The 7 Most Lovely Black Sand Seashores in Hawaii

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For many of us, the best tropical seashore is a stretch of pearly-white sand fringed with coconut palms and turquoise waters. However black sand seashores may be equally stunning, so in the event you haven’t seen any, there are few higher locations on this planet than Hawaii. Hawaiian Islands are well-known for having a few of the most fascinating black sand seashores, however the competitors is tight between the Large Island and Maui.

black sand beaches in hawaii
Black Sand seashores in Hawaii

So in case your aim is to see black sand seashores and will not be positive whether or not to decide on the Large Island or Maui, you gained’t be disillusioned with both one. And since I beforehand wrote concerning the black sand seashores on Maui, on this article I’ll take you on a tour of those on the Large Island of Hawaii. However earlier than I let you know the place to seek out them, let me provide you with somewhat perception into how they had been shaped.

Black Sand Beaches in Hawaii
Black sand seashore

The Origin of Black Sand Seashores in Hawaii

Seeing a real black seashore for the primary time is mesmerizing and even a bit intriguing. It in some way doesn’t appear proper. The sand is black as an alternative of pearly-white and the water appears gray as an alternative of blue. That’s such a giant distinction, compared with these blue lagoons that you simply normally see on tropical islands!

view of a hand holding black sand
Black sand from the erosion of lava rock

However why do some seashores have darkish sand? Black sand seashores are uncommon occurrences and Hawaii is among the few locations on this planet the place they’re discovered. And that’s as a result of the Hawaiian Islands are of volcanic origin. The black seashores happen when lava flows meet the ocean cooling quickly and exploding into small items of cinder. Over time, the ocean waves break these fragments into high-quality black sand.

lava flowing into the ocean in Hawaii
Lava flowing into the ocean in Hawaii (photograph credit score: Adrian Cunningham)

This course of can nonetheless be noticed on the Large Island, the place Kilauea volcano continues to erupt even right now. Its final huge eruption in 2018 coated 13.7 sq. miles of the Large Island with new lava flows, destroying 700 homes in its path. However on the similar time, the eruption added 1.3 sq. miles of recent land to the island and created new black sand seashores.

The 7 Most Lovely Black Sand Seashores in Hawaii

One of many finest issues to do on the Large Island is go to a few of the black sand seashores. So if you’re headed to this island and need to see them, listed below are those that we contemplate essentially the most stunning:

Kaimu Seaside

Kaimu is a comparatively new black sand seashore within the Puna District of Hawaii. The seashore was shaped in 1990, when a river of lava fully coated the shoreline, burying the unique Kaimu Seaside and your complete village of Kalapana.

view of black sand beaches in Hawaii
Kaimu Black Sand Seaside in Hawaii

The unique Kaimu Seaside was an area favourite, with high-quality sand and inexperienced coconut timber. After the lava cooled, locals wished to convey the ‘new’ seashore again to life, in order that they planted coconut timber throughout the place.

The brand new black sand seashore is comparatively small and is surrounded by a discipline of lava, however there may be nonetheless loads of high-quality sand on which you’ll stroll or lie down. Throughout the seashore is a discipline of lava, which is an effective instance of how black sand seashores in Hawaii have occured.

sign on the lava road leading to Kaimu beach
Signal on the lava highway resulting in Kaimu Seaside

To get to the seashore, it’s good to drive on Freeway 130 and park on the lifeless finish within the highway. From right here it’s a few quarter mile stroll throughout the sphere of cracked, thick lava, till you attain new Kaimu Seaside.

Lava road leading to black sand beach Beach on Hawaii's Big Island
Lava highway resulting in Kaimu Seaside

The trail is somewhat tough, however it’s attention-grabbing to stroll. The black thick layer of lava is dotted with inexperienced fern, regrowing coconut timber, and all types of paintings depicting scenes from the Hawaiian historical past and the outdated Hawaiian legends.

Hawaiian Artwork on the Road to Kaimu Black Sand Beach
Hawaiian Art work on the Street to Kaimu Black Sand Seaside

Kaimu is a must-see seashore that each customer to Hawaii ought to expertise with a purpose to get a way of the nice energy of nature. It additionally provides you a novel alternative to stroll on the lava roads in Hawaii. Be suggested nevertheless that the ocean is kind of harmful right here, with sturdy currents and massive pounding waves.

