Permits & Reservations

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Sunset viewed from the Picnic Area through coconut trees and parked cars
The Picnic Area is a popular spot for large group gatherings, weddings, commercial filming, and more.

NPS / Jeff Walsh

 

A permit is required for the following activities:

Activities That Require a Permit in Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau NHP

Weddings

All weddings, regardless of size, must obtain a special use permit. Maximum group size for wedding ceremonies is 50 people. Weddings will be permitted for the Picnic Area only. See the Special Use Permits section.

Large Group Gatherings & Special Events

Gatherings with more than 25 people must obtain a special use permit. Groups can be no larger than 50 people. See the Special Use Permits section.

Filming & Photography

Please see the Filming & Photography section of this page for more information.

Commerical Activities (Business & Non-profit)

To operate a business, profit or non-profit, in Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park requires a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). This includes commerical tours.

First Amendment Activities Over 25 People

Please see the First Amendment section of this page for more information.

Special Use Permits

  1. Complete, sign, and return the Special Use Permit Application (PDF 583 KB) at least ten business days prior to the event. Events with unusual requests will require at least fourteen days and events with potential resource impacts, up to three months for consideration.
  2. Read through the Park Conditions for Special Use Permits to make sure your event will be appropriate for the Park. Inappropriate uses will not be authorized.
  3. Submit a check or money order payable to the "National Park Service" for $50.00, the nonrefundable Permit Application Fee.
  1. Weddings and wedding photography are prohibited in Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park except in the designated picnic area south of the great wall to the end of the parking lot.

  2. Weddings are limited to no more than 50 people.

  3. Potted plants, dried flower arrangements or other plants with seeds will not be allowed.

  4. All flowers and flower parts must be removed from the park.

  5. All guests including the bride and groom must pay the entrance fees unless they possess a valid park pass.

  6. Gathering of stones or coral for the construction of ceremonial walkways or to create messages is prohibited.

Phone Number:
808-329-6881 (x1400)

Email Address:
kahocua@nps.gov


Address:
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Hwy 160
Hōnaunau, HI 96726


Filming & Photography Permits

Statement

Effective October 28, 2022 and following a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on October 21, 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) functionally reinstated previous laws and regulations related to commercial filming in national parks. The NPS has rescinded the interim guidance that was in place during litigation and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks.

This means that all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Individual parks may require a permit for non-commercial filming if a permit is necessary to manage the activity to protect park resources and values, minimize conflict between user groups, or to ensure public safety. More details about filming and permits in parks are available online: Filming & Still Photography Permits (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

Questions & Answers

When do you need a permit to film in parks?

Under federal law, all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit. 423 units make up the National Park System, and includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Preserves, National Battlefield Parks, and more. A full list of parks in the National Park System is available online: National Park System (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

If you believe that your filming or photography activity may require a permit, you should submit a completed application to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible.

What is commercial filming?

"Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.

Do I need a permit for still photography?

In most cases, still photography does not require a permit. A permit is required for still photography only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s)*, sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. the NPS would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

*A “model” means a person or object that serves as the subject for still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service. Models include, but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, articles of clothing, and food and beverage products. Portrait subjects, such as wedding parties and high school graduates, are not considered models.

If I’m a social media influencer, do I need a permit?

Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube and TikTok. The primary focus of the NPS, however, is on commercial filming that has the potential to impact park resources and visitors beyond what occurs from normal visitor use of park areas. Examples of this type of filming are productions that use substantial equipment such as sets and lighting, productions with crews that exceed 5 people, and filming in closed areas, wilderness areas, or in locations that would create conflicts with other visitors or harm sensitive resources.

All filmers, no matter the size, must comply with all rules that apply in park areas, just like other visitors.

How do I apply for a permit?

Permit applications are available through each park's administrative office or website. Contact information for parks can be found on their websites; Find a park where you would like to film or take photographs. If you believe that your filming or photography activity may require a permit, you should submit a completed application to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible.

Some parks may require that you provide advance notice a certain amount of days before filming or photography begins. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.

How much does a filming permit cost?

Federal law requires the NPS to recover its administrative costs for commercial filming and still photography activities that require a permit. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the NPS in processing your request and monitoring the permitted activities. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of the permitted activities. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, Federal law also requires the NPS to collect a location fee that provides a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands for commercial filming and for still photography requires a permit. The NPS uses the following fee schedules for filming and photography:

Commercial Filming

  • 1–2 people, camera & tripod only - $0/day
  • 1–10 people - $150/day
  • 11–30 people - $250/day
  • 31–49 people - $500/day
  • Over 50 people - $750/day

Still Photography

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Permits issued for non-commercial filming may be subject to cost recovery charges, including an application fee, but a separate location fee will not be charged.

