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Kawaihae is about 35 miles North of Kailua-Kona, off Highway 270 which heads towards Hawi and Pololu. Kawaihae is a large deepdraft manmade harbor that includes a fuel depot, shipping terminal and military landing site. It is the port of entry for many goods to the Big Isle.
The small town features a handful of quality restaurants, stores, and art galleries and makes a good pit stop after / before visiting a nearby beach or on your way around the island.
To the north of the harbor is the Kawaihae Canoe Club and a small boat ramp.