Kaʻaʻawa.  in Oahu, Hawaii


in Oahu, Hawaii

Ka'a'awa Valley Photo © Marvin Chandra

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ka'a'awa valley - Kaʻaʻawa
ka'a'awa valley - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by kata rokkar
Many non-Hawaiians mistake Ka’a’awa as a misspelled word, having 3 vowels in a row. Okinas, which look like apostrophes are in fact Hawaiian letters that tell to read each vowel with emphasis. Ka’a’awa means “thewrasse” or fish.


Ka’a’awa which is located on Oahu’s windward coast has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Newborns of Hawaiian chiefs or ali’i were educated about ancient traditions and arts of war here in Kualoa Valley. The place is very sacred that when fishermen pass through the valley, they had to lower their sails or they would be executed. This law or kapu can be escaped if the violator reaches a pu’uhonua, a place of refuge. Kahunas or priests would pray for him and he would be forgiven of the violation.

Above the valley, in the high mountains, there is the sacred burial cave of the chiefs called Pohukaina. Rumor has it that there are ancient treasures buried secretly in the corners of the cave.

Ka’a’wa used to have a Sugar Mill in 1863 and 1870. It was closed due to its ineffectiveness. During the Second World War, the U.S. military built an airfield at Kualoa and bunkers on the cliffs. Until today, there are a few remains of this U.S. military bunkers in the mountains and in the Crouching Lion hiking trail.

Ka`a`awa Mountains -
Ka`a`awa Mountains - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by Kanaka Menehune


The mountainous regions of Ka’a’awa is called the Kanehoalani which means “Kane’s heavenly companion.” Kane was among the many Hawaiian gods and goddesses. He is the god of procreation.

Today, many people claim to have heard or seen ghosts of warriors marching and beating drums up in the mountains down to the sea.

Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch -
Kualoa Ranch - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by Razak Abu Bakar
Kuala Ranch is among the most popular destinations of tourist once they come to Oahu. The ranch which is consisted of the valley, mountains, and bodies of water is perfect for an entire Hawaiian adventure. And another reason why tourist are excited to visit this place is because it has been the setting of many famous Hollywood films like Godzilla, 50 First Dates, Lost, Windtalkers; You, Me, and Dupree, Mighty Joe Young, and of course Hawaiia Five-O.
50 First Dates
	film location - Kaʻaʻawa
50 First Dates film location - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by unknown
There are posters, props, and memorabilia of these films in Kualoa Ranch so it’s like reliving the movie all over again.

Besides that, endless fun and adventures can be done in Kualoa Ranch. The place offers Canopy Zipline, horseback riding, ATV tours, jungle expedition and nature tours, boat tours, ancient fish pond and garden, and surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and many other beach and water sports in a secret island.

Crouching Lion Trail

Originally called Pu’u Manamana, the Crouching Lion is dubbed so because it looks like a giant of course crouching lion. It is a rock formation in one of the Ka’a’awa’s mountain ridges. It was at first described as a large headed dog by the Hawaiians. Western visitors later named it the Crouching Lion.
The rock formation was believed to be Kupua who is a relative of Pele. Pele is the goddess of volcanos. Pele’s sister Hi’iaka is the goddess of Hula. Kupua was said to have followed Hi’iaka and was turned into stone.

How to get here

Coming from Kaneohe/Honolulu, drive up Kamehameha Hwy, HI-83, toward the main ranch. Drive past the main ranch up to a gated gravel road with signs in front of it. For guests coming from the North Shore, drive down Kamehameha Hwy, HI-83, towards Kualoa Ranch.
Kahana - Kaʻaʻawa
Kahana - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by Marvin Chandra

Similar Attractions

All over Oahu, almost every town offers the same perks. Every place has mountains, woodlands, and waterfalls for hiking, and the scenic beach on the other side. Other picturesque hiking trails in Oahu are in Nu’uanu Pali, Laie, and Honolulu.

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Author: kimn. Last updated: Mar 04, 2015

Pictures of Kaʻaʻawa

Kualoa Ranch - Kaʻaʻawa
Kualoa Ranch - Kaʻaʻawa. Photo by Prayitno / Thank you for (5...


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