The Puu O Mahuka Heiau is an easy side trip to make when you are on the North Shore of Oahu with a car.
There are 3 good reasons to put it on your list of things to do on the North Shore:
- Experience a bit of Hawaiian culture
- Go for a short easy hike on Oahu
- Enjoy sweeping views of the North Shore
So, what is a heiau?
In short, a heiau is a Hawaiian temple and it represents a piece of Hawaiian history. Native Hawaiians used them as places of worship and sacrifice.
If you’ll be spending more than a few days in Hawaii, consider making it a point to see at least one heiau.
Or, if seeing a bit of Hawaiian culture isn’t enough to motivate you to visit the Puu O Mahuka Heiau, go for the some of the best views on Oahu!
State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark
The Puu O Mahuka Heiau is a Hawaii state historic site which means that it’s a part of the Hawaii state park system. It’s also a registered national historic landmark which means it’s a part of the national park system as well.
This is how the state of Hawaii describes the largest heiau on Oahu:
“Today, only the rock walls and stone paved floor remain. But 250 years ago, the Puu O Mahuka Heiau was a major temple on the North Shore of Oahu. It was dedicated as a luakini (sacrificial) heiau and included ceremonies for success in war.”
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Road to the heiau
The road you’ll take to get to the heiau is just near Shark’s Cove, a popular snorkeling spot on the North Shore.
You’ll be driving up a hill which means scenic views!
It’s about a 5 minute drive before you see the sign for the heiau, and then you’ll turn down that road.
Arriving at the heiau
Once you get to the site, you’ll see the heiau immediately, as well as more scenic views of the North Shore, including Waimea Bay!
Short trail around the heiau
There is a trail that goes around the heiau that is an easy walk of 10-15 minutes. You can think of it as a nature walk on the North Shore.
HAPPY NORTH SHORE HEIAU VISIT!
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- What to wear snorkeling
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Best things to pack for active travel- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
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