IX: Adventures in Kohala

The next few blog posts detail the awesome adventures we had when a dear friend from home was visiting! We had two full days together when I was not working, and we spent the next weekend in Oahu. Our first day was spent zip lining, beaching and horseback riding during sunset, which checked two items off the list. We finished the evening with dinner at the Big Island Brewhaus. The map below shows our travel route for the day.



7:00 – 9:00: Drive to North Kohala

9:00 – 12:30: Let Yourself Go on a Zipline (#4)

12:30 – 3:45: Lunch and relaxation at Beach 69

3:45 – 4:45: Drive back to Kohala for horseback riding

4:45 – 7:30: Saddle Up (#3)

7:30 – 9:00 Dinner in Waimea at Big Island Brewhaus

Kohala Zipline

Ziplining has been high on my list of things to do since I got to Hawaii, but we decided to wait until my friend Kim was visiting so we could all do it together. Our requirements were to find the cheapest option possible, and one that was nearby the horseback riding. All of the zipline companies seemed to cost between $150 and $170, so we really chose based on location and ended up with Kohala Zipline, which was just a few minutes away from Pololu Valley if you remember that day trip.

Once we arrived, it was a short half-hour orientation to our equipment and safety measures, and then a short drive to the course before we began. Stopping and slowing down was entirely under our control, so we needed to learn how to “brake.” The other group for the 9:30 tour either got lost or tried to cancel, but we ended up being the only three on our tour! We all agreed that we wished there was a waterfall or two included on the tour, but the friendly guides and personal attention more than made up for it. We also only did th

The girls at the start of the ziplining course
The girls at the start of the ziplining course (photo courtesy of Kim’s camera)

The course consisted of nine ziplines, several plank bridges and two rappels. All in all, we got to spend about three hours on our adventure.

One of the first ziplines (photo courtesy of Kim's camera)
One of the first ziplines (photo courtesy of Kim’s camera)
Bouncing across the plank bridges (photo courtesy of Kim's camera)
Bouncing across the plank bridges (photo courtesy of Kim’s camera)

The ziplines got longer and longer throughout the course, and our guides were kind enough to help me take some video during one of my last rides!.

All this green is still overwhelming after spending four years in Arizona!

Beach 69

Beach 69 is more of a slang name for a beach located at mile marker 69, right next to Hapuna. While Hapuna is one of the most famous white sand beaches in Hawaii and receives many visitors every day, Beach 69 is a little less crowded and there’s plenty of shade, unlike Hapuna. We spent our afternoon here after a quick lunch, and it couldn’t have been more relaxing.

Beach 69, plenty of shade, trees and blue waters
Beach 69, plenty of shade, trees and blue waters

Paniolo Adventures Horseback Riding

Our last adventure of the day was to partake in a sunset horseback ride in Kohala. Kohala (the upper peninsula area of the Big Island) has quickly become my favorite place here. Beautiful mountains, rolling hills, gulches and valleys are seen everywhere you look in this area, and when the sun is rising or setting, the landscape becomes breathtaking. Kohala was the first part of the Big Island to sprout up above the Pacific Ocean, and thus marks the oldest land of the Big Island. The hot spot that formed the Hawaiian islands then moved southward to the bottom portion of the Big Island where Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is now.

Our horseback riding adventure with Paniolo Adventures was maybe an hour and a half, and that was quite enough to give us all a case of severe “saddle bum!”

Kim's horse and the two of us together during sunset (more photos courtesy of Kim)
Kim’s horse and the two of us together during sunset (more photos courtesy of Kim)

Big Island Brewhaus

Our final stop of the day was at the Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea. The food was good and servings were large, but it was mainly noteworthy because it was the highest elevation bar in all of Hawaii apparently.


After dinner and a long drive home, we tried to rest up for the next day. There was plenty more to see!

Next Up: Sea Turtles and Sea Arches

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