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View Full Version : Kohala vs Kona - beware the drive - opinions?



cwindrim
10-01-2007, 11:33
Been doing some extended research on the west side of the BI of Hawaii. Need some opinions here.

I've heard that the drive between most of the resorts on the Kohala coast and Kona can be, and often is, insane - 1 hour or more for a 30-mile drive. Furthermore, I've heard to try one's best to avoid making this drive if a vacationer wants to do anything over and above diving and driving in a given day.

Any other opinions on this? As much as I want to dive, it's not all that I want to do in a day, so I'm moderately concerned about what I've heard on other boards.

Also - any opinions on Kohala Divers as an outfit? Heard mostly great reviews, but some suspect reports... Would be great to be 10 mins from a dive shop, though.

thx
:smiley29:

DevilDiver
10-01-2007, 11:52
I've heard that the drive between most of the resorts on the Kohala coast and Kona can be, and often is, insane - 1 hour or more for a 30-mile drive. Furthermore, I've heard to try one's best to avoid making this drive if a vacationer wants to do anything over and above diving and driving in a given day.


Any other opinions on this? As much as I want to dive, it's not all that I want to do in a day, so I'm moderately concerned about what I've heard on other boards.

First you are on an island and everyone moves a little slower. That is part of the attraction. It does take longer because the roads are small and the traffic is slower. The drives are awsome....... The mountins, waterfalls, beaches are part of the reason the islands are great. If all you want to see is the inside of a hotel room and a dive shop go somewhere else.
Take the drive and enjoy it, you won't be disappointed..........

cwindrim
10-01-2007, 14:48
I've heard that the drive between most of the resorts on the Kohala coast and Kona can be, and often is, insane - 1 hour or more for a 30-mile drive. Furthermore, I've heard to try one's best to avoid making this drive if a vacationer wants to do anything over and above diving and driving in a given day.


Any other opinions on this? As much as I want to dive, it's not all that I want to do in a day, so I'm moderately concerned about what I've heard on other boards.

First you are on an island and everyone moves a little slower. That is part of the attraction. It does take longer because the roads are small and the traffic is slower. The drives are awsome....... The mountins, waterfalls, beaches are part of the reason the islands are great. If all you want to see is the inside of a hotel room and a dive shop go somewhere else.
Take the drive and enjoy it, you won't be disappointed..........


Well, perhaps I should have restated my comments. I'm not adversed to a drive, but I am adversed to rush-hour traffic. That appears to be the problem - apparently the two-lane highway between the Kohala Coast and Kona proper is a notorius parking lot for much of the day. We're going to drive a lot - Akaka Falls, self-drive coffee farm tour, green and black sand beaches...

As I said - I don't have a problem with the drive, just the bumper-to-bumper. I'm not going on holidays to sit in traffic! If I have to sit anywhere it'll be on a boat or on a beach. Here are some of the comments that have made me worry:

"Unfortunately, any place on the Kohala Coast is just too long a drive to the top dive operators that are in Kailua-Kona, about 30 miles away. Traffic has gotten terrible and one operator in Kailua-Kona recommends that you give the drive a FULL HOUR to get from the resorts on the Kohala Coast down to the "city center" in Kailua-Kona.
I drove it every day, either to dive or to the airport, or to restaurants. Never Again."

"Even though the island's more heavily travelled roads appear to be of fairly recent vintage (standard-sized lanes, ample shoulders, etc.) they aren't comprised of enough lanes in the crowded areas around Kailua-Kona to handle the traffic. If I remember correctly, the only 4 lane sections seem to be in/around Hilo which (to me) wasn't as crowded as Kona."

"It's definitely a good idea to ask your activities people about drive times, even prior to booking a place to stay. I occasionally get people calling me saying they are staying at a nice little cotage 38 miles form the airport in HOVE or Papa Bay. Sounds like a half hour drive to many tourists, while most every local knows during drive time that's probably more like an hour and a half to two hours, longer if anyone in front of you has car trouble or a fender bender."

DevilDiver
10-01-2007, 18:40
I would definitely defer to any local advice. I have been twice without issues but I can't say we were driving at rush hour either. Possibly being from Dallas/Ft. Worth it did not seem out of sorts..........

There are a couple of people on the board from Hawaii. Might PM them and see if you can get a local opinion........ Good luck!

scubajane
10-03-2007, 07:29
traffic has been a problem on almost any Hawaiian island, more so as the tourist population increases. the people of Hawaii are calm and in no hurry. you will already be in Hawaii why hurry? enjoy the view, it is breath-taking. plan your day simply. you really should not participate in strenuous activity after diving anyway. be very cautious about visiting volcanos. do not dive and then go to the tops of volcanos. the Holiokala crater is about 10,000 feet you could get into some serious trouble there after diving.
have

Damselfish
10-03-2007, 16:59
Well, some areas on some islands have lots of traffic and others don't, and the question is specifically about an area that does. Heading into Kaliua town from either north or south is a mess part of the morning, and heading out is a mess part of the afternoon. It's all well and good to say relax, but boats do leave at specific times - it's hard to relax if you're sitting in traffic when you need to be someplace. :smiley29: I just spent a week doing this, unfortunately staying in a Kohala area resort and needing to travel to Captain Cook (south of Kailua town) and back everyday (long story). We even got stuck in a jam in the middle of the day once, should have been an ok time and place but that's what happens when there is a slow moving crane hogging a 2 lane road.

If by Holiokala you mean Haleakala, that's on a different island.