South of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, the small town of Honaunau is best known as the site of Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park (the City of Refuge) on the shores of Honaunau Bay.
The historic site is known as the City of Refuge as it contains puuhonua, or place of refuge which served as a sanctuary for those who had broken a kapu, or law. Also on the site is a sacred area known as Hale o Keawe where royalty was buried.
Honaunau Bay is a popular snorkeling area with large smooth lava rock flats fronting the bay and providing easy access to the water. The waters nearshore are about ten feet deep with coral reefs that are home to abundant marine life. Near the center of the bay the depth exceeds 100 feet providing great scuba diving areas.
The population of the Honaunau-Napoopoo region is about 2,500 people. The one public school in the region is the Honaunau Elementary School. Also located in the town is the historic St. Benedict’s Catholic Church (The Painted Church). Honaunau is located about 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona.