Nu`uanu Home Hawaiian Islands Home Pacific Worlds Home



The Sea

The Land





Nu‘uanu Home |  Our Guides |  Location |  Orientation |  Getting Here |  Credits  |  Site Map

Getting to Nu‘uanu


Honolulu by Air


Flying into Honolulu, one might get this view. The V-shape of Nu‘uanu Valley rises to the left. Sand Island sits in the lower left foreground, with downtown Honolulu occupying the center of the image.


Today most people travelling from outside the Hawaiian Islands would arrive by plane at Honolulu International Airport, the major airport serving the Hawaiian Islands. This large airport includes the "reef runway," a runway built on an artificial island created on the fringing reef of O‘ahu's southern (Kona) coast. The airport lies on the edge of Pearl Harbor, famous home of the US Pacific Fleet.

It is a direct ride from the airport to Nu‘uanu. Two highways will take you there. Nimitz Highway follows the coast, and leads into the waterfront of Honolulu, then on to Waikiki.



H-1, an "interstate" highway, takes a slightly more inland route, and connects more directly with Nu‘uanu. Many people ask how Hawai‘i can have Interstate Highways. Under Federal law, Federal Highway funds can be used to connect military bases. All three of Hawai‘i's Interstate highways run from one military base to another. H-1 runs from Pearl Harbor to Diamond Head crater in the ahupua‘a of Waikiki. Diamond Head was once a military installation. It is one of several prominent craters that adorn the Honolulu area.

The highway can be either fast or slow, depending on the time of day. Either way, Nu‘uanu lies only a few valleys down from the airport.


The ramp down to the H-1 viaduct from Honolulu Airport. The Ko‘olu mountains in the distance reach down to the sea with arms that surround many valleys.



H-1 & Pali Highway

H-1 Freeway, approaching Nu‘uanu. Punchbowl Crater (Puowaina) rises to the left, letting you know you are near Nu‘uanu, while the sign indicates an upcoming off-ramp to the Pali Highway, which runs straight up Nu‘uanu Valley.



You know you are approaching Nu‘uanu when the crater of Puowaina, commonly called "Punchbowl," looms suddently into view. Punchbowl marks the far edge of Nu‘uanu , but lies within Honolulu ahupua‘a.


This automobile journey takes perhaps half an hour from Honolulu airport (depending on "rush hour" traffic. Because one is travelling fast, one might not realize that the junction of H-1 and Pali Highway also marks a division between bustling downtown Honolulu on the makai (ocean) side, and the lush and quiet Nu‘uanu valley on the mauka (mountain) side. It is this juxtaposition of the modern urban environment with the traditional and historical landscape that characterizes Nu‘uanu.

High-rise apartment buildings and freeway ramps mix with old Japanese temples, schools, and monkeypod trees. Fast transportation or clogged traffic give the Honolulu area a character far different from the gentler regions of this and other islands.

Now you are ready for your arrival.


The "scenic view" from the Pali Highway shows the transition between Honolulu's urban core, and the quite of Nu‘uanu. A cluster of cemeteries mark that transition.



Nu‘uanu Home |  Our Guides |  Location |  Orientation |  Getting Here |  Credits  |  Site Map
Arrival |  A Native Place |  The Sea |  The Land |  Footprints |  Visitors |  Memories |  Onwards
Nu‘uanu Home |  Map Library |  Site Map |  Hawaiian Islands Home |  Pacific Worlds Home