Kehena Seaside

Situated at mile marker 19 on freeway 137, Kehena is one other instance of comparatively new black sand seashore within the Puna District. The seashore has appeared in 1955, when lava flowed down the ocean cliffs and into the ocean right here. The seashore shouldn’t be huge, however it’s fairly stunning. You possibly can usually see spinner dolphins right here, which is why residents additionally name this Dolphin Seaside.

Kehena black beach in Hawaii's Big Island
Kehena Black Seaside on the Large Island of Hawaii

Because it’s older than different black sand seashores in Hawaii, Kehena had time to develop loads of greenery. There are many ironwood timber and coconut palms round, in addition to vines rising down the cliffs. The dense vegetation affords loads of privateness, which is why it is a “clothes optionally available” seashore.

View of Kehena beach on the Big Island
Kehena Seaside on the Large Island of Hawaii

The waves are actually tough at this seashore and there aren’t any lifeguards on responsibility, so watch out when swimming! Additionally, on the fringe of the water there are small rocks that make it onerous to realize traction when coming into or exiting the water. I strongly advocate carrying water footwear right here. As in actual fact you need to do when visiting all the opposite black sand seashores in Hawaii.

The hike all the way down to the seashore is comparatively simple, however watch out in the direction of the top! The concrete stairs that led to the seashore broke off and now cling greater than 10 ft above sea stage.

Punaluu Seaside

Due to its magnificence, attention-grabbing geology and historical past, Punaluu is among the most famed black sand seashores on the Large Island of Hawaii. This seashore is probably the unique touchdown spot of the primary Polynesian settlers in Hawaii.

view of the Punaluu Black Sand Beach in Hawaii's Big Island
View of the Punaluu Seaside

Entry to the seashore is off the primary Freeway 11, between mile markers 56 and 57, on the signal for Punalu‘u Seaside. There’s gravel car parking zone with loads of house and restrooms.

Punaluu black sand beach
Punaluu Black Seaside

The seashore is uncovered to sturdy ocean currents, so the waters are colder right here than in different components of the island. Whereas swimming shouldn’t be ultimate, the seashore is nice for snorkeling and for sightseeing. You possibly can stroll throughout the pahoehoe lava rocks to look at the waves crash upon the rocky shore. This can be a good spot to see Honu (Inexperienced Sea Turtles) as they arrive to the shore to catch some zzzzzz’s.

view of a turtle on the beach
Turtle on the seashore

Waipi’o Valley Black Sand Seaside

Situated on the north shore of Hawaii, Waipi’o Valley is among the most picturesque locations on the Large Island. The valley incorporates a black sand seashore, lush tropical vegetation, wild horses, waterfalls, and a stream – the right combine for a very good hike. This valley is paying homage to the numerous stunning valleys we got here throughout on the highway to Hana, in Maui.

Waipi’o is among the hardest to achieve black sand seashores on the Large Island, involving a troublesome hike on a steep grade. The hike to the valley ground is 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) and takes about 30-45 minutes.

Whenever you attain the underside you’ll end up at a fork. In the event you flip left, you’ll move by some taro fields and ultimately attain the Hello‘ilawe Falls. This is among the tallest and most spectacular waterfalls on the Large Island. Sadly, as a result of it’s on personal land, it could solely be visited on a guided tour or with the proprietor’s permission. However visiting the seashore doesn’t require any permission, so if you get to the fork flip proper.

Waipio black sand beach in Hawaii
Wapi’o Black Sand Seaside

The black sand seashore is on the mouth of the valley the place a cool stream flows into the ocean. The surf at Waipi’o is notoriously tough and due to this fact we don’t advocate swimming at this seashore. Nevertheless, that is a tremendous spot to take a seat and benefit from the stunning surroundings, or take dwelling a few of the most superb photos in Hawaii.

View of Waipi'o Black Sand Beach
View of Waipi’o Black Sand Seaside

The valley is an historical burial floor so it’s vital to remain on the marked paths and keep away from trespassing. Simply watch the indicators that clearly let you know the place you may and may’t go.

To get to the Waipi’o Valley from Kona, you nee o take Hawaii’s Belt Street (Freeway 190) for 60 miles to Honoka’a, flip left flip on the junction and drive to the top.

Pololu Valley Black Sand Seaside

The valley of Pololu is the final of a string of seven main valleys on the northern shore of Hawaii which might be the results of hundreds of years of abrasion.

