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Practicalities

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The largely open-air Kona International Airport, situated on a field of black lava nine miles north of Kailua, has the usual car rental places; otherwise Speedi Shuttle buses into town cost around $25 per person (t 808/329-5433, w http://www.speedishuttle.com).

Accommodation options in Kailua start in the north with the landmark King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Rd (t 808/329-2911 or t 1-800/367-2111, w http://www.konabeachhotel.com; $101–130), set around a picturesque little beach. Further hotels line the oceanfront Alii Drive for about five miles south; the pick for budget travellers is the simple, three-storey Kona Tiki motel, 75-5968 Alii Drive (t 808/329-1425, http://www.konatikihotel.com/; $61–80). Recommended restaurants in town include the sea-view Island Lava Java, 75-5799 Alii Drive (t 808/327-2161), and the Kona Brewing Co, 75-5629 Kuakini Hwy (t 808/334-2739).

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