There are four national parks on the Big Island. They were established to preserve the islands history and natural wonders, and are excellent sites to explore the natural treasures of the Big Island.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This National park located between Hilo and Kona is the most popular attraction on the Big Island, for locals and tourists. One of the view places on this planet where you can safely watch on of the most active volcanoes in the world (the Kilauea) up, close and personal. More information on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Opening hours – Daily: 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Kilauea Visitor Center), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Ranger station, chain of craters road)
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Pu’uhonua means “place of refuge”. This is the site where Hawaiians that broke a kapu (law) fled to avoid punishment, as well as defeated warriors during times of battle. The park contains numerous archaeological sites, from temple platforms and royal fishponds to the “Hale o Keawe”, a reconstructed Hawaiian temple.
Opening hours – Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Visitor Center).
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park
This park is build around an ancient Hawaiian settlement. It contains partitions of the typically Hawaiian ahupua’a (Land divisions that divided the land in zones between the mountain and ocean) You can also find ancient ki’i pohaku (petroglyphs or rock engravings), kahua (housing platforms), holua (stone slide) and heiau (a place of worship) here.
Opening hours – Daily 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hale Ho’okipa Visitor Center)
Pu’ukohala Heiau National Historic Park
In how many places in America can you walk in the footsteps of a king? Kamehamea I build this place of worship around 1790 and dedicated it to the war god Kūka’ilimoku. Afterwards he set out to conquer the neighbouring islands – in which he succeeded. this was the first time that the Hawaiian islands were united under one king: King Kamehamea I!
Opening hours – Daily 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Visitor Center)