Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site


The founding of the Hawaiian kingdom can be directly associated with one structure in the Hawaiian Islands: Pu'ukohola Heiau. The temple was constructed to incur the favor of the war god Kuka'ilimoku. Built between 1790-91 by Kamehameha I (also known as Kamehameha the Great), together with chiefs, commoners, men, women and children. As British sailor John Young looked on, the temple was built and dedicated, a chief rival was sacrificed, and the war god Ku was pleased. Kamehameha I waged several subsequent battles using Western military strategy and weapons to extend his control over all Hawaiian Islands. The monarchy he established lasted 83 years, from 1810-1893. Authorized by Congress on August 17, 1972 (86 Stat.562.)Acreage - 85.30; federal 60.93, non-federal 24.37. Pu'ukohola Heiau and property of John Young who fought for Kamehameha during the period of his ascendancy to power.


Seasonality / Weather

Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is open daily 7:45am-5:00pm
(including Federal Holidays).

The Park entrance gate closes by 4:30pm daily.



Plane - Keahole international airport by inter-island carriers and some major airlines have direct flights from the continental U.S.

Car - The park is on the northwestern shore of the island of Hawaii in the district of south Kohala. The access road to the visitor center is located on 62-3601 Kawaihae Road, off Route 270. One-quarter mile (.4km) north of Highway 19 intersection.

Public Transportation - Taxis, tour buses, and rental cars. Rental cars may be rented at Hilo and Kona airports.