Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
Hikiau Heiau

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

UPDATE - 9/30/20: Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park will be OPEN starting Oct. 1, 2020.

Hours Daily During Daylight Hours
Entrance Fee None
Park Brochure


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)

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. 

Authorized Kayak Tour Companies

The Following Vendors Have Been Issued Permits by the Division of State Parks to Lead Guided Commercial Kayak Tours to the Captain Cook Monument at Ka’awaloa, Kealakekua Bay:

Adventures in Paradise 75-5660 Kopiko Street C7-430
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
(808) 447-0080, (888) 210-5365
Aloha Kayak Co.82-5674 Kahau Pl
Captain Cook, HI 96704
(808) 322-2868
Kona Boys, Inc.79-7539 Mamalahoa Highway
Kealakekua, HI 96750
(808) 328-1234

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.*


The 2019 Vessel Special Use Access application instructions and form(s) are listed below. Make sure the application you submit is current and that all pertinent information is filled-in legibly.  Please allow up to 14 days for your application to be processed. Any missing information or required documents will result in a delay of processing the application. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.

To apply for a vessel permit to transit the waters of Kealakekua Bay:

  1. Download the appropriate application form (Commercial or Non-Commercial) to your computer by clicking the link below.
  2. Fill it out.
  3. Save the form on your computer.
  4. E-mail the completed application form to: [email protected]


MAP:  Kealakekua Marine Life Conservation District Overview

MAP:  Regulated Areas Within Kealakeakua Bay

PERMITS:  2021 Non-Commercial Application Instructions

PERMITS:  2021 Non-Commercial Application

PERMITS:  2020 Commercial Application Instructions

PERMITS:  2020 Commercial Application

PERMITS: 2020 Commercial Kayak Decal Instructions

These permits only apply to vessels transiting the water and DO NOT authorize any business operation related to soliciting for customers, renting equipment or otherwise promoting a business within the boundaries of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.