Where are the nearest grocery
stores? The nearest store is the General Store on Orchid
Land drive (take Maku'u Drive to the main highway, turn right
and after about a mile you will pass Paradise Drive shortly
after which you will turn left onto Orchid Land Dr – the store
is behind the gas station. The next closest is Malama Market. To
get there take Maku'u drive to the highway and turn left and
after about 4 miles you will come to the turn off for Pahoa. On
your right you will see a small mall - the Pahoa Marketplace. At
the back of the plaza is the market. They have a good selection
of everything. If you continue on into Pahoa you will pass a
7-Eleven and the large Island Naturals Pahoa Market & Deli. The
largest most complete supermarket short of driving all tghe way
into Hilo is Foodland located in the small shopping mall in
downtown Keau'u. To reach Keau'u head back up to Hwy 130, turn
right, travel about 6 miles towards Hilo, and turn left at the
signs for Keau'u until you reach downtown. There is a small
Farmer's Market in downtown Keau'u which is open every day of
What should we remember to bring?
The house is fully equipped with everything you would expect in
a home (for instance all linens, normal kitchen dishes, utensil,
appliances, etc.) Our Features page contains more information.
All you really need to think about is what you need personally.
Depending on the time you arrive you may want to pick up bottled
water, ice, and maybe a few food items. At the house you will
find spices, teas, a few condiments and other food items left
behind by previous renters. There may or may not be any coffee
but you should not have to worry about coffee filters - we try
to keep those stocked. Certainly come prepared for the sun
(bring hats and a light long sleeved shirt for those days when
you have had enough sun). Bring sunglasses and reading
sunglasses if you have them. Sand (aka swim) shoes for use while
in the water is a good idea. Also for hiking on the lava a pair
of good tennis or other sturdy shoes is recommended. You may
need to buy some sun tan lotion after you arrive unless you plan
to check your baggage. Often time previous renters leave behind
suntan lotion, other body lotions, hair shampoo and conditioner.
We provide sample sized Hawaiian made soaps, lotion and
shampoo\conditioner. We also have accumulated a number of beach
mats. Finally bring a flashlight for use after dark for entry
into the house. While we have lights on the lanai you never know
when the bulb may burn out.
Where can I swim in the ocean?
Hilo has many beaches including a couple safe for children,
our favorite is Carlsmith Beach.
Other areas to swim include Ahalanui Hot Pond, Kapoho Tide Pools
(some areas safe for children), and Isaac Hale (the currents and
wave action can be tricky here so check on the conditions before
Is there a beach across the
street from the house? Across the street are 20 foot lava
cliffs with no safe ocean entry and no safe swimming. The cliffs
are very interesting and you can walk almost endlessly in either
direction. When the whales are around, the cliffs are a good
place to see them spouting, flashing their tails, and breaching.
However the cliffs can be slippery so if you are near the edge
please be careful and do not turn your back on the waves.
How far is the house from Hilo?
From the Kona airport? The house is 18 miles from Hilo and
the Hilo airport (about a 30 minute drive). The Kona airport is
an easy 2 hour drive away.
How close is Hawai'i Volcanoes
National Park? The national park is an easy one hour drive
over excellent roads from the house. See the end of this page
for more information on the volcanoes.
How close are the Kapoho Tide
Pools? Our home is located at the beginning of the Puna
district - an area full of interesting areas to visit including
the Kapoho Tide Pools. Once you are back out on the main road
you are a beautiful 20 minute drive through the countryside to
the tide pools.
Where can we rent snorkel gear in
Hilo Ocean Adventures
1717 Kamehameha Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
Will I need to rent a car? It
is difficult to get around Hawai'i without one. Whenever we rent
a car in Hawai'i we use
http://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/. They negotiate with
all the major rental agencies and consistently have the best
price. One of our renters saved $300.00 on his rental fee using
this site. If you get a better price elsewhere please let us
Should we rent a 4 wheel drive?
The Big Island has great roads (no freeways) so the usual rental
car will take you just about everywhere. However a 4 wheel drive
will allow you to drive to the top of Mauna Kea, Waipi’o Valley,
Green Sands Beach, and some off the grid roads such as the road
that runs from Hawaiian Paradise Park to Hawaiian Beaches
through the Maku’u Point area along Government Beach Road. You
should keep in mind though that once you are off the grid you
cannot assume you will have cell service should you get stuck.
The number one reason people rent a 4 wheel drive is to drive
all the way up to the summit of Mauna Kea. You can learn more
about the summit by visiting
Onizuka Visitor Center. We have
heard there is a shuttle for people in normal cars that run to
the summit but not sure when that runs. If you decide to try a 4
wheel drive you might want to check out this site ->
It was recommended to me by the rental agency I always use,
Is the house child safe? - We
welcome children in our home but we want you to be aware it is
elevated and we do not consider it a toddler safe house. We have
both an interior and an exterior stairway that are not blocked
off. Also right across the street are 20 foot lava cliffs. We
are comfortable with people who have young babies and children
that are 7 years old and older. We have plenty of games for you
to play with your children - including Konane ("Hawaiian
Do we share the vacation rental
with anyone? No. You have the house all to yourself.
What amenities do you supply - is
there a coffee maker, is there a cooler, and a hair dryer?
