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The Waipio Valley on Big Island Hawaii

Home to a King, Legends and Adventure

The Waipio Valley is part of the Hamakua Coastal Drive. The overlook that is a popular stopping place on the journey, the Waipio Valley Lookout, is usually the stop on the Hamakua Heritage Corridor. The entire drive is peaceful and serene. However, the absolute jewel of the whole experience is being able to look down into the Waipio Valley from the overlook.

Your holiday in Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without at least a picture from the overlook, with you standing in front of the valley and the beauty of blue ocean, green tropical foliage and a black sand beach in the background.

The Waipio Valley is more than just a pretty face on the Big Island, though. There is a lot to do in and around the valley and it holds more Hawaiian history, legend and culture than most other places in the entire state.

Waipio: “The Valley of the Kings”

It was estimated that somewhere between 4000 and as many as 10000 lived in the Waipio Valley to Captain Cook’s arrival in 1778. The numbers are based on oral histories. That’s why they calculations are so divergent. However, there were a lot of people living in the fertile valley at some point.

Kamehameha the Great was proclaimed the future ruler of the Island by his war god, Kukailimoku, in 1780.

Off the coast of Waipio, the first Hawaiian Naval battle was fought as Kamehameha the Great did battle with two warlords from other Islands. Kamehameha was victorious and so started his journey to rule of the Hawaiian Empire.

The Waipio Valley is also an alleged site of the Night Marchers. As Hawaiian stories go, these ghostly apparitions appear and march to the sound of an invisible drum beat. Many believe that they are the ghosts of warriors still on the way to do battle.

Things to Do in and around the Waipio Valley

The lookout is a great picture spot, but if you want to be in the valley then there is plenty to do.

You can take a guided van or horseback tour down into the valley. This is a great experience because the tour guides will fill you in on historical locations and stories as you travel.

There are numerous spots to hike and discover hidden wonders in the Waipio Valley and you can even hike, and spend a day at the black sand beach.

Please note that the road and trail down into the valley is very steep and you will need a 4-wheel vehicle to safely make the journey.

To experience a great horseback ride and adventure into the Waipio Valley on your holiday in Hawaii, check out Adventure in Hawaii.