*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.*
An ancient pathway runs along the coastline and through Waikoloa Beach Resort, part of the 175-mile Ala Kahakai (a modern name meaning “trail by the sea”) National Historic Trail that links communities, temples, fishing areas and other important locations of the western coast of the Big Island. The ancient trail alignment, known as the ala loa or ala hele in this area, was a foot trail following the contours of the landscape and connected to many mauka-makai trails and the original trail network that spread over the whole island. The curbed, straight section most visible today has several names, including the Kīholo-Puakō Trail, and the King’s Trail, and Alanui Aupuni (Hawaiian Kingdom road). This section was constructed in the late 1800’s. Several trails are accessible from the shoreline of ‘Anaeho’omalu Bay.
Anchialine ponds are brackish water pools formed by depressions, crevices or lava tubes that extend into the groundwater table. These pools were termed anchialine pools after the Greek word anchialos, meaning near the sea. Although landlocked and occurring some distance from the sea, the pools exhibit tidal fluctuation because of the subterranean connections with the sea and the groundwater movement through the highly porous lava.
These shallow 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.”
Signs located around the preservation explain more of the unique characteristics of the anchialine ponds. *Do not throw rubbish, food, live animals, or fish into the ponds. No fishing allowed. Help us to protect and preserve the pools.
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 9:30am. *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.