convertible sports cars, and all have successfully traveled up and down our road. Last month we even had guests arrive in a Chevrolet Spark! Some guests think our road is fun and adventurous, some think it is a non-issue, while others are a little wide-eyed when they first arrive but quickly become accustomed to the drive. There has only been a small minority who has had problems driving up Old Tobacco Road, and this usually happened due to a combination of a late night arrival and being exhausted after a full day of travel. It is a good idea to have our very accurate printed directions available as you drive up Tobacco Road. What I like to remind everyone after their first drive up to our guesthouse is that we are at the end of the road……literally. What that means is we have spectacular views, no highway noise, security (no one comes up here but us), perfect year-round temperatures, and we enjoy all the glory that Hawaiian nature has to offer.
One last thing about driving up Old Tobacco Road, my wife makes the trip up and down almost daily without any problems, and she says if she can do it, so can you!