Visit Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park or Place of Refuge
Enter this sacred place of refuge called Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and discover a hidden paradise where history and nature intertwine. This breathtaking sanctuary in Hawaii offers a gateway to ancient Polynesian culture, captivating visitors with its stunning landscapes and rich heritage.
While visiting and exploring the sacred grounds where ancient Hawaiians sought refuge and forgiveness, and delve into the stories that shaped this extraordinary place. From towering royal temples to pristine beaches, embark on a journey through time that will leave you spellbound. Join us as we unravel the secrets of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, where tranquility and history converge in perfect harmony.
Why is this considered a place of refuge?
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park holds a significant place in Hawaiian history as a sacred sanctuary, known as a “place of refuge.” In ancient times, it served as a haven where individuals could seek refuge and find forgiveness for their transgressions, even in the face of breaking local laws. The park’s boundaries encompassed a space of spiritual and cultural importance, offering protection to those who sought it.
Within its sacred grounds, individuals could escape punishment and receive a second chance at redemption, preserving the delicate balance between justice and compassion in ancient Hawaiian society. This extraordinary tradition makes Pu’uhonua o Honaunau a unique and revered place in Hawaiian history.
Where is Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park located?
To reach Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, there are a few transportation options available:
By Car: The most convenient way to get to the park is by car. From Kailua-Kona, take Highway 11 southbound for approximately 20 miles. Look for signs indicating the park’s entrance on the right side of the highway. There is a parking lot available for visitors.
By Public Transportation: If you prefer using public transportation, you can take the Hele-On Bus Service. Take the Kona to South Kohala Resort route, which stops near the park entrance. However, keep in mind that bus schedules may vary, so it’s important to check the current schedules in advance.
Guided Tours: Another option is to join guided tours that include transportation to the park. Various tour companies offer organized trips from different parts of the island, providing transportation, guides, and additional insights into the park’s history and significance.
Remember to check the park’s official website or contact the visitor center for the latest information on transportation options, as they may change or have specific guidelines due to various factors.
What to see around Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park located?
Place of Refuge Beach (Hōnaunau Bay): Adjacent to the park, this picturesque beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Its calm and clear waters are teeming with colorful fish and coral reefs.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau Visitor Center: Within the park itself, the visitor center provides valuable information about the park’s history, culture, and significance. It’s an excellent starting point to learn about the area before exploring further.
Royal Grounds: The park features a reconstructed royal compound where Hawaiian chiefs once resided. You can explore the impressive structures, including the Hale o Keawe temple, which holds the remains of Hawaiian royalty.
Ancient Hawaiian Fishponds: Just outside the park, you’ll find the fascinating fishponds, known as “loko iʻa.” These intricate systems were designed to cultivate and harvest fish, showcasing the ingenuity of ancient Hawaiian aquaculture.
Canoe House: the typical shelter for the royal canoes, this reconstructed structure is large enough to shelter the canoes or used for different purposes. You’ll occassional find volunteers staffing the canoe house doing local crafts and answering questions.
Details to visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
After finding a parking spot and paying your fees, check out the visitors center and get a DIY map to exploring the Place of Refuge and participating in any of the talks and other tours planned for the day. You can easily follow the map to the main attractions to visit along the way and enjoy the views at the same time.
The address for Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is:
1871 Trailhead Drive Honaunau, HI 96726 United States
The operating hours for Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park are from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week. The park has extended hours during the summer months, typically from June through August.
As for admission, the entrance fee is $20 per vehicle, which is valid for seven days. Alternatively, visitors can purchase an individual pass for $10 per person, also valid for seven days. Children 15 years and younger can enter the park for free.
Learn more about the Taboo system of Hawaii here for more details and information
More inside tips to visiting the place of refuge
When visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, here are some inside tips to enhance your experience:
Ranger Talks and Programs: Take advantage of the ranger talks and programs offered at the park. These informative sessions provide valuable insights into the history, culture, and significance of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. Check the park’s schedule to see if any talks or guided tours are available during your visit.
Snorkeling and Swimming: Pack your snorkeling gear and bathing suit as the park offers fantastic opportunities for snorkeling and swimming. Explore the crystal-clear waters of Hōnaunau Bay, known for its abundant marine life and vibrant coral reefs. Remember to follow any posted guidelines and respect the fragile ecosystem.
Picnic Area: Bring a picnic lunch or snacks to enjoy at the park’s designated picnic area. It’s a perfect spot to relax, recharge, and soak in the serene surroundings. Remember to clean up after yourself and dispose of trash properly to help keep the area pristine.
Explore the Royal Grounds: Take your time to explore the reconstructed royal grounds within the park. Marvel at the intricately carved kiʻi (wooden statues) and learn about the significance of the Hale o Keawe temple, which houses the remains of Hawaiian royalty. Respect the sacredness of these areas and refrain from touching or climbing on any cultural artifacts.
Carry Sun Protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential items to protect yourself from the strong Hawaiian sun. The park offers limited shaded areas, so it’s crucial to stay protected to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion.
Respect the ‘Āina (Land): Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is a sacred and culturally significant site. Show respect for the land, wildlife, and cultural artifacts by staying on designated paths, not removing any items, and refraining from any activities that may cause damage.
Nearby attractions close to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
There are several attractions and points of interest to explore around Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Here are some notable places to see:
Kealakekua Bay: Located nearby, this stunning bay is known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling, kayaking, and observing dolphins and sea turtles.
Captain Cook Monument: Situated at Kealakekua Bay, the monument commemorates the site where the famous British explorer Captain James Cook met his untimely end. It offers a glimpse into Hawaii’s history and offers beautiful views of the bay.
These nearby attractions offer a variety of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical significance, complementing the experience of visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.
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Conclusion to visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
In conclusion, visiting Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is an enriching and awe-inspiring experience that allows you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Hawaii. From the sacred grounds and royal temples to the pristine beaches and vibrant marine life, the park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.
By following the inside tips, such as attending ranger talks, snorkeling, and respecting the land, you can make the most of your visit and leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for this remarkable place of refuge. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park truly offers a journey of discovery and connection to the ancient Hawaiian world.
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