• The Sacred Hale o Keawe Heiau Protects the Pu'uhonua

    Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

The Royal Grounds

In the past, chiefs entered the royal grounds from Keone'ele Cove by canoe. The pu (conch shell) is sounded to warn of thier approach, for it is forbidden for others to look upon or even cast their shadow on the ali'i (chiefs). As the canoe makes land fall, other members of the royal court stroll past the royal fishponds, looking for a choice fish for dinner. Other chiefs my engage in a game of konane. The spectacular golden colors of sunset play upon the vast ocean. The beauty, splendor and history of the royal grounds at Pu'uhonua o Honuanua are still felt as you take a self-guided walking tour along the trails once reserved for Hawaiian royalty.

The Royal Grounds are still considered a sacred site. Therefore, the following restrictions are in effect. No smoking, nudity, beach chairs, mats, towels, beach umbrellas, coolers, picnicking, weddings, pets and recreational activities are permitted. Please help to preserve the Royal Grounds for future generations.

Did You Know?


Did you know that Bernice Pauahi Bishop planted one of the two historic coconut groves located in the Royal Grounds? As the story goes, the coconut grove was located in the area east of Keone‘ele Cove. The grove was planted sometime after Charles Bishop purchased the entire ahupua‘a of Hōnaunau in 1867 and subsequently gave it to Bernice as a gift. Historic testimonies indicate that men from surrounding area dug the holes and Bernice placed the nuts inside with her own hands. The coconut planting ceremony was then followed by a great feast.