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Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park



Site of the first extensive contact between Hawaiians and Westerners with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1779. Viewing of Hikiau Heiau, a traditional religious site, and the Captain Cook monument at a distance across Kealakekua Bay. (4.0 acres)

Allowed Activities
Wildlife Watching

Additional Information


  • Falling Rocks
  • Dangerous Shorebreak 
  • Strong Current


  • No Motorized Vehicles/ATV's
  • No Boat Landing or Launching
  • No Alcoholic Beverages
  • No Camping
  • No Smoking
  • No Commercial Activities

Available Amenities

  • Picnic Pavilion
  • Restroom
  • Trash Cans
  • Water Fountain
  • Scenic Viewpoint


  • Boat Tours
  • Sightseeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Wildlife Viewing

Visiting Ka’awaloa Flats

In order to access the land at Ka’awaloa Flats (the location of the Captain Cook Monument), visitors have two options:

  1. Hike from the uplands via the historic Ka’awaloa Trail.
  2. Take a guided kayak tour through one of the three permitted commercial vendors (see list below).

Transiting the bay by individuals is allowed so long as the vessel has a valid permit (both private and commercial rental vessels). Permitted vessels are prohibited from landing at Ka’awaloa flat, or launching from Napo’opo’o wharf. Visitors DO NOT need to acquire permits when renting a kayak, but must confirm from the vessel owner that the vessel they rent possesses a valid permit for transiting the bay.

2019 Ka’awaloa & Kealakekua Bay Permits

In January of 2013, the DLNR initiated a new management activity to improve the quality and sustainability of this heavily visited and significant cultural and natural resource by regulating the use of a variety of vessels in the water and on land at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

A primary issue for the change in management strategy is the proliferation and use of unpermitted kayak rentals being conducted at the historic Napo’opo’o wharf, as well as, the subsequent impacts to the adjacent community, cultural resources, user’s experience, safety and quality of resources at Ka’awaloa Flats.

*NEW: Effective June 1, 2019, Commercial permitted kayaks are required to have State Parks issued decals affixed to both sides of kayak bows. The Commercial Kayak Permit Decal Instructions form should accompany Commercial Permit Applications if applicable.*

Entrance Fee



Daily During Daylight Hours