"Endless is the good that I have given you to enjoy." – Kamehameha I

How many places in America can you walk in the footsteps of a king? Where else has a stranded sailor risen up to become a great chief over an entire island? Where else can you experience the culminating event of a people, foretold from centuries past? Where else can you stand on a beach and watch as sharks pass over a submerged temple? Experience all this and much more – only at Pu'ukoholā Heiau!

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5 minutes, 31 seconds

During the late 1700's, the island of Hawai'i was in a midst of a bloody civil war. "The Foundation of a Nation" tells the epic story of two great warrior chiefs - Kamehameha and his first cousin, Keoua Ku'ahu'ula. When their entangled destinies and fates are forever memorialized at Pu'ukohola Heiau, a nation is born. For Hawaiians today, Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site continues to be a symbol of unification and lasting peace.

An aerial view of the heiau structure.
Pu'ukohola Heiau

Pu'ukohola Heiau NHS is open all year round and shares the history of the beginning stages of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Hot Hawaiian Day
Explore The Outdoors

Palm trees tall and still. Clear hot sunny blue sky with a light breeze and cool water. Paved trail open for walkers.

Pu'ukohola Heiau, Mailekini Heiau, and Pelekane Bay
Dedication and Determination

A temple build by a king and his warriors that stands tall in unifying the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler.

A temple that unified the Hawaiian Islands under one ruler.
View of heiau and offering tower.

Kamehameha I and his warriors built this temple by passing water worn rocks from Pololu Valley over 20 plus miles. Completed in one year.

View of entrance to the Visitor Center, with a blue sky in the background.
Plan Like A Park Ranger! Top 10 Tips

Plan ahead starts from home. Explore the new NPS app before booking your next trip.

Last updated: December 20, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Road

Kawaihae, HI 96743


808 882-7218

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