Places like the Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park are the reason why I made this website. To help readers like you find amazing places to take the family they otherwise might have overlooked.
There are quite a few stops on the way to the top of Round Top Drive where the park is located offering amazing views of Diamond Head, the Pacific Ocean, and the city of Honolulu. Parking is FREE.
Behind the view point, near the picnic area, you will find access to a few hikes, some well fed feral cats, and a few unexpected surprises.
Here is the entrance to one of the trails. I was ill prepared with flip flops to attempt the hike and it looked quite steep to take small children, therefore I just took some photos of the entrance.
If you plan on hiking these trails use caution and come prepared with proper shoes, a hiking carrier, and maybe a light windbreaker as it was a little chilly towards the evening at that altitude.
What I thought were squirrels running around the park were actually mongooses. Here one of the mongooses steals some of the cats food. The impressive speed at which the mongoose moves makes it quite difficult to snap a photo, but I managed to get a this picture and a video demonstrating just how fast these animals were. The mongoose is not a native species to Hawaii, but rather introduced in the 1800's.
The 1800's were a huge century for sugar cane and plantations shot up on many tropical islands including Hawai'i and Jamaica. With sugar cane came rats, attracted to the sweet plant, which ended up causing quite a bit of crop destruction and loss. In 1872 a gentleman by the name of W. B. Espeut, in an attempt to control the rising rat populations introduced Indian Mongoose from Calcutta to the island of Jamaica. A subsequent paper published by Espeut, that praised the results intrigued local Hawaiian plantation owners who, in 1883, brought 72 mongooses from Jamaica to the Hamakua Coast to the Big Island. These were raised and their offspring were shipped to plantations on Oahu.
Check out the video below.
Mongooses weren't the only wild animals roaming the park. Look closely at the photo above and you may spot the wild chickens.
On the way back on Round Top Drive we spotted a swing hanging from a tree over looking one of the view points. This would be a great spot for a Kodak moment. Use caution if your kids use the swing because it is on a very steep hill. Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park is a great place to bring the family to have a picnic or unwind from a hectic day. Don't forget the camera!
The address for Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park is Round Top Dr Honolulu, HI 96805
TIP: you will need to rent a car and bring a GPS to help navigate the windy road.
Don't have a GPS? Pick up the: Garmin nüvi 265W/265WT 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with TrafficPortable Vehicle GPS Units)