I received a filming permit before October 28, but I have not started filming yet. Are the terms of my permit going to change?

No. You may film consistent with the terms of the permit that has already issued.

  1. Determine if your filming or photography activity falls under the conditions that require a permit (see conditions in drop down menus below).
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY:
    1. If your photography activity requires a permit, fill out and submit the Application for Special Use Permit Still Photography [PDF, 689 KB].
  3. FILMING:
    1. Provide a written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity.
    2. The Superintendent will review the written notice and may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a Special Use Permit.

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.*
*Standard park entrance fees still apply.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • maintain public health and safety;
  • protect environmental or scenic values;
  • protect natural or cultural resources;
  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  2. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action. Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.
  1. The use of props and/or paid actors requires a permit.
  2. Wedding and group photography is limited to areas open to the public.
Phone Number:
808-329-6881 (ext1400)

Email Address:
puho_permits@nps.gov

Address:
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Hwy 160
Hōnaunau, HI 96726

Commercial Use Authorization

To operate a business, profit or non-profit, in Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park requires a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). All commercial tours that enter the park on a regular basis must have a CUA and are required to pay the commercial tour fee at the entrance station at each visit. The CUA is for commercial services that originate and terminate outside of the boundaries of the park. Activities such as advertising, soliciting, collecting fees or selling goods or services within the park boundaries are strictly prohibited.

Park fees include: $200 for the CUA and $7.00 per person upon all entry into the park (including walk-in and bicycle tours).

To be considered for a CUA you must complete the Commercial Use Authorization Application (PDF 180 KB) in its entirety and submit the completed application with payment to the park.

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
73-4786 Kanalani Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

PH: (808) 329-6881 x 1400
FAX: (808) 329-2597
E-mail: kahocua@nps.gov

If you have any questions, please call the number above or email us. We look forward to working with you and seeing you in the park.

As of October 21, 2020 - With the State of Hawaiʻi allowance of trans-pacific travel, the park will allow resumption of all road and non-road based tours on November 1, 2020 providing the following requirements are met by each tour operator:

  1. A valid, current Certificate of Insurance (COI) must be received and reviewed by commerical services staff prior to operating the park.
  2. A COVID-19 Operating Plan that describes what measures are being taken to adhere to current CDC, State, and County COVID-19 guidelines must be sent to the park’s commercial services staff prior to operating in the park. The CUA holder is responsible for implementing their COVID-19 Operating Plan and taking appropriate actions to ensure their COVID-19 Operating Plan procedures are followed by employees and clients.
  3. All tours must adhere to current CDC, State, and County COVID-19 guidelines per Condition 2 Legal Compliance of your permit.

Applications and Renewals for 2022 will be accepted through January 31, 2022.

Renewing CUAs will be given a grace period until January 31, 2022 to submit their applications because renewal documents were not available sooner.

New applicants must wait for their applications to be processed before doing business in the parks.


First Amendment Area

 
Satellite image of the parking lot with the first amendment area highlighted in red.


The First Amendment area is located in the last parking space across from the Administration building. The dimensions of the area are: 27 feet x 23 feet. One free-standing tent may be used in this area for protection from the sun.

  1. The sale of merchandise in the park is prohibited by Title 36 C.F.R. § 5.3 except for the sale of printed matter as defined in Title 36 C.F.R. § 2.52. Commercial notices or advertisements shall not be displayed, posted or distributed on park property. Printed matter will be limited to message-bearing textual printed material such as books, pamphlets, magazines and leaflets whose primary purpose is the advocacy, definition or explanation of a group's or individual’s political, religious, scientific or moral beliefs. PERMITTEE may also distribute printed material free of charge. All other forms of merchandise, including posters, coffee mugs, audio tapes, DVDs, video tapes, T-shirts, hats and other clothing materials may not be sold under this regulation.

  2. The free distribution of non-commercial message bearing electronic media to the public, such as CDs, DVDs, and other readable electronic media is authorized, but the PERMITTEE may not ask or demand payment or request a donation in exchange for these items.

  3. No fee may be collected or donations solicited, except for the sale of printed material as noted above. Donations may be passively collected if participants choose to make a donation, but not for the exchange of any product or service.

  4. First Amendment Activities are restricted the designated First Amendment area.

    1. The last parking space on the north side of the parking lot on the exit side

 

Last updated: November 14, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 129
Hōnaunau , HI 96726

Phone:

808 328-2326

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