Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

big island/kailua kona
Adventure/Public Recreational

Kailua-Kona,, 96740

Freshwater Springs, Fishing



Hours of Operation:

    8:30 AM–4 PM
Freshwater Springs, Fishing

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park

The Big Island's Freshwater Fun

Honokohau, a coastal area abundant in archaeological wonders, holds a rich historical significance. Inhabited for centuries, this stretch of the coastline is a repository of ancient relics and cultural heritage. As a testament to its cultural importance, Honokohau was designated as the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park in 1978, dedicated to the preservation of its historical treasures, and the best part is, admission to this cultural haven is free.

At first glance, one might be surprised that people thrived in this seemingly barren and rocky terrain, with particularly harsh 'a‘a fields prevalent in many areas. However, the key attraction of this region was its freshwater springs, a precious resource that the Hawaiians ingeniously harnessed. They skillfully utilized the freshwater to create large fishponds for the cultivation of mullet and various other fish, signifying their resourcefulness and sustainable practices.

Located just south of the airport, the park offers multiple access points between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors can access the park from a parking lot situated near mile marker 97 on Hwy 19, just north of Kailua-Kona. Alternatively, a gravel road between mile markers 96 and 97 leads to Kaloko Fishpond. Honokohau Harbor, accessible from the paved road between mile markers 97 and 98, also serves as an entry point to the park.

A short stroll north from the harbor brings you to ‘Ai‘opio Beach, where you can observe numerous turtles gracefully navigating the clear waters. This area, once an ocean fish trap, is ideal for family outings, featuring a protected environment suitable for children. At the southern end of the beach, you'll find an impressive heiau named Hale o Mono, showcasing the cultural heritage of the region.

Continuing to the north, you'll reach Honokohau Beach, known in the past for its association with nude sunbathing. However, it's important to note that such activities are no longer permitted, and violations are strictly enforced. This expansive stretch of salt-and-pepper sand offers suitable swimming conditions at its center.

At the south end of Honokohau Harbor, you'll encounter 'Alula Beach, a small and picturesque crescent of sand. This beach provides a tranquil setting for sunbathing, with relative protection during calm seas. A short walk south from 'Alula Beach leads to an impressive sea arch, a natural marvel to explore.

Please note that swimming near the harbor itself is not recommended due to heavy boat traffic and the regular presence of a 16-foot tiger shark named Laverne. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural and natural heritage of Honokohau.

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical ParkThe Big Island's Freshwater FunHonokohau, a coastal area a ....

Read More