Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hawaii Big Island's Hidden Oasis

from page 59, Hawaii Big Island Trailblazer

"Hidden" and "oasis" is often brochure-hype, but not in the case of the Queen's Bath on the backshore of the beach at the world-class Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island. The description is literal The mortored saline bath, which dates from the 1800s when the ali'i (royalty) among Hawaiians would dip in saline ponds along coast, is not easy to spot—even though some modern condos are perched on the volcanic cliffs right above it. To get there you need to take a side trip from a path that winds from Beach Club Beach among several large anchialine ponds (these lakelets are where freshwater and seawater surface via underground channels). In the old days, a fish gate at the shoreline made sure the ponds were full of fat mullet for the king and his retinue. Also hidden various trees of the oasis (nearby, the land is covered with sun-sorched lava) are the remains of Kalihuipua'a Village. Among the treasures are petroglyphs and decrepit rock structures.