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

    Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau

    National Historical Park Hawai'i

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 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).

 
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.
 
Charlie Grace Resurfacing the Naopio, koa wood canoe

Charlie Grace resufacing the NAOPIO, koa wood canoe

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?

green sea turtles at Kenoe'ele Cove

Did you know that the green sea turtle does not have a green shell? It gets its name from the green color of its fat that results from the turtle's diet of seaweed.