"Pu`uhonua `O Honaunau" Honaunau by BlueCollar

Honaunau Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 19 photos

Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park (poo-oo-ho-noo-uh o ho-now-now). It's on the west side of the Big Island south of Kona. It's sometimes referred to as the Place of Refuge (that is the translation of Pu`uhonua).

Many things of old Hawai`i were considered kapu.....against the law. You could never let your shadow cross that of an ali`i, which is a high chief, or allow a man and a woman to eat together. These are but a few kapu that were punishable by death. And if your crime was too severe, your whole family was executed. But if you could manage to outrun your pursuers and make it to this temple you could perform a few rituals with the priest and all was forgiven. Also, warriors who lost in combat would come here for forgiveness.

This National Park sits on the actual historic grounds and is the most authentically recreated temple on any of the islands. It was in use into the 1800's until King Kamehameha outlawed the kapu system. This place of refuge ceased to be needed and was abandoned.

Click here for my travel tips on this beautiful place.

Click here for the National Park Service website.

The more you explore the islands, the more you'll run into the name Bishop. This prominent family still has holdings of land to this day that cover much (if not most) of the State. As this plaque at the Park atests to, the Bishops donated this land to the people.

Don't forget to check my travelogues for this place. They are here and here. The second one is of a most interesting lava tube near the park.

For my general travel tips and info on getting to and around the State of Hawai`i, click here.

For more Big Island sites, click here.

Return to my Big Island page.

Return to my main Hawai`i page.

  • Last visit to Honaunau: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (2)



“Get out and explore!”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 9 3 4
Forum Rank:
0 0 8 4 4

Badges & Stats in Honaunau

  • 2 Reviews
  • 16 Photos
  • 1 Forum posts
  • 1,590PageViews

Have you been to Honaunau?

  Share Your Travels  

Photos in Honaunau

See All Photos (16)


See All Friends (3)

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)