Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park


This unique and remote beach is certainly a departure from the typical postcard beauties, but for those love remote beaches, this is one of the world's beauties. The beach has a a history of devastation, industry and shipping, but today it's a place where honu, or green sea turtles come to bask on the fine black lava sand.


Highlights: large quiet remote beach with unique black sand an abundance of green sea turtles.

Activities: Snorkeling, swimming depending on ocean conditions. Sun bathing, picnics, walking, beachcombing, turtle watching, fishing

Lifeguard: Weekends and holidays between the hours of 930a-445p

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 is prohibited. Since they are protected under state law, do not attempt to approach, touch, feed or harass sea turtles. If you encounter an entangled or stranded sea turtle, please call: (808) 983-5730

Amenities: Parking lot, paved walkways, handicapped parking area, restrooms, picnic tables, showers, pavilion, drinking water, snack and curio stand


The Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park is located 75 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 Hawaii Belt Road (11) south for 66 miles passing through Naalehu. Turn right onto Ninole Loop Road. The entrance to the beach park will be on the right.

This blissful park is a study in contrasts. Black lava sand against the foamy white surf, groves of green coconut trees against clear blue skies and a fresh water spring that mingles with the clear salty ocean.

The beach park has a storied past. In 1868 an earthquake and resulting tsunami wiped out the shoreline. The coconut groves were rebuilt, but the event forever damaged the thriving fresh water fishpond located steps from the shoreline.

Located at the east end of the park, one can still visit what remains of Punalu'u Landing. This shipping dock was the bustling center of Ka'u during H'awaii's plantation days. Ships lined the landing awaiting processed cane from nearby mills to be loaded onto ships bound for Oahu.

Today, aside from a popular fishing spot for area net and line fishermen, Punaluu Black Sand beach is a regular stop for several tours on the way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park who stop for a photo opportunity and continue onward. On long weekends and holidays, families from neighboring towns gather for swimming and picnicking. It's a perfect stop for a picnic lunch.


96-876 Old Government Road
Phala HI 96777
GPS: 19.133613 , -155.506201



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