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Koloa Heritage Trail
Learn a bit of history and culture along the 10 mile, self-guided Koloa Heritage Trail, a series of 14 monuments located at significant historical, cultural or environmental sites. Sections may be accessed by walking or biking. Most sites may be reached by car. Pick up a map and interpretive brochure from your accommodation, or contact Poipu Beach Resort Association.
The Moir family, builders of the elegant lava rock home that now houses Kiahuna Plantations' front office and restaurant called it Pa'U a Laka. It honors both Laka, the Hawaiian goddess of hula, and Kuka'ohi'aalaka, the rain god. Today, the area is called Kiahuna Plantation Resort, referring both to a nearby ancient temple, and to the sugar plantation era. Hector McD Moir was the last manager of Koloa Plantation before it changed hands in 1948. He and his wife built their home in the early 1930's on a gift of land from her father. After clearing it, the only vegetation around for miles was sugar cane, three trees, and an abundance of lava rock. Ancient Hawaiians farmed in this rocky, arid area, channeling stream water in 'auwai, or ditches. Remnant 'auwai remain in the garden. In the 1930's water for hobby gardening was scarce, co Mrs. Moir switched from tropical plants that required frequent watering to orchids, bromeliads and succulents. She and the Moir's only child, Eric McD Iki Moir, planted and watered the garden that you see today, featruing water lily-filled lava rock ponds, koi, and a variety of orchid and cactus species.
National Tropical Botanical Garden is a nonprofit institution dedicated to saving, studying, and sharing the flora of tropical regions - in its five gardens and five preserves, on other private lands, and in the wild. Emphasis is on species threatened with extinction. Two gardens are on the south shore - McBryde Garden and Allerton Garden. Both offer public tours from the Visitors Center in Poipu. McBryde holds the world's largest collection of native Hawaiian species.
This natural wonder occurs when water rushes under a lava shelf and bursts through a small opening at the surface. Every wave produces another spray. Spouting Horn frequently spurts salt water 50 feet into the air. The phenomina is especially exciting at sunset when the spray becomes incandescent with the colors of the rainbow. This particular blowhole is different from others found throughout the state as another hole nearby only blows air, making a loud groaning sound. Legend states that this coast was guarded by a large mo'o (lizard) who ate everyone who tried to fish or swim here. One day, a man named Liko entered the water. When the mo'o went to attack him, he swam under the lava shelf and escaped through the hole. The mo'o became stuck and was never able to get out. The groaning is the cry of hunger and pain from the lizard still trapped under the rocks. There used to be a much larger blowhole called Kukuiula Seaplume adjacent to Spouting Horn. It shot water 200-feet into the air. However, as the salt spray damaged a nearby field of sugar cane, the hole was blasted away in the 1920's. Do not venture out on the lava shelf and get close to the blowhole - fatalities and injuries have resulted from such acts.