An ancient pathway runs along the coastline behind Waikoloa Beach Resort, a segment of the 175-mile Ala Kahakai (“trail by the sea”) that links communities, temples, fishing areas and other important locations on the western coast of the Big Island. Also called the “King’s Trail,” Ala Kahakai is accessible at several places along the shoreline of ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay. *Please refrain from walking on adjoining historic sites and do not remove any rocks from walls or other features. Ala Kahakai is a national historic trail. Damage to the trail or any archaeological sites along the trail is subject to penalties.*
The Waikoloa Anchialine Pond Preservation Area (WAPPA) is a series of historic anchialine (AN-key-ah-lin) ponds, maintained by the University of Hawai‘i. These shallow salt or brackish water lava pools, fed by freshwater springs as well as the ocean, make the perfect home for various small fishes, crustacean mollusks and the ‘ōpae‘ula, tiny red shrimp, sometimes called “micro-lobsters.” A well-marked trail between the Kolea complex and Hilton Waikoloa Village takes you on an easy hike around a portion of the anchialine ponds. *Please do not leave the trail, enter the ponds, disturb or remove rocks, corals or other objects from this protected area.*
Ku’uali’i and Kahapapa Fishponds
‘Anaeho‘omalu can be translated “protected mullet,” and at its peak, ‘Anaeho‘omalu was best known for its thriving aquaculture. Two existing ponds, Ku‘uali‘i and Kahapapa, were part of a large complex of fish farms, carefully tended by ‘ohana (family groups) who passed down the practices for many generations. Seasonal fishing of various species helped manage the population, and stories are told of swift-footed runners along the Ala Kahakai trail, delivering fresh fish from these ponds to King Kamehameha when he was in residence in Kailua Kona. *Please do not leave the trail, enter the ponds, disturb or remove rocks, corals or other objects from this protected area.*
Numerous petroglyphs, stone carvings, are preserved within Waikoloa Beach Resort, including some of the best examples in the state. Originally, there was no written Hawaiian language, and some petroglyphs are thought to be astronomical symbols, travel markers or commemorations of historic events. There is a marked petroglyph trail near the gas station at Kings’ Shops, where complimentary guided tours are provided Thursday-Sunday at 10:30am. *Please stay on the trail and do not approach the petroglyphs for photos or rubbings. These are fragile carvings, possibly thousands of years old and are easily subject to damage and erosion.*
‘Anaeho‘omalu is the Hawaiian name of the bay and beach neighboring Waikoloa Beach Resort. A fun and welcoming recreation area for visitors and kama‘āina of all ages, the 900’-long granular salt & pepper sandy beach is a popular, picturesque place to watch the sunset or relax along the shady shore. The beach park has great facilities including showers and restrooms, picnic areas, plenty of free parking and all kinds of fun opportunities to swim, surf, windsurf, boogie board, snorkel, watch the canoe races, sail and see under the sea on a glass-bottom boat cruise.