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Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve - A Glimpse to Hawaii's Indigenous Culture

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve - Big Island, HawaiiThe Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve features a collection of  ki’i pohaku (rock carvings) believed to date back to the 16th century. The preserve is located on South Kohala, on Hawaii Island’s west coast.

Being at the Waikoloa Beach Resort area and surrounded by a shopping center and condominium developments, the preserve is one of the most accessible and viewer-friendly petroglyph sites in Hawaii.

While not as extensive as the Puako Petroglyph Preserve up north, Waikoloa's rock carvings are still worthy of a visit. The petroglyphs depict figures of humans, animals like birds and horses and objects like canoes, as well as cryptic symbols (dots, lines). Some of the images were said to have been carved before Western culture arrived in the islands. The carvings are best viewed in the mornings and afternoon when the sun cast shadows on the fields.

There are designated viewing platforms and paths in the site to protect the petroglyphs. Visitors are requested to respect the centuries-old site and to tread lightly around the fields. It is strictly forbidden to touch the rock carvings, walk on them or attempt to make rubbings or casting of any kind.

To get there, take Waikoloa Beach Drive from Hwy. 19. Drive about a mile and locate the "King’s Shops" on your right and park near the gas station. Walk for five minutes to a signposted path leading to the preserve.


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