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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 the Living Culture team. Then, ruminate on the knowledge you've gained at the end of Mauna Lani's Honu Lagoon, where endangered Green sea turtle are raised for release on the Fourth of July, which Mauna Lani aptly celebrates as Turtle Independence Day.

  • Daily complimentary cultural activities

  • Explore Mauna Lani as you absorb ancient Hawaiian history and timeless traditions

A Sense of Place | Hale'I'ike

Our House of Knowledge

Step inside our "House of Knowledge" to experience the distinct and charming spirit of Hawaii's indigenous living culture. A cultural center and museum located in the heart of the lobby, Hale 'I'ike is home to Kōnane checker sets, traditional works of art and historical books enlivening the eras of kings, cowboys and celestial navigators. Talk story with members of Mauna Lani's Living Culture Hui, our team dedicated to the cultural, historical, and natural resources of Hawai'i. Learn about Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, or try your hand at the 'ukulele. String your own lei as the scents of tuberose are carried with the trade winds, or simply observe the everlasting beauty of Hawai'i through its symbols and stories.

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

February 4, 2023

March 4, 2023

April 8, 2023

May 6, 2023

June 3, 2023

The return of the humpback whale. Offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Koholā Talk

Mālama Honu, Mālama Honua

When we care for the turtles, we care for the world.

Turtle Talk

For more than thirty years, Mauna Lani has raised and nurtured hundreds of green sea turtles in partnership with O'ahu-based marine and wildlife center, Sea Life Park, on the contingency of education and conservation. Listen at 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.

Cultural Workshops

Hawaiian artisans and storytellers carry precious threads of knowledge passed down through generations. Whether you pound poi or play a song on the ‘ukulele, connect with the people and practices that make this place so enthralling. Available classes Include:

  • Lei Making | A tangible symbol of aloha, the lei represents connectivity, love and celebration. String one of your own using tropical flowers as the sweet smell of tuberose mingles fittingly with salty ocean air carried by breezy tradewinds.

  • ‘Ukelele Lessons | When early Portuguese immigrants brought a small stringed instrument to Hawai’i in the mid-nineteenth century, native Hawaiians made it their own. Now, the sweet and simple strum of the ‘ukulele is a sound that is known, loved and learned by many.

Walk through History

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.

  • Historic Walking Tour | Wander amongst the palm-fringed paths of Kalāhuipua’a, a celebrated place where sacred fishponds, rugged petroglyph parks and intact lava tubes emit mana, or spiritual energy. As you travel back in time with Uncle Danny and the Living Culture team, absorb the same life force that fueled icons of Hawaii’s past.

  • Self-Guided Petroglyph Hike | Ignite your sense of discovery as you hike through Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, one of Hawaii’s greatest petroglyph fields. Situated along the outskirts of Mauna Lani, this preserve is home to more than 3,000 rock carvings that transmit the messages of native Hawaiians.

Experiences at Mauna Lani