The house is fully equipped with all the usual appliances
including coffee maker, coffee grinder, hair dryer, small
cooler, blender, washing machine, dryer, iron, ironing board
etc. Linens are also supplied (towels, beach towels, sheets,
etc.) Check out the Vacation Rental Features page to learn more.
If you can't find the hair dryer search all the drawers and
cabinets in the bathrooms.
What about food, spices, etc?
The house usually has a good supply of spices, teas, coffee
filters, etc. My advice is to pick up some bottled water, ice,
drinks, a little bit of food, and maybe a few other items on
your way to the house but don't buy too much until you see what
others have left behind. The refrigerator usually has left over
condiments, jelly, and other items such as cooking oil.
Does the house have Internet
access? Yes we have broadband wireless access and directions
on how to hook up are in the house.
Any guidebook suggestions?
The best guidebook we’ve come across is called “Hawai'i The Big
Island Revealed”, 8th edition. It’s quite popular, very
detailed, and we have the 6th edition at the house for your use. However
you might want to pick a copy up in advance or check with your
How do I see the lava? Lava
has flowed continuously since 1991 but its path changes. The
USGS site posts updates daily. One of the best and most popular
methods is to take a lava boat tour. They leave conveniently
from Isaac Hale Park in Puna. Sometimes there are breakouts on
the slopes that can be accessed on foot via guided walking
tours. More volcano tips are at the end of this page.
Whale watching? Yes! Yes!
Yes! Our neighborhood is quite good for whale watching beginning
in November and running through April. But in truth there are
whales year around just not as many. Bring your binoculars! In
April 2011 house guests said they saw a mother and calf come up
so close they heard the spouts. In March 2013 we saw a mother
and calf breaching together for about 15 minutes. In addition,
the bottlenose, spotted, and the amazing spinner dolphins are
here year around. You can start by walking across the street to
the lava cliffs. If you walk or drive to the left about half a
mile the lava cliffs are even higher and afford a somewhat
better view of the bay. Additionally we have also spotted
spinner dolphins and a number of very large green sea turtles
swim by quite close to the cliffs. Whales can also be spotted
from the lanai (deck). Link to information on wildlife and whale
Are there walking\hiking areas
near the house? Yes. Walking and hiking begins as soon as
you walk out the door. Follow this link to another page on our
site that discusses hiking and visiting the volcano.
Where do I find the petroglyph?
Across the street from our home is a couple petroglyphs of
unknown date. Follow this link to learn more about
The binder in the house also contains directions to locating the petroglyph.
Where can we go Horse Back
riding? Our favorite place but also a bit of a drive away is
Dahana Ranch. It's on the slopes of Mauna Kea near Waimea. Call
(808) 885-0057 or toll free (888) 399-0057 visit
Another place that renters have recommended and is closer is
Pa'ani Ranch, off Highway 11 past Keaau,
What does it take to get married
doesn’t look like it could be much easier.
Here is another link that describes who can perform the
ceremony. It looks like anyone affiliated with any religion,
even on-line religions such as the Universal Life Church, can
perform the ceremony. However Hawaii does require the performer
to register with the state which has a fee. So maybe one of your
friends could become a minister with the Universal Life Church
and register with Hawaii and they could perform the ceremony.http://www.themonastery.org/wedding-laws/hawaii
What are the fishing regulations
in Hawaii? Can I fish from the cliffs across the street?
No license is required for recreational saltwater fishing. More
information on fishing regulations in the state of Hawaii can be
Where can we rent bicycles?
Here are a couple bicycle rental places I found in Hilo:
How do we secure our reservation?
If you are booking more than 90 days in advance then $200 will
secure your reservation. Within 90 days a 50% payment of the
total amount is required and within 45 days the entire rental
fee is due.
How do we make our payment? -
Once you are ready to book we will bill you via PayPal - no
account or login required. We use PayPal as our preferred
payment method because of the superior security. It protects you
because we never see your credit card information and it
protects us by handling all the usual credit card checks.
Do I need trip insurance?
Here is a link to good advice on trip insurance from Consumers
Do you need travel insurance?
How is the cell phone coverage?
It depends on your provider so you may want to check with yours.
As of October 2013 Verizon works well, Sprint coverage is
“roaming”, but ATT does not appear to provide coverage. However
we do have wireless Internet (WI-FI) and a phone with free long
distance within the US at the house so staying in touch with
others is not a problem.
How can I receive a package at
the house? The postal service does not deliver to our house.
We have seen the UPS truck making deliveries on our street and
we think maybe FedEx as well. It may be better to find out in
advance whether it’s better to pick your package up at their
facility versus having it delivered to the house. Also you
should be able to use General Delivery mailed to the local Post
Office. To get mail on the road with General Delivery, have your
mail addressed with your first and last name, care of "General
Delivery", c/o the post office address. Once it arrives, the
postmaster will hold your mail for at least 30 days. In America
this service is free, but in other countries fees might be
assessed. Here are the addresses for the two closest Post
Offices (Pahoa and Keauu).
First name, Last Name
Care of General Delivery
15-2859 PAHOA VILLAGE RD
PAHOA, HI 96778
Mon-Fri 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sat 11:00am - 2:00pm
First name, Last Name
Care of General Delivery16-578 OLD VOLCANO RD
KEAAU, HI 96749
Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:00pm
Sat 10:00am - 12:00pm