Well we’re back from our Hawaii camping trip, and let me say it will be a vacation we will never forget! It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. Next weeks post will get into all of the activities we got ourselves into, this week however will focus on all of the great locations we were able to sleep and all of the yummy food we enjoyed while on the Island!
We were lucky enough to camp at three different parks, all with pros and cons, so lets start with #3!
MAHUKONA BEACH PARK
Mahukona Beach Park is on the west side of the Island. It’s a cool spot because you can see parts of Maui from across the horizon. One of the locals told us that ‘you can’t get old Hawaii like this anymore‘. She gave us a cool background story about this area which really added to the experience. It’s not much of a ‘beach’ but there was a snorkelling area that was more so for artifacts than sea life. Unfortunately the waves were a little too big to do so safely, so we couldn’t go swimming at this spot. There were no bathrooms but there was a large pavillion that we used to escape the sun and there were outlets to charge our cameras and phones!
PUNALU’U BLACK SAND BEACH
Punalu’u Beach, on the south of the Island, was our first camp spot and I would definitely stay here again if the opportunity arose! Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to stay on the actual beach, most likely because there was a cordoned off area for sea turtle protection, so that was more than fine. It was still cool to see them from afar just living their lives. We camped on the grass field right next to the beach, and woke up to such an amazing sunrise. You only wish you could wake up to that every morning, it was so incredible!
KOHANAIKI BEACH PARK
Kohanaiki was our favourite camping spot by far! It was the most populated of all of the camping spots, however it’s all spread out enough that we still had a private area to watch the sunset from our tent right on the beach. We wished we could have stayed there longer but it was our last night on the Island, but we know for next time if we do this again! This spot also had the best bathrooms, considering it actually had soap to wash your hands as opposed to several other bathrooms that didn’t…seriously haha. They even had tons of outdoors showers to rinse of all of that salt water. AND it was only a 15 minute drive to our breakfast destination the next morning in Kona. This place was honestly 10/10.
Speaking of breakfast in Kona, that tops of one our favourite places we dined at because they literally had the BEST coffee we have ever had. Honestly if you are a coffee fiend like me, if you ever go to Big Island do not leave without trying Kona coffee, and thank me later.
KONA COFFEE AND TEA COMPANY
Not only did we come here for some iced lattes, I was determined to grab an acai bowl before we left, and this spot checked all of our boxes! It was super fresh and more filling than you think a smoothie bowl would be. Colin decided to grab something warm and picked oatmeal, which was also delicious. It was a great atmosphere with super friendly staff. When I had questions about their coffee they helped me pick out the right type to bring home for ourselves. If you’re in Kona don’t sleep on this cafe!! I very much hope to go back one day.
This was our last meal on the Island and it definitely filled us up enough to keep us satisfied through our 5.5 hour flight home. This place had such a big menu but not overwhelmingly so. Just lot’s of different options for different tastebuds! I kept it relatively simple and got my regular Inari, cause I just can’t pass up Inari, it’s so yummy. I also wanted to try a Tropical California Roll because pineapple and sushi sounds oddly great together, and it was! Colin grabbed a Miso Soup, Chicken Teriyaki Bowl and we shared a Hawaiian Caterpillar Roll which had the best sweet thai chilli aioli I’ve ever had in my life.
I absolutely love how much Hawaii owns their cliches. They rock everything pineapple, coconut and macadamia nut, and they rock it proudly. This restaurant is decked out in pineapple decor and even serve cocktails in pineapples for the full experience. We didn’t go that fancy, but I did try a pineapple mojito which was delicious! Something I noticed from eating on the Island was how accommodating most restaurants are for vegetarians. For my meal here I ordered a grilled veggie wrap with a side salad which was delicious. Colin also enjoyed his Teriyaki Flank Steak that was topped with pineapple salsa!
This was one of our first meals on the Island and it was a spot we kind of just stumbled upon. This was another spot that was very accommodating for a vegetarian diet. This was the first time I had ever tried jackfruit, and this is my stance on it: As a vegetarian for almost 10 years I do not remember what pulled pork tastes like, but I imagine this is pretty damn well close to it. It was so delicious and you better believe I’m going to try to find jackfruit where I live and recreate this sandwich! Not too spicy, lots of fresh veggies with a refreshing smoothie on the side; perfect after an afternoon of snorkelling!
Stay tuned for Camping in Hawaii Pt.3 next week!