Hawaii’s Port of Kona

The Port of Kona or Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii’s Big Island

It does seem confusing as the name of the island group is Hawaii, the name of the state is also Hawaii and the name of the island chain’s largest island is Hawaii too. This Pacific group of islands sits over a strong geological “hot spot” where magma erupts from the sea floor forming new land out of the volcanic cones. While the “hot spot” is fixed the Earth’s crust is moving north northwest leaving a chain of new islands behind. The newest and largest island in this chain is “The Big Island” of Hawaii which also explains why it is newest and is still dotted with a series of active volcanos.

Kona is one of the towns on Hawaii’s biggest island and it is the most undeveloped.

Kona is a favorite stop for cruise ships visiting the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Famous for its coffee, beaches and Volcano National Park on the island.

Where the Tenders Dock

There are no docking facilities so cruise ships anchor out, using tenders to get ashore. The tenders will dock right at the intersection of Palani Road and Ali’i Drive in the heart of town. Ali’i Drive runs along the waterfront and there are a number of restaurants and shops. Going straight up Palini about a mile will bring you to a Walmart, Post Office, Grocery and a Home Depot.


The actual town is small and pedestrian friendly. If you want to get out into the countryside the best option is to rent a car which are available at a few agencies right in town.

Wheelchair Accessibility

Disembarking – This is normally a tender port as large cruise ships cannot be accommodated at its piers. Wheelchair bound passengers will encounter challenges both in getting on tenders as well as disembarking at the pier.

Port City Characteristics – This port has an average wheelchair infrastructure and the port area has moderate inclines in sidewalks. Intersection crosswalks may have curbs or other wheelchair obstacles.


Hawaii is a state in the United States and the currency is the U.S. Dollar. ATMs are readily available and most credit cards accepted.


Kailua-Kona is a town on the west coast of Hawaii Island (the Big Island) with a few sites located near town. Hulihee Palace is a former royal vacation home dating from 1838. Mokuaikaua Church, from the 1800s, is Hawaii’s oldest Christian church. On Kailua Bay, reconstructed thatched houses at Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark are erected on the site of King Kamehameha I’s residence. There are a number of good coral reefs which located just off Kamakahonu Beach. Kona is also near to Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park with some nice hiking trails.

The “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest and southern-most island in the State of Hawaii. It is home to The Volcano National Park which includes Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s most massive shield volcano. The other major town on Hawaii is Hilo on the southeast coast and another favorite stop for cruise ships.

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