The Nu'upia Ponds are located on the Mokapu Peninsula on Oahu's southwestern shore. Many ancient legends tell of this peninsula and the ponds. One of the legends says that it was here where the first man was created out of the red and bluish-black soil by the Hawaiian gods Kane, Kaneloa, Ku and Lono. In the Hawaiian language, mokapu means “sacred district.” Many old Hawaiian sand burial sites have been excavated here.
Another legend tells of a boy named Puniakai'a (“devoted to fish”) who often times went fishing for parrotfish here. One of the fish he caught and tamed was Uhumaka'ika'i, meaning “the parent of all fish.” This fish was home here at the Nu'upia fishpond and it became the boy's companion.
In the old Hawaii, there were three ponds here that separated the peninsula from the island. They were Nu'upia, Halekou and Kaluapuhi. Some of their old dividing walls still remain their shape, but today, there are eight ponds: Nu'upia Ekahi, Nu'upia Elua, Nu'upia Ekolu, Nu'upia Eha, Halekou, Heleloa, Pa'akai and Kaluapuhi.
The three original ponds are believed to date back to between 1300-1600 A.D. The ponds were later subdivided by Chinese fishermen who leased the ponds to raise mullet and milkfish here. Today, the ponds are part of the 482-acre Nu'upia Ponds Wildlife Management Area. Since the ponds are located within the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, one has to get permission first to access the site.
Nu'upia Ponds Overview
Eight enclosed ponds on the Mokapu Peninsula
Ancient Hawaiians collected salt deposits here
Ponds serve as a habitat for the endangered Hawaiian black-necked stilt (kukuluae'o)
Directions:The ponds are located on Oahu's Mokapu Peninsula, at the end of the H-3 Highway and Kaneohe Bay Drive, next to the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station. To access the site permission from the Marine Corps Base is required, or alternatively one can see the ponds from the road where Kaneohe Bay Drive intersects with H-3.
it is almost on the northwest section of the island.
but in any case the place is a mess and you don't
want to go too deep into it. it is not stable.
Vincent Eblacas, Sun Feb 18, 2018
Cave is right before Ka'ena State Park sign. Still
a great place to see.
Mango808, Wed Sep 13, 2017
I don't know what the other reviews are talking
about. There is absolutely no cave there. I have ran,
walked, hiked, and even swam in the ponds and there is
no cave at all. They must be thinking of some other
David Ghramm , Sat Feb 18, 2017
This is a sacred site but has been badly desecrated;
graffiti on the walls, bad urine smell, and rubbish
abound. The opening to the cave is huge though and you
can't miss it if you're going in the town-bound
direction (or looking in the rear view mirror when
going out there) because the cave is on the north
western face of the hillside right off the road.
Please show respect people
G P, Wed Feb 03, 2016
In 1994 my then boyfriend (a local boy) and I went into
the cave. I had no clue of it's history. About 1/2
way in we heard a child talking in a different
language, further in there were two conversing, we were
alone. He said, "do you hear that"?! I said
knock it off I'm sure there are kids on top of the
cliff or outside. We began walking out, at 1/2 way out
it was only the one child's voice again. He
exclaimed, " You hear that right, see I told
you"! We got outside the cave, it was a sheer
mountain, no cliff and ABSOLUTLEY no one near. I was a
true believer in all the spirits and legands after that
experience and many more that followed during the 8
years of living on the island.
Tammy Pearce, Fri Nov 07, 2014
"Southwestern" shore- NO!!! on the windward
side, more like northeastern in direction, but
north-south-east-west directions do not work
The Sierra Club of Oahu joins with
Marine Environmental Dept the second Saturday of each
even-numbered month to perform service projects to
maintain a welcoming habitat for migrating native birds