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Mookini Heiau

Island of Hawaii, HI
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Ranked #145 of 246 Attractions in Island of Hawaii
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Monuments/ Statues
Description: Spiritual place thought to be the birthplace of King Kamehameha.
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11 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Eugene, Oregon
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014 via mobile

We tried to do the Mo'okini Heiau/Kamehameha birthsite trip twice. The first time Fodor guidebook and AAA map in hand we tried to find it. We drove up and down the side roads and got as far as the airport. No sign, no people. Then we went to the visitor center in Hawi and found out that it used to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
23 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

My husband loves to visit the extraordinary so we jumped in the rental and headed out to King Kamehameha's birthplace. We couldn't find it because it isn't marked from the highway and our Hertz Never Lost GPS just wouldn't acknowledge the King. So we stopped at the North Kohala Welcome Center. They were extremely nice and pulled out a map... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

We visited here while exploring the northern end of the Big Island. It's quite an adventure to get here. The long road down to the airport (with the windmills on the right) is beautiful - green fields, that amazing blue water, Maui looming in the distance. At the airport, turn left down the narrow dirt road. We had a Nissan... More

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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

I have been wanting to visit this place for years, and so, on a recent trip, my little boy and I hiked out to it while we were staying in Hawi. First of all, I said hike - the road to it is unpaved, so we couldn't drive there because a) we were in a Ford Fiesta and b) our... More

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Cleveland, OH
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Visiting the Mo'okini Heiau recently reminded me of the title of the classic travel book by Dave Finkelstein and Jack London: at one very out-of-the-way spot in the Australian Outback they were told by a local "there's a lot greater nowheres than this!" The heiau is probably one of the more remote spots on the Big Island it's possible to... More

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Vancouver, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We've been down the little road to Upolo Airport many times to see the wind turbines but never made that left hand turn to go to Mo'okini Heiau. As other reviewers have said, the dirt road is fine if it's dry, otherwise after some rain, it will be a mud pit in some sections. We drove our 2WD vehicle just... More

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Pinole, California
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

Don't go there with your regular 2WD rental car. Well, you can drive most of the dirt road, but at some point you might need to leave the car parked on the side. We did. And walked about 15 mins to the Heiau, then from there continued on to Kamehameha's birthplace as well. But don't do it in midday sun.... More

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
65 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2011

Read the history elsewhere. I'll tell you how to get there. Directions are nearly impossible to find. It takes patience to find this heiau. DO NOT ATTEMPT AFTER A RAIN OR W/O HIGH FOUR WHEEL VEHICLE. The road is deeply rutted in spots but w the right car you'll have no trouble. There are no markings at all for this... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
3 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2011

I hesitate to write this review because part of the experience of visiting the Mo'okini Heiau is the solitude that you feel there. I would hate to see it overrun by tourist who have no respect for ancient things. Being there is a powerful experience no matter what your religion. There is a quietness there with just the sound of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
Madison, WI
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2010

One of the most powerful experiences I've had was on the north coast of Hawaii, at Mo'okini Heiau, a Luakini or place where tens of thousands of Hawaiians were sacrificed to the war god Ku. A large, barren, stark place, seemingly cold on the otherwise warm island of Hawaii, not many visit the place. The ones that do usually go... More

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