Ka Lae is accessible via South Point Road, a 12 mile paved narrow road leading from State Route 11 (Hawai’i Belt Road), the turn off being about 7 miles west of the village of Nāʻālehu and east of Ocean View, Hawaii This is said to be the first place the Ancients arrived in Hawai’i.
If you look carefully along the shore you can see holes in some of the lava rocks that were used for mooring, carved holes from ancient times. Kai Lae, means “the point” and there is a fishing shrine there known Kalalea Heiau or Hale o Kalalea. Because there was so much comings and goings offerings were left in this area as thanks for the safe ocean journeys. Women were not allowed (kapu).
You can still see this small 43x 35 foot heiau according to the terrific book Ancient Sites of Hawaii by Van James: “On the main platforms in a pōhaku called Kūmaiea (female), but also attributed to Kāne and on the smaller platform just mauku is another upright store called Kanemakua (male), associated with the god Kanaloa. Standing twelve feet to the north of the heiau are two more stones, the northerly one called “Ai’ai, the son of Kū’ula. Within the heiau, beside the mauka wall, is a rock called Kū’ula, the god of fishermen. Hina, the wife of Kū’ula is said to live in the sea cave just offshore from the Kalalea Heaiau.”
Please buy this fine book from you local bookseller in its revised edition for additional information about visiting this magical place. Swimming in this area is not recommended because of the intense current it is called the “Halaea Current” named after the chief who was carried off to his death. Beware!