The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the town of Waimea, which in the native tongue means, "reddish water". It was given this name because of the color of the streams that flow from the hapu' forests in the Kohala Mountains just north of town. It is 32 miles northeast of Kona, 43 miles northwest of Hilo, and roughly a 30 minute drive from the Waikoloa Resort. However, the Waimea-Kohala airport is just 2 miles southwest of town, giving travelers easy access to all of Waimea's attractions.
Unlike most of Hawaii's coastal resort-style living towns, Waimea offers a different view to Hawaiian culture. Parker Ranch, dating back to 1809, is one of the town's historic paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) ranches. Abundant in horses, cattle, and lush green rolling hills, there's no better place to see the countryside by horseback or ATV. The Kohala Mountain Road stretches north out of Waimea giving visitors a beautiful quaint drive towards the town of Hawi. Along the way, you'll have views of Haleakala on Maui across the Alenuihaha Channel and the western Hawai'i coastline. For the stargazers, Waimea is a great starting point to rent your 4-wheel drive vehicle and head to the observatories on top of Mauna Kea. These telescopes are some of the best in the world and provide breath taking mountain top views of the universe.