Mahana Green Sand Beach


Remote and untamed this beach can be found past the end of South Point Road at the base of Pu'u o Mahana in the district of Ka'u. Accessible on foot or by 4WD only. The hot sunny trek is well worth a visit to experience the world's only green sand beach.


Highlights: large quiet remote beach with olivine sand

Activities: body surfing, swimming depending on ocean conditions. Sun bathing, picnics, walking

Lifeguard: none

Warnings: Winter months bring higher surf and stronger rip currents, rough and dangerous conditions. Windy conditions are prevalent in the winter months. Stinging Portuguese man-o-war jelly fish frequent in varying numbers 10 days after the full moon. Do not leave any valuables in your car at anytime. Removal or collecting sand, rental cars and nudity are prohibited.

Amenities: none


The Mahana Green Sand Beach is located 70 miles south of the Kailua-Kona. From Kona International Airport at Keahole. proceed south along Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19) for 7 miles. The highway changes from Queen Kaahumanu Highway (19) to Hawaii belt Road (11) at the Palani Road intersection. Continue south along Hawaii Belt Road (11) for 53 miles. Turn right onto South Point Road near Mile marker 68. Continue left at the intersection to South Point. The parking lot will be at the end of the road.

Probably one of the most difficult beaches to access on the Big Island, Mahana Beach is remote and rugged. Access to and from the end of South Point Road takes much longer than most actually spend at the beach. Those wanting to brave the tropical heat and blazing sun are welcome to park at the end of the paved road and hike out to the shore line, however, it is a hot and dusty six mile roundtrip hike. Those who prefer to ride to the beach are warned that rental companies do not permit rental cars, 4WD to proceed past the end of the paved road.

Others are welcome to engage the services of a huddle of locals equipped with 4 wheel vehicles of varying sizes that will drive the rutted and bumpy road, wait for a few minutes before returning to the parking area. Expect to pay a little over the price of a 12 pack of imported beer per person, but it is well worth the savings in the time it will take to hike out to the remote location not to mention the time it takes away from enjoying the numerous other sites in the area. Bring cash. Drivers do not accept any credit cards.

Those who come to Mahana beach do so more for the photo opportunities and the curiosity. Because of the remoteness and lack of any facilities, just a handful actually spend the day on the beach to enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The short trail from the top of the hill down to the shore is steep and once on the shoreline, many enjoy taking in the views of the lava rock hillside, the olivine sand and the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean.

Known incorrectly as Papakolea by some, historically the correct name is Mahana, named after the cinder cone that when eroded by high seas and rough conditions provides the beach with it's olivine shoreline. Along with views to and from the beach, one can views of ancient Hawaiian archeological sites along with Kaulana boat ramp where local fishermen begin and end their fishing trips.


End of South Point Road
Naalehu HI 96772
GPS: 18.920587 , -155.671109

No website, only local knowledge


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