Crusin’ with Tita Nui to Nīnole… But Which One?
On Hawai’i Island, there are two towns with the same name.
One Nīnole is in the Ka‘u District, south of Hawai‘i Belt Road, adjacent to the south of Punalu‘u Beach.
Now know as Sea Mountain Golf Course, it was mostly destroyed by a tsunami in 1868.
This was the birthplace of Henry ‘Ōpūkaha`ia (1792–1818), who inspired the missionary movement that forever changed Hawai‘i.
Through the years, this community has borne multiple names. In 2000, the Board of Geographic Names officially designated it “Nīnole.”
The other more commonly known tiny community of Nīnole is on the Hāmākua Coast, located between the towns of Pāpa‘aloa and north of Hakalau.
It even has its own tiny little U.S. Post Office, with the zip code of 96773.
It is in this town that you will find the beautiful Waikaumalu Park, located on the old Māmalahoa Highway about one-half mile south of the Post Office on the mauka side of the road.
This little-known park sits on the bank of the Kaoheiki Stream.
On a beautiful day, you can either bask in the sun on the smooth boulders along the riverside or even jump in and cool off in its gently flowing waters.
But, a note of caution here: This stream can be dangerous when heavy rains persist and occasional flash flooding can occur with little or no warning. Be aware of your surroundings.
The quaint wooden bridge that straddles the stream makes a great place to take pictures.
The well-manicured grounds provide beautiful grassy spots to picnic under the shade of the monkey pod trees. Or you can enjoy the picnic tables and barbecue pit in the pavilion area.
It is a perfect spot to take a break from driving.
Next time you’re in the area, stop by and see what Waikaumalu has to offer.