King Kamehameha Statue

Visit the original bronze tribute to Hawai’i’s most famous leader, King Kamehameha I, standing regally in North Kohala and ceremonially draped with fragrant leis.

Looking commandingly over the small town of Kapaau in North Kohala is an impressive statue of one of Hawai’i’s most revered leaders, King Kamehameha I. The 8.5-foot (2.9-meter) bronze statue commemorates this leader and warrior who, in 1810, united the islands into one kingdom after decades of struggle and threats from western forces. Enjoy a picnic at the grounds where the statue stands or join in the festivities on King Kamehameha Day.

The magnificent bronze statue depicts the famous leader in a powerful stance of defense and welcoming. A spear in his left hand indicates his readiness to protect his kingdom and his right hand welcomes all with a warm aloha. The statue shows the king dressed in his royal attire, a bright yellow cloak and feathered helmet.

The statue was originally cast in Europe in 1880, but the ship carrying it to Hawai’i was wrecked and sank off the coast of the Falkland Islands. Miraculously, the statue was recovered in 1912 and returned to its rightful place near the king’s birthplace in Kohala.

According to Hawai’ian legend, King Kamehameha’s celebrated rule was prophesized long before his birth. It was said that a light in the sky with bird-like feathers would symbolize the coming of a great new king. Historians believe Kamehameha was born around 1758, when Halley’s Comet sliced the sky with its bright light.

Join the celebrations on King Kamehameha Day on June 11 and take in the lively atmosphere as the townspeople parade down Kapaau’s streets. The Kamehameha statue is adorned with beautiful fresh flower leis in an afternoon ceremony.

Visit the King Kamehameha Statue in front of the North Kohala Civic Center in Kapaau. The statue makes a great photo opportunity when traveling from Kona to the scenic Pololu Valley Lookout. Near the statue, find a selection of interesting shops and art galleries selling fine artisanal craft and traditional items. The statue is accessible year-round and entry is free.