Ahuena Heiau Temple in Kamakahonu Bay, Kona, Hawai’i

Kamakahonu Bay is situated in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The name Kamakahonu comes from the Hawaiian words for ‘the turtle eye’ and it is believed that it originated from a rock shaped like a turtle that is now located under Kailua pier.

The locals have nicknamed the bay’s beach ‘children’s beach’ as it is one of the safest for swimming in Kona due to its shallow waters and gentle waves.

The Ahuena Heiau Temple on the Big Island of Hawaii is temple of King Kamahameha the Great. It was the king’s personal refuge and his home for the last few years of his life. The temple was built by King Kamahameha I, when he returned to the Big Island in 1812, to honour Lono, the God of fertility. The King died in this temple in 1819 and his remains were taken to a secret burial place. The temple is now highly respected and no-one is allowed inside or on the grounds surrounding it.

When King Kamahameha I died his son, King Kamahameha II, broke the ancient Kapu system, a highly defined regime of taboos that provided the framework for the traditional Hawaiian government. During this time the people’s spirituality declined and the temple’s sanctity came to an end. Decades later the temple underwent some restoration but it was not until 150 years later that a community based committee, Ahu’ena Heiau Inc., formed and an accurate restoration project was undertaken.

In the 2011 tsunami some parts of the temple were damaged including Anu’u Tower, where the Chief Kahuna would go deep into a trance and receive messages from the gods.

By the temple are several tall ki’i akua (statues of god). The tallest statue has a wooden bird standing on its head. This bird is the golden plover, which was said to have lead the ancient Polynesians to Hawaii.

Inside the lobby of the nearby Marriott’s Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel there is an exhibit on the history of the area and its inhabitants. Beautiful paintings depict the history of the island, the temple and the life of King Kamehameha.


7 night Hawaiian Islands cruise with UnCruise Adventures


  • http://www.to-hawaii.com/big-island/beaches/kamakahonubeach.php
  • http://www.ahuena.com
  • http://www.hawaiiweb.com/ahuena-heiau-hawaii-the-big-island.html
  • http://mokuaikaua.com/?page_id=1812

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Ahuena Heiau Temple in Kamakahonu Bay, Kona, Hawai’i

by Uncover Travel time to read: 2 min
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