Kohala is the oldest of five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawai‘i. This now extinct volcano is estimated to be one million years old and its final eruption was 120,000 years ago. Over thousands of years, erosion has created numerous deep gorges on its slopes, providing a spectacular backdrop for the estates at Kohala Kai. The community is located within the US Geological Survey’s Zone 9, the safest region on Hawaii Island for any future potential lava flow.
The terrain at Kohala Kai is dry and rocky. Over the ages, natural drainage systems have etched themselves into the landscape. Maintaining and integrating the natural drainage elements of the property into the landscape design would be the optimal approach.
Given its young geological age, Hawai‘i Island generally has less beach formation along its rocky coastline. Along the Kohala Kai coastline, there are small bays with pebbled beaches for comfortable ocean access.
The ocean waters off Hawaii Island transition from sparkling aquamarine blue against black ‘lavascapes’ along the coastline to stunning cobalt blue in the deep waters just off-shore. The pristine quality of near-shore waters is evident in its crystalline clarity in which schools of yellow tang can be seen from the shoreline. Whales, spinner dolphins and a variety of colorful tropical fish populate these waters. Excellent conditions exist for diving, snorkeling, swimming, paddling and additional ocean sports. .
Kohala Kai is on the leeward side of the island and care should be taken to design for coastal conditions and weather events.
Climate & Weather
Protected by the leeward side of the Kohalas and Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano on the planet, the region is extraordinarily dry. The natural habitats in Kohala range across a wide rainfall gradient in just 11 miles - from less than 5 inches a year on the coast near Kawaihae to more than 150 inches a year near the summit of Kohala Mountain. The Kohala Coast is famous for its sunny, tropical weather. Days with sunshine average 357 out of 365 days of the year; rainfall averages about 7” annually; humidity is typically at about 48% and an average temperature of about 78 degrees are common year round..
Sun & Wind
In Hawaiian leeward lowland areas, dry weather prevails except for occasional light trade wind showers which drift over from the mountains to windward and during rare major storms. In some leeward areas, an afternoon sea breeze is common, especially in summer.
The heart of the trade winds cross Hawaii from May through September when the trades are prevalent 80 to 95 percent of the time. From October through April, Hawaii is located to the north of the heart of the trade winds. Nevertheless, the trades still blow across the islands much of the time, though with a frequency which has decreased by 50 to 80 percent in terms of average monthly values.
The dominance of the trades and the influence of terrain give special character to the climate of the islands. Finally, the trade winds provide a system of natural ventilation much of time throughout most of the State and bring to the lower laying regions, the mildly warm temperatures that are characteristic of air that has moved great distances across the tropical seas.
Completely cloudless skies are extremely rare, even though much of the time any dense cloud cover is confined to the mountain areas and windward slopes, while the leeward lowlands have only a few scattered clouds. Showers are very uncommon, yet, while some of these are heavy, the vast majority are light and brief-—a sudden sprinkle of rain and that is all. Major storm systems may influence all parts of the islands.
There is the fundamental diurnal cycle of night and day, and because Hawaii is in such a low latitude this cycle shows less variation in length than is found in any other state.
The low density and expansive lot sizes at Kohala Kai have been developed to provide an opportunity to design homes, guest cottages and support buildings with magnificent panoramic views.
The ocean and coastline are a major focus; light and clouds change the vistas throughout the day and spinner dolphins (year round) and humpback whales (throughout winter and spring) enjoy their native habitat just offshore. The sunsets are always spectacular whether fiery reds and oranges or subtle pastels.
To the east, upland views of the Kohala Mountain range, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa offer a pleasing contrast to the vast expanse of blue Pacific Ocean to the west.
With the introduction of cattle in 1793 and successive waves of non-native plantings, Kohala Kai’s native ecosystem has changed dramatically from its natural state. With a broad variety of native plants to choose from, the re-introduction of native and compatible introduced species is encouraged in the landscaping throughout Kohala Kai. An excellent example of a native landscape palette may be seen in Kohala Kai’s entry cul du sacs.
Separated from the nearest major land mass by more than 3,000 miles of open-ocean, wildlife on Hawaii Island was completely isolated from other species until the arrival of the first humans. The earliest colonizers arrived via wind, water and storms with successful colonization occurring only about once every 35,000 years! In all, 2,000 species successfully took hold here initially, evolving eventually to 12,500 unique species, representing a very high ratio of species found nowhere else on Earth.
Kohala Kai lots 5, 6 and 7 have recorded archaeological sites located within their property lines. Buffer zones have been surveyed and easements designated around each site. Care must be taken to avoid disturbance of these historic sites. The ancient Ala Loa Trail traverses Kohala Kai’s entire coastline and lies within the proposed designated Conservancy Easement of land fronting all home sites.
The majority of the Project is located within the State Land Use Agricultural District and is subject to Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 205. As such, the entire Project is being designed and developed as an agricultural-residential subdivision, with all lots to be used for farm dwellings and other agricultural purposes to the fullest extent permitted by the Declaration and applicable law. Each owner of a lot shall control, to the maximum extent possible, and as permitted by all relevant laws, ordinances and regulations, the agricultural uses within such owner’s lot in accordance with the Declaration. A minimum of 51 percent (51%) of each lot shall be reserved for agricultural uses. Owners should refer to the Declaration for additional information.