Nuuanu Pali Lookout

Koolau Range view from the Pali Lookout
Photo by: jdnx, Creative Commons

If you want a nice panoramic view of Oahu Island from above, then the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is the best place to go. The word “pali” means windward cliff in the Hawaiian language and the lookout is part of one in Ko’olau mountain situated right at the head of the Nu’uanu Valley on the beautiful Island of Oahu.

Aside from the lookout, there is also the Nu’uanu Pali Tunnel through which Kailua connects with downtown Honolulu via the Pali Highway. This makes going to and from the area easy for many kinds of vehicles.
The Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is also where the Nu’uanu Freshwater Refuge is located along with the Nu’uanu Reservoir. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources have jurisdiction over both areas and takes care of its preservation and protection. The department has set rules for the visitors to follow in order to ensure the maintenance of the area’s natural beauty and to protect their natural resources.

Aside from its breath-taking views, the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is also a historical site. It is where the Battle of Nu’uanu, one of the bloodiest battles in the history of Hawaii took place. In this fight Kamehameha I conquered Oahu Island and brought it under his rule. In the year 1795, the defenders of the Island of Oahu under the leadership of Kalanikupule were driven back to the valley and trapped. More than 400 soldiers plunged to their deaths 1000 feet below the cliff. It was a sad part of the Hawaiian history but it is part of Nu’uanu Valley’s rich history that the younger generations must definitely learn about.

Vacationing in Hawaii usually means spending hours under the sun by the beach or swimming and surfing. Now you have an alternative activity to do during your stay in this beautiful state.

One response to “Nuuanu Pali Lookout”

  1. Linda Ballou says:

    Nice piece. I visited here while doing research for my historical novel Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawai’i,set in Kamehameha’s time. It was eery to think of the many skulls found below this pali when the Pali Highway was built.

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