Pololu Black Sand Beach in Hawaii
Pololu Black Unhappy Seaside

The valley has an amazingly scenic seashore, however reaching it includes a troublesome hike that goes nearly straight down. Throughout heavy rains, the filth path generally washes away, so don’t try this hike after the rain.

dirt path leading to Poll beach
Dust path to Polulu Seaside

Pololu Valley is on Freeway 19, about 60 miles away from Kona. When you attain the top of the highway, you’ll arrive at a picturesque lookout level. The views of the cliffs and the ocean beneath from this level are spectacular. You possibly can see the numerous folds and creases of the internal a part of the valley dropping right into a wealthy, inexperienced ground.

view of the Pololu Black Sand Beach
View of the black sand seashore from Pololu Valley lookout level

The seashore is absolutely picturesque, with a mix of huge lava rock stones and black sand. The Pololu stream runs the size of the valley ground and empties into the ocean. Sadly, the water on the northern finish of the island may be extraordinarily harmful. Swimming or browsing right here may be very harmful.

big waves at Pololu black sand beach
Pounding waves at Pololu Seaside

However in distinction with the unfriendly water, the seashore could be very picturesque. A very stunning place to take photos or stroll alongside the the rocky shore.

Pohoiki Seaside

Pohoiki is a lovely oceanfront park positioned within the Puna District of Hawaii. The seashore features a recreation space, a number of ocean thermal ponds, and a ship launch, which could be very uncommon in southeastern Hawaii. 

View of Pohoiki Black Sand Beach in Hawaii
Pohoiki Black Sand Seaside in Hawaii

Pohoiki (or Isaac Hale Seaside Park) barely escaped being completely buried beneath lava. In the course of the 2018 decrease Puna eruption, a thick layer of lava coated a part of the shoreline. The lava circulation stopped simply 70 meters away from the harbor, overlaying a part of the park, the timber, and the cabins in its path.

In the event you visited this seashore earlier than 2018, you gained’t imagine the lava construct up on each side of the park! The brand new black sand seashore is really stunning. Nevertheless, being on the windward aspect of the island, it will get very huge waves. That makes it somewhat harmful for swimming, however as an alternative it’s standard for browsing.

High surf at Pohoiki beach
Surf at Pohoiki Seaside

In the course of the eruption of 2018 the plumbing was destroyed, so there isn’t a operating water at Pohoiki seashore. Solely moveable bathrooms can be found. 

Pohoiki Black Sand Beach
Pohoiki Black Sand Seaside

To entry the park you’ll must drive over the lava circulation, which requires a 4-wheel drive.

Richardson Seaside Park

This can be a good native park positioned simply exterior the city of Hilo. Its stunning black sand seashore is among the prettiest on the Large Island, outfitted with clear bogs and showers the place you may rinse off after swimming or snorkeling. There are additionally a number of tide swimming pools the place kids can play away from the surf. 

Entrance to the water on the Richardson Seaside Park

The reef that protects the bay, makes swimming and snorkeling right here ultimate. The waters are very calm and the the coral reef alongside the rock wall is alive and full of colourful fish. We noticed a number of varieties of fish and lots of big Honu (Hawaiian Inexperienced Sea-turtles) whereas swimming.

The seashore shouldn’t be very huge, so most individuals favor mendacity on the grass and within the shady spots offered by the timber. There’s slim entrance to the water the place loads of of us are simply hanging out, blocking the in/out site visitors.

Because the shore is rocky, it’s good to put on coral footwear all the way down to the seashore.

Tropical fish at Richardson black sand beach
Tropical fish at Richardson black sand seashore

Suggestions for Visiting the Black Sand Seashores in Hawaii

Black sand seashores are stunning sights to see, however they might be harmful locations in the event you don’t know what to anticipate. 

One factor to bear in mind is that a lot of the black sand seashores in Hawaii are positioned in distant areas, the place there isn’t a lifeguards on responsibility. You need to train warning when coming into the water as heavy breaking waves can set off a sudden rip present. However rip currents are hazardous even round low tide, when water is already pulling away.

One other factor to contemplate are the sharp, volcanic rocks hiding beneath the floor of the water. At all times go searching earlier than venturing out for a swim.

Apart from sand, on black sand seashores it’s also possible to discover basalt rocks, andesite, and volcanic glass. These could also be tough on the ft, so carrying coral footwear or sandals is a should.

Additionally, black sand tends to be hotter because it absorbs the warmth, so the answer is to put on some form of footwear on these seashores.



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