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Kaunolu Village Site
Information about the Kaunolu Village historic site on the island of Lanai in Hawaii. The site was designated a national historic landmark by the United States Parks Service in 1962 and it was designated a national historic place in 1966.
SITE NAME: Kaunolu Village Site
- 3.5 mile long self-guided interpretive hike
This former fishing village, abandoned in the 1880s, is the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village. The archaeological site is very well preserved.
The site includes two historic villages straddling a usually dry stream bed known as the Kaunolu Gulch:
Kaunolu Village was on the west side of the gulch and Kealiakapu Village was on theeast side of the gulch
Ulaula Cave is a small lava tube near the village.
The site is located 9 miles southwest of Lanai City. on the southwestern tip of the island. The village site and heiau are located on the cliffs above the ocean and are open to the public. To reach the site take Hwy. 440 west of Lanai City toward Kaumalapau Harbor; go past the airport turnoff and take the next left on Kaupili Rd. (unmarked dirt road); go 2.5 miles to a yellow standpipe on the right; turn right onto a rough rocky road and descends downhill about 3 miles to Kaunolu Village.
Parking, a small picnic area, and an interpretive trail with signs are at the site. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to drive up to the site as the dirt roads are very rough. Be aware that rental cars may be prohibited from driving on the roads to the Kaunolu Village Site, particularly during the rainy season. Check with your car rental company before visiting the site. Alternatively, visitors can hike the 3 miles into the site. Visitors are asked to be respectful and refrain from removing any of the stones on and around the site or climbing on the walls. Visitors should also exercise caution, as some areas may be steep and rocky especially during rainy weather. Kahekili's Leap is a steep drop-off with no fencing or guardrails and visitors are advised to be careful near the edge. For more information and directions, visit the Lanai Visitors Bureau website or call 808-565-7600.
Things To Do In The Area
More InformationThe ruins of a Hawaiian village sit on top of some of the highest cliffs on the island of Lanai. Kaunolu was once an important fishing village on Lanai. Today is is an archeological site with petroglyphs, the ruins of about 80 houses, a place of worship called Halulu Heiau. The 90 foot cliff between this village and the ocean is known as "Kahekili's Leap".
It is said that this village was the summer residence of King Kamehameha I, but it has been uninhabited since about 1900. The site is now an interpretive park, meaning there is a trail with signs that describe what life in the fishing village was like.
Kaunolu Village has been designated by the United States as a National Historic Landmark.
More About Kaunolu Village
- Photo of the Kaunolu Village site
- Hawaii Web on Kaunolu Village
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