Things To Do
Discover and Experience Ancient Hawaii
At Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, you can learn about and appreciate the richness and depth of Hawaiian history and culture.
A self guided tour takes you back in time as you explore the ancient Royal Grounds, which were once reserved for the chiefdom of Kona. Passing beyond the wall that borders the Royal Grounds you will walk onto the Pu'uhonua, where people found refuge after war or breaking a kapu (religious law).
Sit at the papamu (stone playing surface) in the Royal Grounds and challenge a partner to Konane. This game was enjoyed in ancient Hawaii by both the Ali`i (royalty) and the commoners. It was said that King Kamehameha the Great was an excellent player, sometimes beating his opponent in one move. Ask for the rules at the visitor center.
Take time to interact with Hawaiian cultural demonstrators. Learn about weaving, fishing, carving and other trades and crafts that dominated the lifestyle of the people who lived in the surrounding ahupua'a (district).
Discover and experience ancient Hawaiian culture by hiking, taking photographs, or studying the natural resources.
Witness the Fascinating Work of the Park's Cultural Demonstrator
If you are visiting the Park between Tuesday and Saturday, you may have an opportunity to witness the traditional craft skills of ancient Hawaiians or listen to the fascinating tales of the times past. Charlie Grace, the Park's cultural demonstrator, is a very skilled canoe and wood carver, fishing implement maker as well as many other traditional craft items, and is a wonderful story teller full of knowledge. Look for him in the small Hale (hut) where he may be crafting a fish net, carving a wooden image, or telling stories of the past.
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.