For many visitors, Hawaii is a place defined by its beaches. Look a little closer and you'll also see a wealth of stunning historical attractions. The Anna Ranch Heritage Center is one such landmark that highlights a significant occasion in Hawaii's herding past – when Anna Lindsey Perry-Fiske become the state’s first female rancher, aka the ‘First Lady of Ranching in Hawaii’.
The Anna Ranch Heritage Center tells a unique story of colonial Hawaii, as well as the fascinating tale of how one woman changed the status quo. The old cattle ranch covers 110 acres among the green hills to the north of Hawaii's Big Island. Anna’s great great-grandparents bought the land, originally to use for a sawmill. Little did they know that their family lineage would influence the future of Hawaii to this day.
Anna herself was born in 1900 and as a child absorbed all the important skills a rancher needed. When her father died – and with no sons to step in and take the reigns – Anna took over the ranch when she was 39. As well as being Hawaii's first female rancher, she was also an award-winning jockey and a social belle. Anna lived to the age of 95, and made her wishes known that she wanted a heritage centre dedicated to ranching opened. She gifted her vast land to the community, which now acts as a memorial to honour Hawaii's ranching ancestry.
Tours are available of the historic home and land on foot, by bike and in groups. Anna Ranch Heritage Center is found on the western edges of Waimea, and tours run daily at 10am and 1pm. Booking ahead is advised. Also nearby are the Waipio Na'alapa Trail, the Waimea Homestead Farmers Market and the Isaacs Art Center.