The spot where British explorer, Captain James Cook, met his fate in Hawaii is now the perfect starting point from which to explore the seas.
When British seafarer and explorer Captain James Cook first introduced European visitors to Hawaii back in 1778, he could never have known that when he returned the following year, he would be killed by the locals here at Kealakekua Bay. It took a century after he met his gruesome end for this eight-metre monument to be built in his honour.
Nestled in a remote bay against a rocky cliff face, it is somewhat tricky to reach the monument and arriving by sea tends to be the preferred method. Many visitors come by kayak, travelling early to see the dolphins or the sea turtles swimming around in the water. Kayaks can be hired on the Hawaii Belt Road before turning off to the bay.
Some visitors opt for a less energetic method of reaching the spot by joining a chartered boat trip. Lunch is often included when booking with some tour operators. You can also try snorkelling off the side of the boat. However, fishing here is prohibited, as the bay is a marine sanctuary.
You can of course hike here too. Go for a trek across the rugged landscape surrounding the bay on a seven kilometre hike on which you’ll be rewarded with some impressive views. Bring your swimming kit and a towel along with you too, as a cooling dip in the water is a real treat after traipsing in the heat.
The bay is a 30-minute drive from Kailua-Kona, and you can park your car at Napo’opo’o Beach from which you can elect to head off by boat or on foot. It doesn't cost anything to visit the monument itself.