• Photo: By AlaskaDave [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Photo: Marty Wakat / Shutterstock
  • Photo: David Lousick / Shutterstock


Perhaps the most desolate region of the island, Kau is nevertheless home to some spectacular sights. Mark Twain wrote some of his finest prose here, where macadamia-nut farms, remote green-sand beaches, and tiny communities offer rugged, largely undiscovered beauty. The drive from Kailua-Kona to windswept Ka Lae (South Point) winds away from the ocean through a surreal moonscape of lava plains and patches of scrub forest. Coming from Volcano, as you near South Point, the barren lavascape gives way to lush vistas from the ocean to the hills.


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