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Kaunolū Village

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Kaunolū Village

What: Remains of a historic fishing retreat, spectacular views
Where: Southern tip of Lānaʻi
More Info: Four-wheel drive required
 
Located on the southern tip of Lānaʻi, Kaunolū Village was a fishing village until the 1880s, when it was abandoned. Back in its day, the village was a favorite fishing spot of King Kamehameha I and was where he retreated to after conquering Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. Now the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawaiian village, the site was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1962 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
 
Here you’ll find a spectacular view of Lānaʻi’s southern sea cliffs, the remains of Halulu heiau (sacred temple), petroglyphs and “Kahekili’s Leap,” where warriors would demonstrate their bravery by diving off a 60-foot cliff. The little islet that juts out of the water in the bay is known as Moku Noio, which references the native bird of this area. This is a sacred place, so please be respectful.

To get to Kaunolū Village you’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle. Take Hwy. 440 west of Lānaʻi City toward Kaumālapa‘u Harbor. Go past the airport turnoff and take the next left on Kaupili Rd., an unmarked dirt road. Travel approximately 2.5 miles to a yellow standpipe on the right. Turn right on this rocky road, which descends downhill about 3 miles to Kaunolū Village. Since most of Lānaʻi’s roads are unpaved, don’t hesitate to ask your hotel concierge for help.