Kaniakapūpū, the summer palace of King Kamehameha III, lies within a restricted watershed in a densely forested part of Nuʻuanu. The site is closed to the public, with the exception of Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners or permitted caretakers. However, visitors continue to trespass onto the site regularly. A new virtual tour provided by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife offers users a chance to learn about the site in a manner that is safe, legal, and respectful. The Living808 crew was granted permission to head to the site and talk with DLNR workers about the new online tool.
The tour utilizes a series of navigable 360˚ images combined with audio collected at the site. It also features historical photos and oral history provided by a local expert, Dr. Baron Ching.
In the videos, Dr. Ching discusses the cultural and historical importance of Kaniakapūpū, including its distinction as the site where King Kamehameha III drafted the 1839 Declaration of Rights and the first constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1840. Kaniakapūpū also hosted enormous celebrations of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, the day of restoration after the short-lived British occupation of Hawaiʻi in 1843.
To learn more and to take the virtual tour, visit dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/education/virtual/kaniakapupu/.