The Nu’uanu Pali Lookout (translates to Cool Height Cliff) serves as an important pass from ancient times to the present. Many settlers built their villages in the area and populated Pali Lookout for hundreds of years. See this amazing landscape, book an Oahu Island tour with us.
Nu’uanu’s low, traversable section of the Ko’olau mountain range connects the leeward side Honolulu Mountains to the windward side of Kailua and Kane’ohe. The first road was built in 1845, which connected Windward Oahu with Honolulu. It was later developed into a highway in 1898 where an estimated 800 skulls and human bones were found. The remains were believed to be those of the warriors who fell to their deaths from the cliff above during the battle of King Kamehameha and Kalanikupule.
In 1959, the road was replaced by the Palu Highway and the Nu’uani Pali Tunnels, the same route used today.
King Kamehameha vs Kalanikupule
In 1795, King Kamehameha and his army marched to Nu’uanu to face the king of Oahu, Kalanikupule and his troops. The battle that ensued was bloody and fierce but eventually, King Kemahameha and his soldiers defeated the Oahu armies by sending them over Pali Lookout’s treacherous cliffs. Thousands of Kalanikupule’s men fell into the cliff, to their deaths. King Kamehameha’s victory united the Hawaiian Islands.
Best Views of Oahu
Pali Lookout stands, in all its glory, overlooking the 985 foot cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range. Today, visitors from all over the world visit Nu’uanu Pali Lookout for its impressive views of the island’s tranquil beauty and natural landscape. It is known to provide the best viewpoints of Oahu as it gives you panoramic vistas across the island which includes views of Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman’s Hat, and the Hawaii Pacific’s Windward Campus.
Don’t forget to bring a light jacket when you go to Pali Lookout as it is extremely windy at the summit. Trade winds blow through the valley between the high mountains and forms a strong wind tunnel. When the winds are extra strong, you can lean into the wind and allow the gusts to hold you up.