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Camping -- Kona Coast

Vancouver, BC
2 posts
Camping -- Kona Coast

Aloha!

My husband and I are students with a last-minute opportunity to flee the Canadian winter and see some sun on the Big Island--the only catch is that we can't afford a hotel and wish to camp. We have family staying in the Waikoloa resort and would like to be near them (their condo is full, unfortunately), but the state parks with tenting sites are quite a distance from where we want to be, as we will be getting around on bicycles.

Any advice?

Anyone know of any non-state camping locations? Cheap hostels in the area?

Mahalo!

J & P

Vancouver, BC
2 posts
51. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

Thank you, everyone, for your advice and information.

And, to typicallytropical and KamaainaK in particular, I am sorry. I realize that you are only trying to help visitors to your beautiful corner of the world have a safe and positive experience. I had read some widely varying reports on what is and is not possible in the way of camping and cycling on the island, and had felt defensive about what I perceived to be a prejudice against travellers who don't have loads of money to spend on resorts. I shouldn't have attacked you verbally or questioned your intentions.

The upshot here now, is that we will be renting a car, with perhaps a few cycling day trips added in -- we are not triathletes, but we are avid cyclists who love to experience new places on two wheels whenever we can.

We still plan to spend a few nights at Spencer Beach, but will also be staying in an "off-the-grid" hostel near South Point for a couple of nights. And we may even book into a hotel for our last night or two, depending upon availability.

As for the food thing, I've been to the grocery store in Waimea before, it's not a far drive from our campsite, so I know that we wont have to eat out every night. And I've eaten in restaurants in Kailua-Kona before, and know that we wont have to spend $140 per meal. But this is all I really can say I know for sure -- part of the wonder of traveling is experiencing the heretofore unknown, wouldn't you agree?

So, thanks again, everyone! Your input has helped us plan our trip better, and I appreciate your time and energy. I promise to attempt more balanced, and less emotional, posting in the future.

And if anyone cares to find out how this mini-saga ends, I can post a synopsis when we get back!

Mahalo,

J & P

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
52. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

Don't worry about it, it's easy to misunderstand forum postings. Have a great time on your vacation, but be careful (very careful!) at Spencer. It's a heaven for the homeless and the druggies. There are several local "hole-in-the-wall" restaurants in Kona and Hilo where you eat for $10-$15.

Hawaii
Level Contributor
41,029 posts
4 reviews
53. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

Hi Just wed,

thank you very much for taking the time to extend the olive branch and you are very right that my only concern (and no doubt the same with TT) is that you get a realistic picture.

This is a good time of year to bike and I do suggest you head north towards Hawi. The highway is much quieter than Hwy 19, with all its big trucks, and the view really is to die for.

I think I've looked at the same hostel in Ka'u on the net and it looks interesting. That is, I've seen one and I doubt there are two.

I'm glad you're getting a car because without one you couldn't get to South Point and Waimea would be tough. You are lucky that the price of gas is down to about half of what it was last summer.

I am most definitely not in any way prejudiced against budget travel, and am myself a budget traveler, so I'm glad you realized that ...

I spoke to my son who camped at Spencer for a couple weeks back in January of '05, about how he took care of their stuff. He said what he and his dad did was to get a storage box that locked and chained it to a tree. You will probably use your car ... ;-) He said they had nothing there of any value, but even the camp supplies they did stow away.

He also told me that when they stayed the place was a disaster because a big wind storm had come two days prior and literally flattened all the tents. If you look back in the topic you'll notice Dan cautioned you about the wind, and it is a reality of the area. It comes and goes, but in winter the strongest winds come up.

So .. I hope you miss the winds and I'm glad you're not staying there the entire visit.

Thank you again for making nice! Refreshingly different.

For a good cheap meal, if you like fresh fish, check out Ono Fish and Chips behind Tommy Bahamas, on the lake, at Kings' Shops Waikoloa. Better and fresher than anything at the Food Court at Queens.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,468 posts
125 reviews
54. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

To be accurate...TTs 10 to 15 is per person each meal, no tip or tax, single plate. no liquor or drinks..... Its hard for me and my wife with a simple breakfast bacon and eggs rice and coffee to spend less than $29-30. Cheapest dinner ever was $75 for 2 at the outrigger...with a discount!!!! of 20%

I find am average not fancy dinner, drinks ,wine,2 course main and desert tip and tax seldom is under $120...

The plate lunch places are selling plate lunch at 11 to 14 @.... not $4.95 A beer and a burger in Oceanview is $10.

Not my goal to scare...but to prepare visitors... to the reality they might face ; better to budget for more and spend less than the other way aroung.

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
55. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

You are correct Dan, I should have been more specific. You can get a one plate lunch/dinner and a soda for $10-15 at Ba-Le, Don's Chinese Kitchen, Kamuela Deli, Kona Mix Plate and Royal Jade Garden, all in Kailua-Kona. You order at the counter and they either will call your name to pick up your order or they will serve you.

56. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

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57. Re: Camping -- Kona Coast

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