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Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Gets Water

Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Finally Gets Well

If you ever thought that you had to move to Alaska to find people with the pioneer spirit, you would be wrong.  Hawaiian Ocean View Estates first started selling “lots” back in the 1960’s.  Hawaiian Ocean View Estates is located on the Mamalahoa Hwy/Hwy 11 between the Kona-Kau boundary to the north and Naalehu/Waiohinu to the east.

Growing up, I spent my summer and Christmas vacations with my grandparents in Naalehu and how everyone felt sorry for the “crazy haoles” who had bought lots.  They were marketed on the mainland and sold as “ocean view” property. And, technically, that’s true.  You can see the coast, which is about 5 miles away and probably 1500 feet below the slopes of Mauna Loa that Hawaiian Ocean View Estates spreads over.

A lot of people, mostly retired, bought their piece of Hawaii and arrived after having sold all their property back home, and were shocked to find that their “subdivision” sat in the middle of nowhere!  It’s a 45 minute drive to Kailua or a 20 minute drive to Naalehu and another hour to Hilo.

All there was was lava rocks and lehua trees!  Roads were simply crushed rock that bulldozers had cut through all the lava to make lots accessible.  There was no electricity, no water, no sewer, no phones…no services of any kind.  As you can imagine, most people were shocked, heart-broken and angry.  Many chose to make their way back to the mainland.  A few hardy souls stayed and made the most of the situation.

The original “settlers” made due with kerosene lanterns and stoves and built rain catchment systems for their water needs.  Some bought generators, but most did without.  If you’re not familiar with the conditions, you should know that “gardening” on lava fields is next to impossible, unless you truck in tons of dirt to place on top.  So, even living in the tropics did not provide any fruits or vegetables for them.

Over the decades since, more people have moved in.  Electricity was brought to the subdivision.  They built a community center.  They built their own fire department…still with no water.  And, they have been fighting to get a well dug to provide clean drinking water to the community since the 1990’s.  The county has made water available by bringing a water truck that residents could fill their containers.

Communities without water was not uncommon in Hawaii at that time.  My great-grandmother lived in the Holualoa Kona-coffee district on a coffee farm and had an outhouse and rain catchment system.  I vividly remember seeing an old tobacco pouch tied to the water spigot to catch whatever might have fallen into the water tank.  If I remember correctly, they finally got water brought in to them in the 1980’s.

The containers will remain in use as this new “water system” consists of a well, a storage tank, and enough piping to have two spigots available for people to use whenever they choose.   So, while they still don’t have indoor plumbing, but progress is progress!

Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Well Dedicated

So, it was with much anticipation that their well was dedicated and the tap turned on last week, on July 5th. provided coverage, which you can see at

Ocean View Comes of Age

You can find the community listed on maps as Ocean View.  They have a couple of gas stations, grocery stores, a handful of restaurants, located right along Mamalahoa Highway.  Many of the residents work in Kona and make the commute daily, some taking the county bus that makes the run several times a day.

So, as you can see, the pioneer spirit is still alive and well as demonstrated by the residents of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Kau, on the Big Island.  It hasn’t been easy, by any means, but they are a resilient bunch of people that are happy to have their own well.  A stark contrast to the Hawaii that most tourists experience completely unaware that they have driven through such areas.

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