Via magazine
Via magazine - Your AAA Magazine

Postcard: Oahu's Nu'uanu Pali

Nu'uanu Pali State Wayside has a stunning, panoramic view of the Oahu coast.

visitors gather at Nu‘uanu Pali viewpoint over Nu‘uanu Valley, Honolulu, to the Oahu coast, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Douglas Peebles
Photo caption
Nu‘uanu Pali nests high above the Oahu coast.

Hang on to your hat at Nu‘uanu Pali State Wayside, a windy, eye-popping viewpoint high above the Oahu coast. Just five miles from downtown Honolulu, the spot (foreground) offers visual-thrill seekers a large platform for taking in classic Hawaii scenes: sheer volcanic cliffs, green lowlands, and turquoise waters dotted with islands.

The peak also delivers a lesson in the state's bloody history. In 1795, an invading force of canoes carrying thousands of warriors under the command of Kamehameha landed on the nearby shore, setting off a fierce battle with Chief Kalanikupule and his huge army. With the help of English firearms and cannons, Kamehameha and his legion eventually drove the defenders into the Nu‘uanu Valley and up to the cliffs, where hundreds of warriors either jumped or were pushed to their death on the valley floor below. The invasion helped consolidate Kamehameha's rule and eventually unite the islands.

Standing in the stiff breeze, you can still sense the power and passion that built Hawaii. Kingdoms don't come easily, even in paradise.

This article was first published in Fall 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.