"Petroglyphs and Keawe" Puako by triplehelix

Puako Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 45 photos

Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Site

Petroglyph - petros "rock"; glyphein "to carve" (Greek) -- Etched symbols in rocks; Practical use of communication in ancient and recent history.

In ancient Hawaii, there was no written form of language. History and events were passed down via word of mouth. Petroglyphs may have been the only form of written accounts left by the ancients. That seems to be the popular consensus anyway. Their reasons are not "set in stone", pun intended.

The Puako Petroglyph Archaeological site in South Kohala is one of the better known places to view these. You may notice at the entrance how they were moved or placed. Several years ago, a construction company had planned to develop the area. Upon ground breaking, the workers inadvertadly destroyed the rocks. When they discovered what was in the area, all plans halted and a salvage went into effect. On the way through the keawe forest trail, you'll see sections with different meanings. At the end of the trail lies an amazing field with ancient markings etched in red lava flow.

Holoholokai Beach Park

Holoholokai is NOT a beach first and foremost. Many tourists and even some locals come down here assuming its safe for swimming. Most of the so called "beaches" on the Kohala-Kona coast are not so, they are shorelines. Hawaii state law decrees that all shorelines remain accessible to any and all. Approximately 95% of shoreline is accessible in one fashion or another. Some require registration with the county such as Shipman Beach along the Hilo-Puna coast (for safety reasons). The other 5% are in areas such as the small island of Ni'ihau which is privately owned by the Robinson family. Other parts of that may include Kaho'olawe which is uninhabbited but pose dangers due to unexploded ordinance.

After a long walk through dense brush and dodging mosquitos, walk on over to the shoreline area and enjoy an afternoon picnic. The county provides benches and tables as well as designated grill stations if you want a cookout. Personal "hibachi's" are not permitted since people are careless and may cause a fire in the dry brush.

There is a trail along the ocean front with tons of coral washed up on the shore. For someone who's never experienced it before, walking along this path can be dramatic with the sea air and cool winds blowing through.

Directions to Puako

According to one website, there are actually people who live here. I find it hard to believe unless they live near Mauna Lani Estates. There was one private home near the beach grounds but I didn't see any other. This area is very dry and far from town. If you do live here, you're probably a millionaire seeking quiet.

Pull up the map in the picture to see roughly where it is.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History and good exercise getting to it!
  • Cons:Low branches, treacherous grounds, bad trail markings.
  • In a nutshell:You are literally walking in the footsteps of the ancients...
  • Intro Updated Apr 6, 2006
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Reviews (11)

Comments (2)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2006 at 11:10 PM

    Nice effort here. I know you will have a fun time in the middle east---it will blow your mind...

  • cbeaujean's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2006 at 3:31 AM

    as some people know nothing about archeological sites in syria,so we do about hawaian ones!thks for showing them without forgetting cats friends!

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