A Valley Time Has Not ErasedO‘ahu
There will come a day when the urge to escape concrete and high rises can no longer be denied. That’s the day most people head for O‘ahu’s North Shore, a delightful expedition in shades of green and cornflower blue, where shrimp trucks, shave ice stands, big winter waves and a grand Sunday farmers’ market reside.
Waimea Valley, located across from Waimea Bay, is a living pu‘uhonua (a place of peace and safety). The valley is one of the last partially intact ahupua‘a (a land division that usually extends from the mountains to the sea) on this island.
At the epicenter of this glorious landscape is a 1,875-acre valley that has remained reasonably intact for some 700 years. In 1090, it was turned over to the kahuna nui (Hawai‘i’s high priests) and became known as the “Valley of the Priests.” The kahuna
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Today, Waimea Valley is managed by Hi‘ipaka LLC, which was established in 2007 by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The 150-acre property contains more than 5,000 native and non-native plants and archaeological sites.
Guided activities include a history walk, Hawaiian games, lei making, hula lessons and storytelling with Waimea’s kupuna (elders). Also located on-site is the Waimea Valley Grill and Ku ‘Ono Waiwai, the valley’s retail store, which offers products made on the Islands and hosts weekly demonstrations by vendors.
The valley is deeply rooted in Hawaiian history and continues to be a respite for Hawaiian spirituality and traditions.
Waimea Valley is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. There is an admission fee.
• Waimea Valley (808) 638-7766