Hawai`i is one of most remote set of islands on Earth and Hana is one of the most remote places within the Hawaiian Islands chain. So it can be said that the Hana coast is one of the most remote places in the world. It is also unquestionably one of the most pristine and beautiful places in the world.
Hana was one of the earliest Polynesian settlements in the Hawaiian Islands dating back to approximately 700 AD. It is steeped in rich history and has always been famed and coveted for its natural beauty, fertile soils and strong mana (spirituality). Hana was once home to the ali`i, or chiefs of Hawai`i, and is famous as the home of the great chief Pi`ilani and the birthplace of queen Ka`ahumanu, the premiere wife of King Kamehameha the Great who united all the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler.
Like so many rural Hawaiian areas, Western contact along the Hana coast was cultivated with sugar from the 1840’s to the 1940’s. In 1927 the famed “Road to Hana” was built which opened up Hana to the outside world. The road runs from Pa`ia town to Hana town, a distance of about 40 miles. In 1930, Paul Fagan, a San Francisco financier, bought the Hana sugar lands, and in 1944 converted them to pasture lands for what is now called the Hana Ranch. These pristine and verdant pasture lands still surround the town of Hana and vicinity. Though the road has been paved and improved, there are still 54 bridges to cross to reach one of the last unspoiled areas of Hawai`i.
Hana today remains a magical place, with lush rainforests, waterfalls, endless tropical flowers and vast meadows tumbling down to the majestic Pacific Ocean. It is home to the world famous Hamoa beach and the magnificent black sand beach at Wai`anapanapa. There are approximately 1800 residents on the “Hana Coast” – a 50 mile stretch from Ke`anae to Kaupo. Hana is home to one of the last remaining native Hawaiian communities and the “locals” still radiate the graciousness and aloha of the ancient Hawaiian people.
Time goes slower here; there is no stoplight, no pollution and no rush hour. People wave at each other on the road. There are only two small grocery stores, one luxury hotel, a handful of vacation rental properties, two sit-down restaurants, an ever-growing number of roadside lunch stands serving diverse foods, local crafts and art and one gas station. There is no McDonalds, Starbucks or mall. In Hana, life is simple. The community resists development, and the locals want to keep it this way. As Realtors representing those who live in Hana, we strive to protect and embrace this way of life.