Kualoa (Long-back) is a perfectly flat longish plain forming a narrow land strip between the sea and the precipitous flank, Pali-ku (Erect cliff), of the majestic ridge Kanehoalani which juts out eastward as a semi-independent small mountain system that is a spur of the Ko`olau range.
It is said that Oahu's most famous burial cave was in Kanehoalani. Its name was Pohukaina. One entrance was in the northern cliffside facing Ka`a`awa and another is at a spring named Ka`ahu`ula. This great cavern was believed to run right through the Ko`olau range. There was an opening in Moanalua on the leeward side of the island, and others were in Kalihi, Puiwa, and Waipahu. Still another was in Kahuku. The "roof" of the cavern was called Kauhuhu, and this was "in the mountain Konahuanui, sloping down toward Kahuku." Many are said to have gone with kukui nut candles from Kona (leeward Oahu) to Kahuku. In the caves are "many creeks, rivers and streams" (Ke Au Hou, June 28, 1911).
Attached to Kanehoalani and rising conspicuously as part of this smaller system are several lesser peaks, two of which are named Napu`ukoiele and Pu`u`ohulehule, both in the hinterland of Hakipu`u. Kualoa is the ahupua`a which forms the connecting link between the moku of Ko`olaupoko (of which it is a part) with Ko`olauloa District at Lae-o-ka-`oi`o, the northern "forehead" (lae) or seaward tip of the Kanehoalani mass.
Kualoa (formerly called Paliku, after its sacred cliff) has a broad lagoon inside a solid barrier reef, but hardly any beach. Having no streams, it was for the most part unsuitable for taro growing. However, the late Albert F. Judd, in whose family the ranch lands of Kualoa have long been included, recalled that his father, Dr. G. P. Judd, once said that the Kahola-lele Pond was excavated from a long abandoned taro lo`i. This pond is in the flatland named `Apua near the boundary between Kualoa and Hakipu`u. George Roberts, a kama`aina of Kualoa, is authority for the statement that the land was anciently famous for the wauke (paper mulberry) grown there for the making of bark cloth (tapa).