Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
Hikiau Heiau


[HAWAIʻI] UPDATED 10/2/23: Kekaha Kai State Park and Lapakahi State Historical Park will be closed on 10/14/23 for the Ironman World Championship.

[OʻAHU] UPDATED 10/2/23: Kaʻena Point State Park,  Mākua-Keawaʻula Section has REOPENED.

[O’AHU] UPDATED 7/12/23: Sand Island State Recreation Area – WATER OFFLINE, in the park, facilities impacted. See Sand Island site for updates.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

Hours Daily: 7:00am to 8:00pm
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).

* Restroom facilities are only found on the Nāpōʻopoʻo section of the park.


The beach of Nāpōʻopoʻo has boulders deposited by storm surf, covering the sandy shores that once lined the beach. People would use the beach for loading cattle and offloading goods, such as lumber.  A wharf was built on the shorelines of Nāpōʻopoʻo in 1894, it was rebuilt with concrete in 1912. In the 1920’s, the steamer Humuʻula docked twice a week with mail, news, and cargo for the nearby communities. * Launching from Nāpōʻopoʻo wharf is prohibited

Hikiau Heiau

Standing on the the shore of Nāpōʻopoʻo, this religious site had various ceremonial structures erected upon the large stacked rock platform.  The heiau was restored several times since it was damaged by tsunami and high surf. It remains a sacred site to the Hawaiian people and you are asked not to go onto the heiau.

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 (please pack out your trash, there are also no restrooms on this 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

Kealakekua Bay Permits

All vessels are required to obtain a permit from State Parks before transiting the waters of Kealakekua Bay. Vessels including but not limited to kayaks, boats, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, and inflatables. Please see the forms and instructions below for the applications and conditions of use.

*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 2023 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 & Info:  Kealakekua Marine Life Conservation District Overview

Map & Info:  Regulated Areas Within Kealakekua Bay

PERMITS: 2024 Non-Commercial Application Instructions

PERMITS: 2024 Non-Commercial Application

PERMITS: 2024 Commercial Application Instructions

PERMITS: 2024 Commercial Application

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.

Master Plan Improvements Environmental Impact Statement

Click the link below to download and view a copy of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Master Plan Improvements at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. Clicking the link will start a download of the EIS document. Please check your downloads folder to open the file.

 Click Here —> Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park Final Environmental Impact Statement