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“Great Pacific Park”
Review of Pu'ukohola Heiau

Pu'ukohola Heiau
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$223.96*
and up
Hawaii Island Experience
Ranked #6 of 16 things to do in Kawaihae
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A stone temple built by King Kamehameha in 1719.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

What a great hidden gem. For a small location, it is full of factual Hawaiian history both written and visual. The rangers were so helpful and pleasant to talk with - it's always a plus for me when an employee exhibits pride in their work. The site is clean, and maintained as to not take away from the history it is there to tell/show you about. The gift shop is full of Hawaiian history items. A quick must stop if you enjoy learning about the culture and history of Hawaii.

1  Thank avoma42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 - 90 of 114 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2012

Of the 4 National Parks on the Big Island, this one provides the best historical perspective of the islands. The Visitor Center, which includes a gift shop, and Ranger's presentation are excellent. The trail, which isn't difficult to walk, provides a close view of the massive war temple, too. If the whole family isn't into checking out the National Park, the Samuel. M Spencer State Park is right next door with an excellent beach for the whole family.

1  Thank Fun4AnT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

For those with the gut and the gumption for understanding the history of real Hawai'i, the big island awaits, but it isn't all aloha and leis, it includes a past that like most national pasts, earned its peace and unification through war and human sacrifice. In 1791, this heiau was the center of the action. King Kamehameha's hula (spiritual advisor and prophet) told him if he wanted to unify the islands under his single rule, to first build a temple to the war god Ku. This he did with the help of his soldiers who literally moved mountains, or a mountain of stone over Kohala to build the foundation of this architecturally significant and magnificent structure. He was then told to invite his cousin and rival chief Keouato of Ka'u to the island where, upon his embarkment at Pelekane Beach, adjacent to the heiau, Kamehameha I, ordered him to be murdered and his body brought up from the beach to be sacrificed upon the altar as an offering to the Gods. Indeed, this action gave Kamehameha I power over Ka'u as well as the power to negotiate peace with the other islands not yet under unified control of a single king. By 1810, Kamehameha ruled over all of the islands and in peace. This temple should not be missed as it is still the site of sacred practice in Hawai'i and provides one with an unsantized understanding of how the foundation for the kingdom of Hawai'i was earned. Why it is not more highly regarded in architectural circles is beyond me.

1  Thank leslieness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

You see these heiaus around the island but here you can really get up close and personal. The visitor center is great with warm, friendly staff. You can use your cell phone (but not necessary) to narrate the 30-minute walking loop. Excellent history lesson!

1  Thank minnesotajul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

A wonderful opportunity to marvel at human ingenuity, strength and pure numbers. This National Historical site is wonderfully presented with a small visitor's center that provides informative background for the walk to the heiau. There are times of the year when celebrations bring this site to life and share the Hawaiian culture with visitors and residents. I love to bring visitor's to this place. They always are thrilled that I did. I vacationed and lived here full time many years before I discovered this site. I am so thankful that I did. I have a much better understanding of Hawaii history and the culture. Don't miss this.

1  Thank wahinetraveler06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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