Set on more than one thousand acres of land between Kaloko and Honokohau Harbor, the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park includes several important cultural sites as well as three beaches.
Aiopio Beach is just north of the harbor and provides a protected area that makes it a great beach for children. Ancient Hawaiian fishponds are located at the nearby Honokohau Beach. South of the harbor (to the left of the entrance) is Alula Beach.
Within the National Park is an ancient heiau (sacred place of worship) as well as the ancient stone footpath that was known as the King’s Trail, or Mamalahoa Trail. A large section of this historic footpath has been restored.
Also located in this area are ancient burial caves. Some say this is the region in which King Kamehameha I was secretly buried. Petroglyph sites in the Park feature carvings in the lava rocks depicting the lives of Hawaiians centuries ago.
The fishponds at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park include Kaloko to the north and Aimakapa to the south. In these ponds fish such as amaama (mullet) and awa (milkfish) were allowed to enter from the sea. Trapped in the fishponds, the fish grew larger and provided food when needed.
Another interesting feature of the park is a site where holua sledding took place. Papa holua (wooden sleds) were used to slide down steep ramps lined with pili grass and tassels of sugarcane.
A large, brackish pool in the lava rocks is known as Kahinihiniula, or Queen’s Bath, about 200 yards (183 m) from the north end of Honokohau Beach in the middle of a lava flow. The pool is spring-fed yet also affected by the ocean tides.
The entrance to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park is located north of Kailua-Kona off Kaahumanu Hwy. (Hwy. 19) between Mile Markers 96 and 97. You can also access the park from Honokohau Harbor.