This beach is a short drive from Hana town and is centered among several Hawaiian heritage sites. Beautiful crescent of soft sand curves along the bottom of a striking red-and-yellow-striped cinder cliff, with an off-shore islets dotting the horizon. The ocean conditions fluctuate here, and currents can be prevalent. Usually water is safest in the summer; avoid swimming during high surf during mid-autumn through late-spring. It is best to see if locals are in the water. Do not hesitate to ask them about the conditions. This beach is remote with no lifeguards.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: A favorite amongst locals, the beach feels quite secluded if you set up to the left end. The beach is not long, but it's a nice walk towards the base of the gorgeous red cinder cliffs on the left.
ACTIVITIES: Seasonal swimming based on wave conditions. Advanced surfing and body surfing off-shore.
WARNINGS!: Practice good judgement and caution. There is often a sand bar about 50 feet into the ocean that creates a false sense of security, beware as it often amplifies the currents and you can suddenly find yourself being swept out.. This beach is where the most drownings occur on the East side, as the sign in the tree will inform you. If in doubt, don't go out!
AMENITIES: single picnic table with a traditional palm-frond roof.
When facing the ocean, the red cinder cliffs to the left form the base of a cinder mountain historically known as "Kai iwi o Pele", significant as being the resting place of the goddess Pele. These days we know the area more as the south end of an ocean-front parcel of land owned by Oprah. Locals are pleased that she has no plans to develop the area, making her a bit of a celebrity conservationist. Look out along the ocean in the distance and you will see a natural sea arch known as "Leho'ula" which is the remnant of lava tube broken apart by waves over time. There are many of these on Maui, but this is one of the most visible. To the far right of the beach is a small island known as " 'Alau Island", with a small coconut grove and birds circling above it. 'Iwa, also known as Frigate birds, adopted it as a sanctuary from the invasive egg-eating mongoose.
Koki is a northeast-facing beach, so if the wave action appears rough here, take some pictures and stay out of the water. Once you have had your fill, visit Hamoa beach approximately half-a-mile further down the same one-lane road past Hamoa Village, Haneoo Road. Drive extra slowly in this area as there is no lane separation and plenty of local traffic. Just past the Koki beach, as the road gets close to the ocean, look for low rock walls in the water. These are Hawaiian aquaculture ponds used as traditional fish farms in the old times. Some work is being done to restore them. These kinds of ponds used to be present throughout the islands. Over time neglect and ocean damage has erased many of them from existence.
Closest town: Hana
From Hana town center (near Hasagawa's store and the gas station) proceed on route 330 aka Hana highway heading south for 1.5 miles looking for a street on the left called Haneoo Rd. Take left and go 0.2 miles downhill to the beach on your left. Look for roadside parking where available once you are near the beach.