Kipuka Puaulu is one of the easier and more enjoyable hikes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you have time for only one other hike besides Kilauea Iki in the park, this should be it. And what a contrast it is to most other hikes in the park! On almost every other hike, you are sooner or later confronted by the alien barrenness of a lava landscape. Here, at Kipuka Puaulu, you escape from that barrenness entirely and enter a woodland soft, green, and alive with birds—hence its other name, the Bird Park.
Your admission to Puuhonua o Honaunau includes an excellent brochure keyed to numbered sites on the park’s grounds. Before you start, however, stop at the display just by the visitor center to hear the taped messages. Hearing these chants and stories will give you an emotional sense of who the ancient Hawaiians were in a way that profoundly complements seeing how they lived.
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