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The tour begins at Waipi’o on Horseback Ranch, a working livestock ranch and farm operation sharing exclusive views of enchanting Hamakua. This scenic opportunity allows travel through a traditional land division (Ahupua’a) that stretches from the mountain to the ocean and is home to native flora and fauna.
The journey begins from the high lands and native forests and meanders onto the open range of the middle and lower ranch. You will ride beside the old Hamakua Ditch, an engineering masterpiece, which was the irrigation lifeline of Hawaii’s past sugar cane industry, an industry that thrived for 100 years. You then cross the ranch to a spring-fed reservoir where the ranch raises Hamakua sunfish for consumption. Here also, Waipi’o Hawaiian horses frolic and take leisurely swims. Dwarf coconuts, breadfruit trees, kukui nut, sugar cane, taro, sweet potato and multiple varieties of heirloom bananas are just some of the plants you will see.
Next the ride descends toward the ocean passing through portions of the old Hamakua Highway. You will enjoy panoramic sloping views as we ride on lower grass-lands where tiny donkeys known as Kona Nightingales bray their evening songs. The scenery reaches a climax as our trek draws near majestic ocean cliffs with a superb view of the pounding Pacific and dangerous surf below. Here you will travel under a canopy of ironwood trees through remnants of an old Hawaii village. Marvel at the “dry-stacked” rock walls, cattle enclosures, tunnels and trails that will surely conjure up visions of old-time Hawaii commerce and travel!
Near the ocean, you’ll take a short break, survey the blue-greens of the distant Waipi’o Valley north face, and if youare lucky, you may see whales courting or dolphins and turtles playing. Then back on your ATV for the trip up the range and to the end of our ride.