$3,200,000 | 5 BD / 6 BA | 22.35 ACRES | MLS# 659851
Ka loko in the Hawaiian language means “the interior,” as of something inside another thing, like a pond of water is inside of or surrounded by land. The place called Kaloko on Hawai‘i Island is an ancient aquaculture village, with well-engineered fishponds (loko i‘a) and sturdy rock walls (loko kuapā). Generations of families made a life here. They used a net to catch young fish in the ocean and moved them into the ponds to grow large. The sea walls kept powerful waves from damaging the ponds.
But that is only one aspect of the Kaloko region. There is another, higher area, twelve miles above the shoreline, where the cool cloud forest is filled with songs of native birds. Here in Kaloko mauka (in the uplands) people may have worked as farmers or gatherers of plants for medicines, hula, or ceremony. Some may have been bird-catchers, highly skilled hunters who captured birds to pluck a few of their prized feathers, then released them into the trees.
Kaloko is an example of ahupua‘a, a land division that extends from the mountains to the sea. Controlled by a chief, the ahupua‘a contained all of the resources needed for daily life. Its name comes from the words for altar (ahu) and pig (pua‘a), so called because at year end, the commoners would leave a pig on the altar—which marked the border between properties—as sacrifice or tribute to their chief.
Today’s Kaloko mauka is still a very special place. And although it is occupied by some human residents, its misty upland acreage contains vast parcels of untouched forest reserve and bird sanctuary. It is rare that a large, developed property becomes available in Kaloko mauka. When it does, there is nothing like it anywhere on the island.
Such a property is this Kaloko mauka “village.” A kind of loko itself, this one-of-a-kind estate is surrounded by 22.35 forested acres including both native and introduced plantlife. Koa and ʻōhiʻa groves are serenaded by birdsong; fruit trees and 500+ rosebushes fill the air with fragrance. The elegant, plantation-style manor house has four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, fireplaces, modern kitchen with koa cabinetry and a formal dining room. A wraparound lanai on the ground floor and huge wooden deck upstairs offer sweeping, 180-degree views of the Kona coastline.
Separate buildings for kitchen, workshop, agricultural storage and office, plus two climate-controlled greenhouses, gazebos and a unique geodesic dome complete the “village.” The dome is a story unto itself, a work in progress full of promise as a magical yoga studio, artist retreat or other creative gathering space. Concrete driveways with artisanal rock walls meander through the beautifully landscaped grounds; pillars, stairways and gates lead to open-air gazebos, quiet pools, and waterfalls.
The property is equipped with municipal water, cable, and cellphone access. There are two 10,000-gallon water tanks, on two County water meters, for the fire department that double in use for landscape irrigation. There are also two County electric meters along with photovoltaic system, with backup generators for each building.
But it’s the natural, serene location that truly sets this Kaloko mauka property apart. Although feather-gathering is no longer common practice, it’s not uncommon for today’s birders to see Hawaiian species such as I‘o (Hawaiian Hawk), ‘Elepaio, ‘Apapane, ‘I‘iwi and common ‘Amakihi, along with introduced birds like pheasant, Erckel’s Francolin, Kalij and a few parakeets and other adapted cage birds. Not far away are large tracts of land belonging to the Honua‘ula Forest Reserve, established by Governor’s Proclamation in 1906, to preserve the large koa trees. From its original 665 acres, the Reserve has grown to 8,489 acres now under its protection. To the north and east is an even larger tract, the 37,600-acre Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Forest Preserve.
In Kaloko mauka, this ultra-private sanctuary for the soul is in search of a new steward to love and to give some TLC. Property is being sold in As Is Condition, but to be honest, “as is” is pretty spectacular.