Puʻuhonua O Honaunau

By Courtney Waldfogel

“A place of Refuge and royal grounds south of Kealakekua Bay.”

Puʻuhonua o Honaunau is one of Hawai’i’s national parks located in Honaunau Bay in South Kona. Puʻuhonua o Honaunau will immerse you in Hawaiian culture, helping you better understand how hawaiians sought refuge from breaking the strict laws of the kapu system that was part of everyday life here on this island more than 700 years ago. The Kiʻi, or wooden statues, guard the temple of Hale o Keawe, and help to mark the boundary between the puʻuhonua and the nearby ancient Hawaiian village of Kiilae.

Hale o Keawe is a heiʻau, or temple, paying homage to the village aliʻi, or the 23 chiefs that ruled the island. Puʻuhonua is open daily from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m., except holidays.

For more information about this historic park and the ancient Hawaiian customs associated with it, or for a virtual tour, visit the National Park Service’s website.

Currently, all ranger led programs are suspended due to the pandemic. Check the national park website or call (808) 328-2326 for updates prior to your visit.

Two Kiʻi in profile

A solitary Kiʻi stands at the beach

Many Kiʻi in a cluster