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A Little About Kau

Kau is one of the six geographical divisions of Hawaii Island, occupying much of the southern part of the Big Island. Kau is bordered mainly by the nearby districts of Kona and Puna, as well as parts of Kohala and Hilo. Although there is a strong tourist presence in the Kau region, Kau also maintains an impressive agricultural component in the local economy. Like many other parts of Hawaii Island, Kau was originally an integral part of the sugar industry after it exploded in importance during the nineteenth century. Kau had rather expansive sugar cane fields until 1996, when the last major plantation was shut down. Today, Kau has a number of coffee fields, thanks to its ideal climate for coffee agriculture. In fact, Kau is home to Kau Coffee Festival, which is presented annually in the town of Pahala. Kau is also home to the South Point Wind Farm, which is a part of Hawaii’s governmental efforts to expand sustainable energy throughout the islands.


Kau is a largely rural region, and is most notably home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is the place to find Kilauea, an active volcano that annually adds acres of land to Hawaii Island. Visitors can also enjoy macadamia nut orchards and cattle ranches in addition to the peaceful Wood Valley close to Pahala. One of the most easily recognizable attractions in Kau District is the Punaluu Black Sand Beach, a scenic destination as well as a popular spot for swimming and body boarding. Kau is home to the southernmost part of the United States, Ka Lae, as well as an impressive expanse of lava fields in the Kau Desert. There is also a hidden green sand beach tucked along the coast near Ka Lae.

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