Kaloko Fishpond, part of Kaloki-Honokohau National Park, is full of history, tradition, and artifacts. This work in progress is an amazing destination for all ages. This is more than a fish pond as we know it in today’s terminology. It is actually an engineering marvel that you just have to see. Kaloko Fishpond is the largest in Hawaii and was painstakingly built by native Hawaiians. They dry-stacked stones, created by water-worn lava, one by one to build this important seawall or kuapä. The goal was to keep the water fresh and salt-free. They needed to keep the Pacific Ocean out. If you like to explore the road less traveled and see something amazing, then the journey to Kaloko Fishpond is for you.
It’s like a giant puzzle and the pieces are natural interlocking rocks. No cement was used, just stones from the area. Experts and historians consider this an engineering masterpiece that still stands today! Legends and Hawaiian folklore tell stories that miles of men lined together passing stones one by one to create this wall. They say that they listened to where the stones needed to go. It’s interesting to note and see that the wall was perfectly built right where the extremely strong waves would break for the second time, to reduce their powerful crash. The angle of the kuapä makes the waves less powerful. Take note of the ingenious pattern of breakers before they reach the wall. What an educational site for the whole family to learn about this amazing landmark.
Can you imagine how hard and time-consuming building such a magnificent wall took? And why? Ancient Hawaiians constructed this in order to raise fish to feed their community and their families. The Kuapa stood and did its job for hundreds of years. Today it still stands and there is an ongoing effort to rebuild it just like the ancient Hawaiians did. This hasn’t happened yet, but is part of Kaloki-Honokohau National Park’s mission, “to preserve the area, and also to perpetuate and promote traditional Hawaiian culture.”
Your expedition to this beautiful hidden gem begins on a small bumpy dirt road full of picturesque things to see along the way. The road is called the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. A 175-mile-long trail along the coast that ancient Hawaiians used to transport food and other supplies. The Kaloko Fishpond is located next to the parking lot at the end of the Ala Nui Kaloko, and it is important to note that it is the only section of the fishpond that is open to the public.
It is truly a piece of paradise like no other in the entire world. You’ll see Honokohau Beach which is beautiful any time of the day. There are multiple glassy like tide pools, lava rock from the volcanoes, beautiful white sand, heiau (religious sites) by the glistening bay, and other breathtaking scenery. Take plenty of photos along the way to remember the spectacular things you’ll see and experience. Keeping a journal is a great way to take notes of what you experience along the way to this ancient destination.
Do your research before heading out and feel the power of Kaloko. Maps and other information are available to lead you in the right direction. Prepare for a safe, enjoyable trip to this amazing Hawaiian destination.
It is important to respect Kaloko Fishpond and Kaloki-Honokohau National Park. Do not litter, remove any rocks or other artifacts.