This page presents some interesting facts about Honokaa town. Figures used on this page are from the DBEDT Hawaii Data Book and the Hawaii County Statistics website.
Hamakua District: 6,108 (2000 census)
The Hamakua District consists of Honokaa, Kapulena, Kukuihaele, Haina, Paauhau, Ahualoa, Kalopa and Paauilo areas. Figures taken from the State of Hawaii Data Book, 2001 edition.
The State of Hawaii has a presence in the area maintaining the Health Department Office, Public Library, Highway Maintenance Yard, and the Public School (see below). The State Representative to the Legislature is Dwight Takamine (D). The State Senator is Lorraine Inouye (D). The state also operates the Honokaa Long Term Care Health Facility, which replaced the old Honokaa Hospital. Emergency medical care is performed in neighboring Waimea, about 20 minutes north of Honokaa.
The Hawaii State National Guard maintains an armory facility next to Honokaa High School.
The public school encompasses grades 7 through 12
The school takes in high school students from Waimea and Paauilo. The school mascot is the Dragon.
Enrollment is 812 (Sept. 2002)
Honokaa Elementary School
Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate School
School statistics taken from Hawaii State Department of Education, Information Resource Management Branch records.
Today the area has come back with a mix of tourism, farming, and ranching. Hamakua Energy Partners operates a 60 megawatt co-generation facility which sells power to Big Island utility, HELCO.
Honokaa town includes a many retail merchants serving the residents and the occasional tourist. Honokaa has 2 grocery stores, a couple of convenience stores, a hardware store, several restaurants, 3 filling stations, a print shop, several boutiques and service oriented businesses, a hotel, bed and breakfast operations, video outlet, movie theater and hair stylists.
Residents also travel many miles to either Hilo or Kona to shop at the malls and the big box stores like Costco and Walmart. Neighboring Waimea also gets its share of Honokaa shoppers.
Visitors can visit the valley floor by hiking or booking a tour with the Waipio Valley Shuttle service. Only 4 wheel drive vehicles are allowed to traverse the steep, narrow and winding road into the valley. Experienced, local drivers should navigate this road.
Besides Waipio Valley, Honokaa Town itself is worth a walk through its streets. Several interesting shops are worth stopping by. If you're in town on a Saturday morning, the weekly Farmer's Market day happens in front of the old Bothelo building. Local farmers are there selling everything from fresh vegetables to cut flowers.
Just outside Honokaa is the Kalopa State Park. It is a very nice forested area where people can hike and camp (with the proper permits).
While in Honokaa be sure to try Tex Drive In's world famous malasadas. Visitors can see how those tasty malasadas are made, due to a recent renovation that upgraded the facilities. The popular eatery serves as one of the town's major meeting place for various community organizations. Tex Drive-In is located along Highway 19 in the same building as the Honokaa Stop n Shop store.
Honokaa High School Sports
Hamakua Music Festival
Recreational facilities include a public gymansium, running track, baseball park, tennis court and swimming pool. Hiking, hunting and cycling are also popular outdoor activities. There are no beaches nearby, so if a day at the beach is in your plans you either have to go down to Waipio Valley (black sand beach) or take a 30 mile trip to Kawaihae to visit its white sandy beaches.
Golfers will be pleased to know that Honokaa has one of the oldest courses on the Big Island... the nine hole Hamakua Country Club is located just outside of town and features a lush, green sloping playing area.
Honokaa has its own monthly newspaper. The publication is called The Hamakua Times and features a mix of news, photos, features and advertising catering the local resident audience. They can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents also get the 2 daily Big Island Newspapers.... Hawaii Tribune Herald, published from Hilo and West Hawaii Today, published from Kona. The two Honolulu dailies are also available.
Temperatures during the daylight hours climb in the upper 70s and sometimes 80s. Night time temperatures can dip into the 60s or 50s... maybe even the 40s. Bringing a jacket and some warm clothes will be helpful if you plan to spend some time in Honokaa.
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