Kaloko-Honokohau National Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is located just north of town, and south of the Kona Airport. This national park is a bit off the beaten path, but offers a unique look out how early Hawaiian settlements survived on the Kona coast. Honokohau meaning "bay drawing dew," refers to the ancient settlement on the south part of the park and can be reached by trails that extend from the visitor's center. The park itself features many coastal sights including four different ahupuaa (traditional sea to mountain land divisions), as well as heiau (sacred temples) and kii pohaku (petroglyphs).
Nature Lover's Paradise
With its tide pools and beaches, Kaloko-Honokohau National Park is a great place to see incredible wildlife and nature all around you. Walking the dirt trails, you are bound to see interesting vegetation, birds, and fish in the clear water. It is also a known spot for sea turtles. We recommend going early in the day and depending on the time, sea turtles can be found in the shallow waters grazing on marine plant life and sunning themselves on the beach. Just be careful with them and follow the rules - you must stay 20 feet away from them for their safety. Check at the ranger station for possible free tours and talks on our half-shell friends.
'Ai'opio Fishtrap and Tidepools
Be sure to check out the the 'Ai'opio Fishtrap. This pond uses a stone wall to create an artificial enclosure along the naturally curved shoreline of a bay. When the tide is high, small openings allow young fish to enter from the sea, but as the tide receded, they were trapped as easily caught with nets.
During a sunny day, the beaches can be hot. So we recommend bringing plenty of water, hats, and sun screen. Also, this beach is rough, so treat it more like a hike. Bring good, comfortable hiking shoes to traverse the rocky lava terrain. While you are walking the trail, be sure to check out the petroglyphs, old fish ponds, old lava fields, and sea turtles basking in the sun.