Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park


Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T! 


Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi includes the Honokōhau Settlement, a NHL archaeological site. The park preserves, protects and interprets traditional native Hawaiian activities and culture.


The ancient Hawaiians recognized the the interdependent water cycle of the mountains and the sea. Mist from the oceans covers the mountains in the morning, becoming rain in the forest during the day, returning fresh water to the lands through natural springs. The chiefs divided the lands so that each community was a strip that ran from the mountains to the sea.


Kaloko and Honokōhau are the names of two of the four different traditional land subdivisions encompassed by the park. The visitor center is near the ocean. We ubered over there from our cruise ship.


From the visitor center, we took the Ala Mauka-Makai trail. This trail to the beach is just under a mile. It winds through a desert of lava fields, with many interpretive displays along the way.


We took a short boardwalk loop off the main trail to see some ancient petroglyphs and then continued on to the beach.


Honokōhau Beach has black and white sand, a reconstructed grass hut and is close to the fish-traps and ponds that were once used by the villagers to insure a constant food supply.


A fish-trap allowed fish into a man-made bay through an opening at high tide. The women netted the fish as they tried to leave through the opening. The fish pond was a huge step in the Hawaiian’s development, allowing the fish to be held until they grew large enough to eat.


There were endangered green sea turtles sunning themselves on the sand in the early afternoon. Scroll down for videos of a big guy pulling himself back into the water. For Hawaiians, the Honu is a symbol of good luck, and we certainly felt lucky to see them!


Kona Posts:

Ruddy Turnstone

Location: Kailua, HI 96740

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designated or established: November 10, 1978

Date of my visit: 4/17/2019