Twin Rocks are popular rock formations at the head of the beautiful Onomea Bay in Papa'ikou, Big Island of Hawaii. Just like most other natural rock formations in Hawaii, the origin of Twin Rocks is passed from generation to generation through a legend.
According to the bittersweet legend of the Twin Rocks, the rocks were actually the "Lovers of Kahali'i," who sacrificed their lives to guard their village from enemies. Kahali'i is an ancient which was on the large point that juts into Onomea Bay. The village has long been gone but the legend of the Twin Rocks lives on.
The legend has it that one day, a village chief spotted many canoes with sails heading shoreward in their direction. Fearing an invasion, the chief and village elders held a council to determine a course of action and finally agreed to build a reef to prevent a landing on their beaches.
Not having the means to complete the task quickly enough, they asked for two young lovers to sacrifice their lives for the sake of protecting the village. Two young lovers were found and, that same night, the pair were left to guard the shoreline while all other villagers were under strict orders from their chief to stay indoors and remain silent from sunset to sunrise.
In the morning, the villagers went out to find that the lovers were gone and two rocks had taken their place, standing as sentinels to guard the village and the beaches from enemies. The chief informed the people that no canoe could now pass the treacherous currents swirling around the rocks unless allowed to do so by the guardians.
The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden provides one of the best vantage points to view the Twin Rocks. You have to pay $15 admission fee to access the garden but many visitors swear that it’s well worth it. If you are looking for a free way to view the rocks, you can always take the Onomea Bay Donkey Trail Hike, a beautiful scenic hike that ends at an amazingly beautiful panorama of Onomea Bay. There are no donkeys on this trail but you'll encounter a lot of insects so make sure to bring some bug spray.
Photo credit: longbachnguyen