Macadamia nuts are one of the ‘signature crops’ of Hawaii – and they are good for your health!
These nuts grow on trees, and there are many macadamia trees on the Big Island: over 17000 acres. If you are interested in sampling these local gems, you can either visit a macadamia nut orchard and collect and crack them yourself, or you can buy macadamia nuts at one of our farmers markets or supermarkets.
Visit a Macadamia nut orchard on the Big Island
If you want to visit an orchard yourself to buy macadamia nuts you can do so at several places.
Near Hilo: the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation
the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation (website) is the world’s largest processor of macadamia nuts and has a visitor center that is located six miles south of Hilo. You can take a self-guided tour of the processing plant (viewed from the outside on a second-floor walkway) and visit their gift shop with homemade macadamia ice cream for sale and free samples of every flavor variation sold by the company.
Near Honokaʻa: the Ahualoa Family Farms
The Ahualoa Family Farms is the proverbial “new kid on the block” when it comes to local macadamia nuts. They manage orchards all over the Hamakua coast from which they sell products in the “Nut House” – their commercial kitchen and nut store located just on the edge of the heart of Historic Honokaʻa Town. More information on their website.
Near Waimea: the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
If you are on the Kona coast try the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company (website) on Maluokalani Street in Kawaihae. They have a visitor center with free samples and you can take a self-guided tours at their plantation.
Macadamia nuts in local food and candies
Macadamias are used in many different foods, ranging from macadamia nut coffee to macadamia nut pesto to macadamia nut butter. The nuts can be eaten raw or roasted, whole or chopped. Our personal favorite macadamia snacks are chocolate covered macadamia nuts. We heartily recommend you try some if you happen to see them at the market!