Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park

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Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park preserves an ancient Hawaiian place of refuge. This was the second stop on our ‘Best of Kona’ excursion.
If you broke a law, any law, in old Hawaii, the penalty was death. The only way to escape that sentence was to flee to the sanctuary of a pu’uhonua. There, a priest would provide absolution to the law-breaker.
Just outside the walls of the sanctuary are the remains and reconstruction of temples, royal fishponds and a village  where the chiefs lived for generations.  The ancient nobility were buried here, but their remains were moved to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii in 1858.
We walked the path to the beach to see the Hale o Keawe temple and surrounding totems. From the lava jetty, we could see colorful fish swimming nearby. This is a sacred place, so snorkeling is not allowed, but one has only to stand at the water’s edge to glimpse the rich marine life.
Continuing on the path took us past some fish ponds and through a gap in the great wall, constructed of lava rocks.  Then we headed up to the visitor center to listen to a ranger talk before heading back to the tour bus.


Kona Posts:

  • St. Benedicts
  • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
  • Royal Kona Coffee (Coming Soon)
  • Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (Coming Soon)
  • Huliheʻe Palace (Coming Soon)
  • Mokuaikaua Church (Coming Soon)


Location: State Hwy 160, Hōnaunau, HI 96726

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designated or established: July 26, 1955

Date of my visit: 4/17/2019



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