On the North Coast of the Big Island lies the Hamakua coast, one of the most beautiful stretches on the entire island. Rainwater from the northern flanks of Mauna Kea along with snow from the summit of the great mountain flows down in countless streams along this part of the Big Island. The result is a mecca of stunning waterfalls and valleys. One such amazing falls is Akaka Falls and its surrounding State Park.
Sugar cane was the crop of choice once upon a time along this coast, but those times have ceased to exist today. Today this stretch of Hawaii is primarily used for transportation between the east and west sides of the island. The main belt Highway (Highway 19) runs along the coast as the fastest route between Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Highway 19 often flirts with its predecessor, the Old Mamalahoa Highway, on which some amazing places and views can be found.
Today the North (Hamakua) Coast begins at the entrance to Waipio Valley, a once flourishing indigenous Hawaiian community, and ends at the outskirts of the Hilo region on the east side of the island. Certain portions also include connections to the Saddle Road region.