Anyone else in need of a virtual vacation today? How about the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii? Let’s make a stop at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
Today we are excited to share some photos and info about this unique National Park Service unit. It’s part of the history and heritage preserved in Hawaii’s National Parks. We hope that with these 4 reasons you’ll add Pu’ukohola Heiau to an upcoming national park itinerary and Hawaiian vacation bucket list!
4 Reasons to Visit Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
- Learn how to say “Pu’ukohola Heiau” (or at least learn what a heiau is). Standing guard along the Pacific Ocean, Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site preserves the largest heiau (temple) in Hawaii. The ancient Hawaiian people in this area built heiau as places of worship and to pay homage to the Hawaiian gods. In addition, the protected space continues to have sacred meaning for the Hawaiian people. Spiritual leaders from the community come to the site for ceremonies and traditional worship.
- See one of the oldest structures in the National Park Service. Pu’ukohola Heiau was built in the 1790’s by Hawaiian King Kamehameha. That also makes it one of the oldest structures in the entire National Park System. While the structure has been repaired and restored, the true sense of the heiau remains.
- Imagine the ultimate ‘DIY’ project. Building the 16-20 foot walls of heiau was no small task. The stones were placed by hand after traveling more than 25 miles. No carts or wheels for King Kamehameha. The stones were passed hand to hand by more than 100,000 laborers in a human chain.
- Scope out the shores for sharks and whales. Pu’ukohola Heiau stands above a bay that is one of the best areas on the Kohala coast to spot sharks. Black-tipped reef sharks frequent the waters here, especially in the morning hours. Also, visitors who arrive in the winter months may see humpback whales from the look out points.
Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site Info
Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Road
Kawaihae, HI 96743
Park is open daily (including all Federal Holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.