Culture and Heritage at Mauna Lani
Stories of the past meet the people of the present
Wander amongst cherished lands once reserved for the greatest of Hawaiian royalty within the scenic and storied pockets of Mauna Lani’s 32 acre oceanfront property. Embrace stillness and serenity at the fabled fishpond, Kalāhuipua‘a, or visit the Eva Parker Woods Cottage, where famed golfer and senator, Francis H. I’i Brown, entertained icons of the past with a warm sense of ho’okipa, or hospitality. Step inside Hale ‘I’ike, the Hawaiian phrase for “House of Knowledge,” to talk story with resident historian, Uncle Danny Akaka, who will enlighten you with age-old wisdom and the occasional strum of a ukulele. Ruminate on the knowledge you’ve gained at the edge of Mauna Lani’s saltwater ponds, where caretaker, Pi’i, nurtures endangered Green Sea Turtle hatchlings for their safe return to the Pacific Ocean.
Daily complimentary cultural activities
Explore Mauna Lani as you absorb ancient Hawaiian history and timeless traditions
Twilight at Kalāhuipua‘a
Rooted in generations of history, Twilight at Kalāhuipua'a celebrates the timeless stories of Hawai'i through storytelling, music and community. Join us at the Eva Parker Woods Cottage on the Saturday closest to the full moon for local performances and talk story sessions hosted by our beloved Kahu Hānai, Danny Akaka.
2022-2023 Twilight at Kalāhuipua'a Dates
October 8, 2022
November 12, 2022
December 10, 2022
January 7, 2023
February 4, 2023
March 4, 2023
April 8, 2023
May 6, 2023
June 3, 2023
The return of the humpback whale. Coming Winter 2022.
Mālama Honu, Mālama Honua
When we care for the turtles, we care for the world.
For more than thirty years, Mauna Lani has raised and nurtured hundreds of green sea turtles in partnership with Oahu-based marine and wildlife center, Sea Life Park, on the contingency of education and conservation. Listen as the end of the Honu Pond as self-proclaimed "turtle man," Pi'i La'eha, conveys the environmental, historical and cultural importance of Green sea turtles in Hawai'i. As turtles have inhabited the planet for millions of years, Turtle Talk is infused with themes of sustainability and resilience.
Turtle Indepdendence Day
As our Green sea turtles grow, thousands of researchers, students and guests from around the world visit Mauna Lani to observe and learn through programs such as Turtle Talk. Within two to three years, our cherished honu reach a size deemed appropriate for release, which is commemorated by their annual release along our oceanfront. A celebratory day infused with cultural, educational and environmental nuances, Turtle Independence Day represents the rebirth of our honu as they head back home to the Pacific Ocean.
Learn Culture through Adventure
Take a hands-on approach to travel when you learn the chords, steps and skills that weave generations together in the spirit of Aloha.
Walk through History at Mauna Lani
Kalāhuipua‘a is a raw and potent paradise, the piko (center) of Hawaii's five great volcanoes, and the point where volcanic plains meet the shimmering sea. Mauna Lani sits within Kalāhuipua‘a, a sacred realm whose astonishing natural beauty is equaled only by its primal, magnetic power. To walk this storied coastline, breathe the salt air, and swim in the crystalline waters is to feel the same mana—spiritual energy—that first drew people here centuries ago.
Petroglyph Hikes along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
Follow the coastline over ancient fishermen's trails and historical Hawaiian Kingdom roads on this self-guided adventure. The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trails have been connected through generations of use to form a single continuous route. The 223-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve boasts more than 3,000 ancient petroglyphs. Explore lava rock carvings etched into stone, dating back to 1200 AD.
- Hikes include: Mauna Lani to Honoka'ope Bay hike and Mauna Lani to Puako Petroglyph field hike
- Available on and off-property, year-round, weather permitting
Pull up a chair and let Danny Akaka, the resort’s Kahu Hānai, regale you with mo‘olelo (stories)—tales drawn from the ancient past and his own colorful life. Start with any question: what did the Polynesian voyagers eat while sailing across the world’s biggest ocean? What does the name “Kalāhuipua‘a” mean? The answers are guaranteed to stir your imagination and enrich your experience of the Islands. Don’t be surprised if ten minutes here turns into an hour.
Kalāhuipua'a Historic Walking Tour
An oasis within an oasis, Kalāhuipua‘a Fishponds – located on Mauna Lani’s grounds – are the essence and spiritual center of the resort. Predating even the earliest Western contact, the Loko (ponds), I‘a (fish) are a tangible reminder of the days when the land and sea supported the Ali‘i (royalty) and fishermen who were the original inhabitants of the land that is now known as Mauna Lani. Daniel Akaka, the resort’s Kahu Hānai and renowned Hawaiian historian, offers interactive guided tours throughout the fishponds.
- 1.5 hours
- Self-guided walking tours are also available