Kūka‘ō‘ō stands as the last intact walled heiau in the greater ahupua‘a (land division) of Waikīkī. Believed to have been built by Menehune, the heiau is interpreted today as an ancient agricultural temple.
Surrounding the heiau are Native Hawaiian gardens that feature an extraordinary collection of rare and endangered species, as well as plants introduced by Polynesian settlers. Our site also tells the story of Mānoa Valley, once a rich agricultural area that Hawaiians farmed for centuries. Foreign contact brought many changes to the area including immigrant resident farmers from various ethnic groups. Today, Mānoa is known as one of the most desirable residential areas in Hawai‘i and its strong sense of place endures.
When friends visit Oʻahu we direct them to the Mānoa Heritage Center. The docent tours are simply excellent. This little gem of a place smack in the middle of Mānoa Valley is culturally, botanically, historically, and spiritually significant. It is harder and harder to find places that are authentic, not tourist-driven. Mānoa Heritage Center is such a place.
Long-time friend and supporter
The garden was very beautiful and well kept as if it protected the heiau. The docent was knowledgeable about the plants and heiau. It was so nice to be in such a small intimate group on the walk around the garden.
Honolulu Community College instructor