Saturday, March 20, 2010

Best Kona Destinations: Place of Refuge

The Place of Refuge is a fun, family-friendly destination on the Big Island near Kailua-Kona.  It is a beautiful, historical spot that visitors of all ages will enjoy.  Plan to spend about an hour and a half here exploring the old Royal Grounds and heiau.  The Refuge is also a National Park known by the Hawaiian name of "Pu'uhonua o Honaunau."  The entrance fee is $5 (per vehicle).

This ancient place has an aura of peacefulness and magic.  The refuge was a sacred area where law violators could flee to obtain sanctuary from pursuers.  Many women and children, kapu breakers, and men too feeble to fight in war sought shelter here from certain death.  The grounds are gorgeous, with graceful palm trees, fish ponds, impressive carvings, reconstructed buildings, and an impressive lava wall.  

Bring your camera - there are a lot of photo opportunities here.  I recommend visiting in the morning when the air is cooler and the light is good for pictures.  To learn more, visit the national park's website at:

There is a rocky beach within walking distance of the entrance to the park called Two-Step.  This is not a sandy beach, but it's good for snorkeling.  If you want to swim, go south to Hookena Beach Park or just a couple miles north to Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

Directions from Kailua-Kona:  Take Queen K/Mamalahoa Hwy 11 south to Napoopoo Road.  This road is easy to miss - look for a sign that says Kealakekua Bay.  The road snakes down to the beach.  When you get to the bottom of the hill, there will be a fork in the road, go right towards the ocean.  When you get to the ocean at the dead end, turn left onto the 160 hwy (a one-lane dirt road).  Travel this little road for a couple miles and the Refuge will be clearly marked by a sign on your right.

No comments:

Post a Comment