Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, Hawaii Island

Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

  • Name: Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve
  • What: One of the most extensive petroglyph fields in Hawaii
  • Where: Kohala Coast near the Mauna Lani Resort

Along the Kohala Coast, the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve features more than a thousand petroglyphs, or kii pohaku, lava rock carvings etched into stone centuries ago by Native Hawaiians. Although the true meanings of the petroglyphs are unknown, it is generally thought these carvings are records of births and other significant events in the lives of the people who lived on Hawaii Island long ago.

Just a short walk from the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, Holoholokai Beach (a well manicured beach-park with facilities) and the Mauna Lani Resort, you can see the carvings of human forms, canoes, turtles and others in the captivating petroglyphs fields of Puako. Take the kids on a petroglyph hunt and ask them what they think these ancient symbols could mean.