The Place Of Refuge
One of the most interesting things to see on the Big Island is known as the Place of Refuge or Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, now a Nationational Historic Park located just a few miles away on Honaunau Bay.
In ancient times, the local people believed in a set of laws, called "Kupa," that had to be followed at all costs. They were so important that breaking them was punishable by death - a sacrifice to the Gods.
Your only way out? An all-out run and swim for Pu'uhonua, the Place of Refuge, pursued by warriors. If you made it through, a ceremony of absolution was performed and all was forgiven.
The Pu'uhonua (place of refuge) protected the kapu breaker, defeated warriors, as well as civilians during the time of battle. No physical harm could come to those who reached the boundaries of the Pu'uhonua and had been absolved from their sins.
Today, the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau is one of the Big Island’s National Historical Parks where you will still feel the spirit of peace and forgiveness as you walk through the seemingly untouched grounds, see ancient relics and learn about the history of the ancient Hawaiians.
The park, located just five minutes from Dolphin Bay House is one of the best places on all of the islands to learn about Hawaiian history and culture.
You may have seen photos of the many Ki’i or carved wooden statues surrounding the Hale o Keawe temple, housing the bones of the chiefs that infuse the area with their power.
The park is also a wonderful spot for whale and spinner dolphin viewing. It backs up to the Hōnaunau Bay where you can catch glimpses of the whales from November through March. You may also be entertained by a group of dolphins showing off or some of the beautiful Honu, or green sea turtles.
We are so fortunate to have this National Historic Park almost in our backyard, our guests love it as much as we do.