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Ka'u is on the Big Island of Hawaii
Ka'u has unique facts. It is Hawaii Island's largest district in terms of land area. Ka'u encompasses the entire southern portion of the Big Island and borders touristy South Kona to the north, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the east.
|The entire Island of Oahu could be put into the Ka'u district and still have more land left over.|
Ka'u has the longest undeveloped coastline in all of the Hawaiian Islands and is the most undeveloped district. Ka'u has the highest unemployment in all the Hawaiian Islands. The largest land holder is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is the most popular tourist attraction, bringing in the single largest amount of income to the area through tourism. The second largest landholder may possibly be the state and county of Hawaii. The third largest landholders are probably those zoned for agriculture, and is the second biggest economic factor in Ka'u. There is local concern to designate more land zoned for conservancy. Hence, there is very little development in Ka'u and very few jobs. Most people who move here are retired or able to work out of their homes. Since jobs are scarce many commute to Hilo or Kona for work. The few jobs in Ka'u are mostly agricultural in coffee, macademia, fruit, vegetables, flowers, etc., fishing or raising cattle or sheep. Other jobs are mostly with the county and state or in the service industry. There was an increase in construction employment and real estate prices that peaked in 2005. However after the real estate market collapsed the prices have dropped, so you can find some real estate bargains with the Ka'u realtors.Development is locally discouraged by very local, vocal organized groups. Several proposed developments were stopped by these local residents such as the spaceport, a state prison and expanding the Sea Mountain Resort, (which was stopped by Save Punalu'u). For example, one group of developers tried to develop Nani Kahuku 'Aina which has fallen by the wayside. Another group of developers, Aina Koa Pono attempted to develop a biofuel plant near Pahala which was stopped by the local residents.
There are two golf courses in Ka'u, one in Discovery Harbor which is maintained by volunteers and one at the Sea Mountain Resort near Punalu'u, which is the only resort in Ka'u. The more popular tourist spots in Ka'u are the Black Sand Beach, the Green Sand Beach, and Southpoint. The last two are totally undeveloped yet receive thousands of tourists every year. The most popular tourist attraction is, of course, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are miles and miles of trails in this park with camping available.
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|The population of Ka'u today is a mix of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, Caucasians and early plantation laborers - the Portugese, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos - and descendants of the early Hispanic "paniolo" brought to teach roping and other cowboy skills. More mainlanders are moving into Ka'u since they are finding some good real estate deals and find the rural setting to their liking. Some locals are selling out so if you are in the right place at the right time, you might find what you are looking for in Ka'u.|