Poliʻahu Heiau in Hawaiʻi

A Beautiful Hawaiʻi View

Tropical plants grow out of the rock walls of the Poliʻahu Heiau on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi

Tropical plants grow out of the rock walls of the Poliʻahu Heiau on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi, as seen during our 2018 Kauaʻi Trip.

During our Kauaʻi trip, we kept looking for interesting things to stop and see. At this particular park, the view was really nice with the palm trees and the ocean in the distance. There was a sign nearby talking about the Poliʻahu Heiau, but we could not find it at first. As it turns out, we were standing right next to it! Maybe we were looking for something bigger, but there it was.

In case you are wondering, a heiau is a religious site, similar to a temple. But it is not necessarily a fully enclosed temple with a roof and walls like we might think of. Instead, it can just be any structure used as a temple, such as a stone fence. There was perhaps a tower at one time inside the walls, and maybe a smaller thatch building. But those are just guesses.

Read the Signs

Historical marker at Poliʻahu Heiau on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi

Interestingly, we found this Historical Landmark sign after going around one of the corners of the heiau. It reads:

Historical Landmark, Territory of Hawaii

According to Hawaiian tradition, this heiau was built by the Menehunes (Hawaiian dwarfs or brownies). In its ceremonial observances, the heiau of Poliʻahu was associated with the heiau of Malae, which is situated on a ridge near the mouth of the Wailua RIver and whic can be seen from its place.

It is guessed that the Poliʻahu Heiau was built in the 1600s or 1700s, but no one knows for sure. Still, it is definitely old enough to be cool to me. Lots of people drove right by it, but we enjoyed stopping to take a look.

If you want some more information on the Poliʻahu Heiau, see this brochure from the Wailua State Park. Or to read more about our visit, see Part 3 of the Kauaʻi Trip Report.

Look Harder

Our adventure in finding the Poliʻahu Heiau makes me wonder what else we might be missing that is right there by us. Not just historical sites that were there in Hawaiʻi, but things in our everyday lives, too.

Maybe there are historical sites and other interesting places all around us. For example, there is a really old cemetery just down the road from our house. We usually just drive right by it, but sometimes it is interesting to get out of the car (or walk down to it) and just look around for a while.

Other times, we might be missing something more serious, like someone around us who needs help but does not really want to ask for it directly. Sometimes they might drop some clues without coming right out and saying what they need. Those are the more important things to watch for.

Of course, I am talking to myself here as much as anyone. I can easily get so caught up in my own life that I forget to notice what is around me.

Take note of what all is around you. It just might be important!

Bible Verse

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. - Colossians 3:12-14

About the Photos

I really liked the vivid colors in these photos, particularly in the first photo. It really captured the look and feel of what we saw while we were in Hawaiʻi. Of course, I did use Aurora HDR to bring out the colors even more. Maybe this is slightly idealized from what we actually saw, but it works for me.

I used an aperture setting of f/1.8 on the 25mm prime lens to really focus in on the plants and the rocks, isolating them from the palm trees in the background.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: July 5, 2018
Location: Wailua State Park, KapaʻaKauaʻi, Hawaiʻi

Tropical plants grow out of the rock walls of the Poliʻahu Heiau on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi