Things To Do

Ki'i protecting the Hale o Keawe

This wooden Ki'i (image or statue), is Ku-I-Ke-Alai. It is the only ki-i protecting the Hale o Keawe that represents Ku, the god of war. 

Discover and Experience Ancient Hawaii

At Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau 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 papamū (stone playing surface) in the Royal Grounds and challenge a partner to kōnane. 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).

Cultural Demonstrator prepares  the net of a cape to which Ti leaves are woven.

Cultural demonstrator prepares the net of a cape that Ti leaves will be woven onto. Commoners wore this cape for protection from rain and snow.

Discover and experience ancient Hawaiian culture by hiking, taking photographs, or studying the natural resources.

  • View some unique remains of a former civilization by hiking the 2 mile round-trip, 1871 Trail to Ki'ilae Village. The hike returns via the coastal trail and the picnic area. A trail guide is available at the visitor center.
  • Observe the honu, green sea turtles, foraging for food in the shallow waters of the Keone'ele (royal cove) or basking in the sun on the rocks.
  • Identify the native flora that grows throughout the park and discover what cultural or medicinal benefits each plant provided.
  • Experience the natural beauty of the land and ocean by exploring a tidepool, birdwatching, or learning about Hawaiian marine life.
Cultural demonstrator removes outer bark of the paper mulberry stalk by using a wooden mallet.

Cultural demonstrator uses wooden mallet to remove the outer bark of the wauke (paper mulberry) stalk. The inner bark was used to make kapa (cloth).

NPS Photo

Witness the Fascinating Work of the Park's Cultural Demonstrator

If you are visiting the Park during the weekend, you may have an opportunity to witness the hana nō'eau (traditional skills) of nā kanaka maoli (native Hawaiians) or listen to the fascinating tales of the wā kahiko (times past). Kahaka'io Ravenscraft, the Park's cultural demonstrator and descendant is a traditional craftsman and implement maker. He is a wonderful story teller full of knowledge. Look for him in the small hālau (thatched structure) where he is perpetuating the ancient traditions and recalling the stored history of our wahi pana (legendary places).

Did You Know?