Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory
Whether you prefer to savor the simplicity of the freshly roasted nuts or indulge in chocolate-covered macadamia nut shortbread, visiting the facilities not only comes with an array of free samples but also recipes on how to recreate the delicacies at home. The factory is a popular stop on many tours of the Hilo area. You can join a tour that visits on the way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or alongside attractions such as the Liliuokalani Gardens and Rainbow Falls.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A great stop for food lovers and free sample enthusiasts.
- Take time to read the informative plaques on the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) drive in through the orchard.
- The gift shop sells a variety of macadamia nut treats in addition to other souvenirs.
- Don’t miss the handmade macadamia nut ice cream.
How to Get There
The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory is located off of Highway 11 on Macadamia Road. The turnoff is 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of Hilo and 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can visit by car or on many Big Island tours.
When to Get There
The gift shop is open daily from 8:30am to 5pm but the factory is closed on Sundays and holidays. The main macadamia nut harvest takes place in summer and fall so plan your visit then if you want to watch the action. To see the orchards ladened with white blossoms, visit in late winter or early spring.
The History of Macadamia Nuts in Hawaii
While many people associate macadamia nuts with Hawaii, the tree originated in Australia and was brought to Hawaii in 1881. The first plantations began in Hawaii in 1921 and the original Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut plantation was established in 1946. It takes macadamia trees 15 years before they produce consistent commercial crops. The trees from the original plantation still produce the nuts that are sold in the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory gift shop today.
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