Historic Sites: Big Island, Hawai’i – Part 2

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A lot of people go to Hawai’i and lounge on the beach or snorkel in the crystal clear waters. I, on the other hand, spent my time visiting historical and cultural sites. Here are some more of those sites from my trip to the Big Island in 2014.

 

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Established as a national park in 1916, this area has been home to Native Hawaiians for more than 1,600 years. Two volcanoes sit within the 323,431-acre park: Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the biggest shield volcano in the world.

Hilina Pali 2
Hilina Pali Road, (c) Alexandria Brown
Hilina Pali 1
Hilina Pali Road, (c) Alexandria Brown
lava 1
Pahoehoe is the smooth lava on the left, formed when low viscosity lava flows. A’a, on the right, is formed when high viscosity lava is ejected too rapidly to heat high enough to “melt.” (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
lava 2
Destruction in the wake of the 1974 lava flow. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
crater 1
Crater, (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
crater 4
Crater, (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
crater 2
Crater, (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
crater 3
Kīlauea Iki Crater, formed 1959. Words cannot describe how immense it is. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014

 

Pu’u Loa (Hill of Life) Petroglyphs contains over 23,000 images and motifs. The pahoephoe lava was created about AD 1200-1450. Descendants of the people from the Kalapana region to this day carve holes in the rock for the piko (umbilical cord) of a newborn for blessings of health and spiritual strength.

Pu'u Loa 1
Pu’u Loa petroglyphs, (c) Alexandria Brown
Pu'u Loa 2
Pu’u Loa petroglyphs, (c) Alexandria Brown
Pu'u Loa 3
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. (c) Alexandria Brown
Pu'u Loa 4
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. (c) Alexandria Brown

 

Onomea Bay

Historically, Onomea Bay was a fishing village known as Kahali’i. In the 1850s it became a key shipping port for Onomea Sugar Mill. Most of the vegetation comes from the sugar mill era; after the site was abandoned in the early 1900s it was quickly overgrown. The Bay abuts the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

Onomea 1
Onomea Bay, (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
Onomea 2
Onomea Bay, (c) Alexandria Brown 2014

 

ʻAkaka Falls State Park

This waterfall, not far from Hilo, falls 442 feet into a gorge.

akaka
(c) Alexandria Brown 2014

 

Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

There are more than 3,000 kii pohaku, or petroglyphs carved into lava rock, dating back to 1200 AD. The petroglyphs mark births and other important events in the lives of the people who lived in the area.

Puako 1
Kii pohaku. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014
Puako 2
Kii pohaku. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014

 

Upper Huehue Flow

The most recent eruption of Hualālai was 1800-1801. After Kilauea and Mauna Loa, it is the third most active volcano on the island.

lava tube 1
1801 lava tube. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014

 

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

Captain James Cook landed here on January 17, 1779. At first he was welcomed by the locals but after attempting to kidnap the chief he was executed on Valentine’s Day at this same spot. The monument to Cook is at the point of land to the left.

Kealakekua Bay 1
Hikiau Heiau was a luakini heiau built by King Kalani’opu’u. (c) Alexandria Brown 2014

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