Kaniakapupu Ruins and Luakaha Waterfall

The Kaniakapupu (“the singing of the land shell.”) Ruins, better known as King Kamehameha III summer home, dating back to 1847 is located in Nu’uanu Valley. Other records show King Kamehameha I resting with his warriors in this area, during his conquest of Oahu in 1795. Kaniakapupu is the only remaining structure associated with Kamehameha III and since Kaniakapupu was the home to a king, it is considered to be kapu (Hawaiian word meaning forbidden, though it also carries the meaning of sacred, consecrated, or holy).

This is an incredible treasure and piece of Hawaiian history that is tucked away on this Oahu hike. Unlike other challenging Oahu hiking trails, there really is no hike involved but a light .5 mile trek to reach the main structure and is the perfect excursion for those who want to do a little exploring but don’t have a lot of time to spare.

Beyond the ruins a bit further we can hike another 15-minutes to reach the Luakaha Waterfall, a 50-ft waterfall that is typically raging in full flow year round. We travel through an amazing bamboo forest there and back. There are some fascinating trees to be seen along the way, including the most impressive banyan tree we have ever seen.