Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
Hikiau Heiau

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

The 2019 Vessel Special Use Access application instructions and form are listed below. Make sure the application form you submit is current and that all pertinent information is filled in. Any missing information or documents will result in a delay of processing the application.

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)

Ka‘awaloa (Kealakekua Bay) Permits for 2018-2019

In order to access the land at or visit Ka’awaloa Flat (the location of the Captain Cook Monument), visitors have only 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 listed on this page.


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 their own 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. 




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.
  2. Fill it out.
  3. Save the form on your computer.
  4. E-mail the completed application form to:


2018-2019 Non-commercial Permit Application


2018-2019 Non-commercial Application Form Instructions


2018-2019 Commercial Permit Application


2018-2019 Commercial Application Form Instructions


Map of Regulated Areas in Kealakekua Bay (updated 6/2017)


Kealakekua MLCD (updated 6/2017)


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 SHP.


In January of 2013, DLNR initiated 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 issues for the change in management strategy has been the proliferation and use of unpermitted kayak rentals being conducted at the historic Napo’opo’o wharf and the subsequent impacts to the adjacent community and the user’s experience and safety, and impacts to cultural resources and subsequent reduction in quality of the resources at Ka’awaloa Flats.


There are currently 3 authorized kayak tour companies that may launch from the Napo’opo’o wharf and land at Ka’awaloa – with strict requirements that include site stewardship and the management, containment and subsequent removal of any human waste while at Ka’awaloa Flat.


In the meantime, the Division of State Parks will continue to engage in planning and identify strategies to better manage this significant cultural resource.

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.79-7248 Mamalahoa Highway
Honalo, HI 96750
(877) 322-1444
Kona Boys, Inc.79-7539 Mamalahoa Highway
Kealakekua, HI 96750
(808) 328-1234