[Big Island Day 2] Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

After the lunch at Cafe Pesto, we stopped by Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site before heading south. Again, I should’ve stayed longer and walked around the site.

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site


Heiau means temple. This heiau was built by Kamehameha the Great, who conquered other islands of Hawaii and united them into the Kingdom of Hawaii. The temple was finished in 1791 with the purpose to gain the favor of the war god.

What we did

We stayed at the visitor center and saw some exhibition of the great king. I have to admit that I didn’t really read any of the texts and didn’t know this site is about temples. Of course, we didn’t walk out to see the temples. I once again missed a great chance to understand Hawaiian history, when visiting historic sites are the preferred activity rather than laying on beaches.


Like other historic sites on Big Island, I need to come back and fully explore temples and understand the history. Stopping by and taking a picture is not enough!


Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
62-3601 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, USA

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