Advice for Newcomers & Visitors
1. When exiting an airplane go row by row. Do not cut in front people.
2. Learn the history and sensitivities of this place -The history as in Kōhala Kei'a, a book you may obtain at the public library or online.
3. Learn where the public restrooms are.
4. This is rural. No amount of visitation can prepare you for the sense of ruralness of North Kohala. Coming here entails a change in outlook and reinvention of your expectations.
5. Never rush. Drive slow. Allow extra time to talk.
6. Never arrive empty-handed.
7. Say “hello” first.
8. Be ocean and coral reef safe. Choose eco-friendly sunscreens and learn ocean awareness guidelines. See ocean guidelines
9. Know that this is a close, tight knit community.
10. Learn the customs of Kohala. See Kohala Stories
11. Know where the hospital is and plan your access to health care. See Healthcare
12. Medical care - can be difficult. Most major or specialized care is obtained in Honolulu. Kaiser Permanante or HMSA are the 2 major networks. They each have benefits and drawbacks.
13. Share your abundance and talents with your neighbors and learn when and where it is best to do so.
14. Understand importance of Kamehameha The Great to Kohala History. King Kamehameha Page
15. Given our relative isolation; be aware of lack of choices for shopping, food, etc. and prepare. (Understand how Costco, Kona affects your life here.) Kohala’s isolation will impact all aspects of your life so be ready.
16. Live in and with nature.
17. Know what Food resources are available - ie. Coconuts, banana, papaya, kalo, ulu and where to find them.
18. Know the history of plantations and colonization in Kohala.
19. Learn about important Kohala holidays such as King Kamehameha Day. King Kamehameha page
20. Try to listen more and talk less, ie. learn about this community.
21. Be receptive to what is here (don’t try to change it).
22. Learn about the resources in Kohala and how to care for the water, land and air.
23. Learn important Hawaiian words and phrases.
24. Leave no trace on hiking trails and at campsites. Follow hiking, camping and other land use safety guidelines during all outdoor activities.
25. Kohala people very kind & knowledgeable. Their kindness should be reciprocated.
26. When exiting an airplane go row by row. Do not cut in front people.
27. Haul your own trash (recycling HI5 next door). Not much other recycling
28. Understand that there is no at home mail delivery. Mail can be picked up at postal locations in Hawi and Kapa'au: PO Box window - Hawi 1/2 day; Kapa’au all day.
29. North Kohala residents usually frequent Kona or Waimea for most major shopping. There are also great local stores such as Takata’s and Sunshine Hardware if you prefer to stay in town.
30. If you are moving here bring these items from the mainland: Furniture, specialty items, hard-to-find stuff, larger or more unique batteries. Items that need batteries (golf carts, sawzall, big lanterns, weed whackers) need to be bought off the shelf or special ordered from Lowe’s, Sunshine, Ace, etc. Amazon will not ship items with batteries. Daleco in Kona is a good source for bigger/unusual batteries, including for solar electric systems.
31. Amazon does not ship some/many items to a PO Box. Sometimes the street address will be okay, sometimes neither works. If the same item is offered by multiple vendors you can go down the list to see which (if any) ship to Hawaii.
32. Freight forwarding: A way to get stuff delivered to this island from mainland, Honolulu, other countries. Sometimes you need to arrange your own, much like the shipping of a container when you move here. Some vendors do it for you (ie, it’s part of the purchase price of the item)
33. Shipping takes longer than you expect and there is no daily delivery of Amazon, Uber Eats, etc.
34. There are not many dining out options locally. Most of us cook a lot and grow whatever food we can.
35. Property tax rates go DOWN as you age! Once you are age 60 they decrease, then further decrease every 5 years. If appropriate (check regulations), zone your property as agriculture if it is not already.
36. Know that there are Coqui frog noise issues and prepare.
37. Insects are large and plentiful but nothing is poisonous or deadly.
38. Gekkos are plentiful and often in the house. Their poop can stain walls and lighter surfaces.
39. Slippahs - no shoes in the house is the norm. Leave your shoes outside the front door of homes you are visiting unless otherwise directed.
40. Entry Gates - if open, people will stop by. If closed people may honk their horn or call out to see if you are home. This applies to UPS, FedEx, etc.
41. No Spray Signs - The county and state are frequent sprayers of Round Up, so you need to put up no spray signs and fill out forms if you don’t want that. Behind any guardrail is automatically a spray zone, so you need to mow it /string-trim it yourself or pay someone to do it for you, otherwise it will be sprayed to kill the grasses.
42. Hawaii island is one county with one government and one mayor. Local zones have ways of giving input, but there is no Kohala/Honoka'a/etc government. Decisions made can be difficult to influence.
Places to Stay in Kohala
Kohala Village Inn
See pic in Resources, newcomers
Vacation Rentals By Owner