Place of Refuge, Travel Photo Mondays #5

Travel Photo Monday

Place of Refuge, Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling.


The Place of Refuge

Black and white tiki gods

Today, let’s go visit another beautiful area on Hawaii Island called the Place of Refuge or Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. This National historic park is located in South Kona on Honaunau bay and is a short and scenic drive from Kailua Kona. This historic coastal area is significant for being one of Hawaii’s most sacred sanctuaries and royal compounds in the island chain.



The Place of Refuge

Shore line view in black and white





The Place of Refuge

Heiau detail


Once the home of Hawaiian royalty and at the same time a place of refuge to ordinary commoners that have broken a kapu (Hawaiian sacred law sometimes punishable by death). If the maka’ainana (commoner), makes it to a place of refuge then absolution is eventually given and they can return back to society. It was believed that the mana (spiritual energy) of the chiefs bones gave additional protection to the place of refuge so no harm could be done to those seeking protection in this sacred sanctuary and life begins anew for those ancient Hawaiians. The park has several historic and recreated structures including: the Hale o Keawe Heiau (sacred temples housing bones of the chiefs), rock walls, wooden carved images, and the royal compounds.


The Place of Refuge

Large carved tiki gods




Close-by to the park is a wonderful snorkeling spot called Two Step which is one of the nicer places to see some beautiful coral and Hawaiian tropical fish and honu (turtles) basking in the sun. There are many attractions and historic landmarks to visit in the park, here is the official national park website to visit and get more information on this historic sanctuary



The Place of Refuge

Honu (turtle) refuge


The small bay and landing is where Hawaiian royalty would land into the royal compounds. The beach area is now sectioned off to allow honu (sea turtles) to bask on the shoreline undisturbed. This is one of the best spots to always see sea turtles enjoying the day on the beach.



The Place of Refuge

Canoe house


There are many structures in the park depicting the many daily uses and rituals that happen around the grounds. A large display canoe house shows how canoes were housed. This beautiful wooden canoe is made of koa wood that was dragged down from mauka (upland) and carved into a fast canoe vessel used by royalty. Below is a scenic shot of the royal landing from the Honaunau bay.


The Place of Refuge

Royal landing and compound



The Place of Refuge

Detailed carving


Thanks so much for coming to visit Travel Photo Mondays and visiting this beautiful green sand beach in East Hawaii. To see more imagery of this sacred sanctuary, please visit my flickr site here. Also, come and enjoy some of these other bloggers from around that world showing you some beautiful imagery.


If you like this post on Place of Refuge, Travel Photo Mondays #5, please consider subscribing below – also share this post with any of the social media buttons located around the post, thanks for visiting!

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41 Responses to Place of Refuge, Travel Photo Mondays #5

  1. Lisa Wood August 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Fantastic wood carvings and great history behind the place of refuge…incredible to think that royalty landed there and now Sea Turtles are protected there!

    • Noel August 3, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Lisa, Thanks for the comment and it is a beautiful and historic place worth visiting, glad you dropped by 🙂

  2. Sere@Light Of World Photography August 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I was able to visit here when I was in Hawaii about 8 years ago! My husband and I got married on A Bay and stayed outside of Kona. I really enjoyed the BIG Island. This place is fascinating to walk around. I LOVED all the sea turtles that I could see. The koa wood is so beautiful, I told my husband I wanted my kitchen done in them :). Hoping to get back to Hawaii in a couple of years for our 10 year anniversary. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for taking me back to a place that I loved.

    • Noel August 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      THanks for connecting Sere and sharing your story, appreciate it. I would like to invite you to join us for Travel Photo Mondays, it runs all week starting on Mondays.

  3. Hanne T. Fisker July 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Thank you much for the invitation Noel! Great to visit your site 🙂 Hawaii is special.

  4. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans July 31, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I never get tired of your pictures of Hawaii. The royal compound and landing photo looks like an ideal refuge! Please feel free to link up via my latest post below for Wanderlust Wednesdays.

  5. Mast Holiday July 31, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Wow, what ‘s the cool and calm place! You surely did a marvelous job of capturing the beauty of Hawaii Island through your camera.
    such fantastic to visit.

    • Noel July 31, 2013 at 4:49 am #

      Thanks for visiting, I enjoyed visiting your website. I hope you can join us for the next installment of Travel Photo Mondays.

  6. Tonya Prater (@travelermom) July 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Thanks for the invite to join you, Noel. I’m late, but I finally made it. Your photos are beautiful. Hawaii has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. Maybe someday.

    • Noel July 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm #


      Tonya, no worries this runs for the whole week, thanks again for linking up, time to check it out~

  7. Tonya Prater (@travelermom) July 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Thanks for the invite to join you, Noel. I’m a bit late this week, but I made it. 🙂 I love your photos. Hawaii has been on my list of places to visit for a long time.

  8. travelnwrite July 30, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    I love the history of Hawaii and the ancient places you’ve photographed capture it so well! (And I am totally charmed by ‘Honu’. Beautiful photos, Noel.

  9. Marisol@TravelingSolemates July 30, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Hi Noel, what a beautiful place of refuge with interesting history. It was good to have a place where someone can start a new. Your images are beautiful.The carving of the tiki Gods are very impressive. Are their expressions suppose to ward off evil spirits?

    • Noel July 30, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      Tiki’s usually represent the gods of that particular culture. They are meant to symbolize the god the mana (spiritual energy) present in that environment.

  10. Karisa July 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Lovely photos! I love the Tiki gods!

  11. Calvin Chaney July 29, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Beautiful images of the island of hawaii

  12. Ruth July 29, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    All those wood carvings – they are spectacular. I would love to visit that part of Hawaii. I’ve been to the big island but it was ages ago.

    • Noel July 29, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      You’ll have to come and visit again Ruth, it’s beautiful here and not touristy like Oahu

  13. Amy | Club Narwhal July 29, 2013 at 3:02 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! I just found your linkup and am excited to explore. Thanks for hosting!

  14. Jennifer July 29, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    I’ve always said I’d much prefer to visit Caribbean islands than the Hawaiian islands. I didn’t care for overcrowded Oahu, though Maui was beautiful. Your photos really make me want to go back though. I think I’ve missed out on the hidden gems that would sell me on Hawaii.

  15. muzachan July 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Thank you for inviting me…

  16. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse July 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    As you invited me, I’m happy to be part of this Travel Photo Monday, but you’re photoskills are so amazing, I’m a little ashamed of mine. Looking at your pictures was like walking by your side on this island!

  17. Lisa @ Raising Explorers July 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Linking up for the first time here Noel, and loving your photos. Thanks for sharing, and hosting!

  18. Cathy Sweeney July 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    The story of the Place of Refuge is so interesting. Looks like there’s much of interest and beauty in the park. I especially like the wooden carvings.

  19. lifeimagesbyjillharrison July 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    thankyou for the historical and cultural tour – and for hosting Travel Photo Mondays!

  20. Debbie at Travel with intent July 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Marvellous photos. I especially like the black and white ones and the carving at the end.

  21. Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) July 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    We actually visited that National Park in February. Nice. (When does Travel Photo Monday go live for links?)

    • Noel July 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      Hi Suzanne
      The link usually goes live Sunday PST at 12pm, thanks for asking and look forward to your link.

  22. Irene July 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    The pictures are so inviting that they make me feel like hopping on a plane (and I just got off one:-)

  23. Marilyn Armstrong July 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    It isn’t like being there … but it’s as close as I’m likely to get. Thanks for showing me a piece of the world I’ve always wanted to see.


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I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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