This is another in our Top 10 Hawaii posts. The Place of Refuge is a sacred historic site located on Honaunau Bay south of Kona and 4 miles North from Kealakekua. In ancient times Hawaiian sacred laws, the Kapu, were harsh, and the penalty was frequently death. If an offender could reach the Place of Refuge before being arrested, he would be set free.
Since the only undefended access was across a shark infested bay, few were successful.
The Walking Tour
The site offers a self-guided walking tour of restored walls, buildings and life size wooden gods. The inner Great Wall 10 ft high and 17 ft thick. Large green sea turtles, locally known as Honu, frequently pull up onto the beach to rest and sun themselves.
Tidepools Hold Teen’s Interest!
To be honest, the actual historic site was not real interesting to our teen and tween and after a short walk through the grounds they were ready to head out. Given that the Refuge is a bit off the beaten path we had brought a cooler and lunch and took advanatge of the very attractive picnic area that is part of the grounds. The tables are shaded with a delightful view of the ocean and lava rock tide pools.
It was those tide pools that held our kids interest! They spent at least an hour climbing around the rocks and pools investigating.
The grounds also include a rustic 2-mile trail blazed in 1871, known aptly as the Trail of 1871. A good snorkel spot, know as Two-Step, is located just outside the grounds.
As usual on the Big Island, bring sunscreen, lots of water and be flexible. Having our own picnic and an easy going schedule that left us time to enjoy the unexpected tide pools made this a highlight of the trip