Mahai'ula at Kekaha Kai State Park


This attractive beach is the southernmost at Kekaha Kai State Park. However, it is not the easiest to access. The rutted and unpaved road is deemed off-limits by car rental agencies and beach going islanders prefer to forgo the bumpy ride for a paved road at nearby Manini'owali Beach at Kua Bay. However, for those who want to brave the trek though the lava fields will be rewarded with one of the most deserted beaches on the island.


Highlights: large quiet, secluded beach that is popular with shoreline fishermen.

Activities: Boogie boarding, snorkeling, swimming depending on ocean conditions. Sun bathing, picnics, walking, beachcombing.

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. The park is open daily at 9am. The gates are locked promptly at 7pm each day. Nudity is prohibited.

Amenities: Parking lot, paved walkways, handicapped parking area, restrooms, picnic tables.


Mahai'ula Beach is located 12 miles north of Kailua-Kona. From Kona International Airport at Keahole proceed north along Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Highway 19) for 4 miles. Turn left onto The Kekaha Kai Beach Park access road access road located between mile marker 90 and 91. The beach parking lot will be at the end of the road.

Well marked from the highway, the entrance to this beach is easy to find, however, the mile of unpaved and severely rutted road make it an uncomfortable ride and challenge for many most 2 wheel vehicles and certainly forbidden for rental vehicles. However, those who prefer their beaches quiet and secluded will love the reward at the end of the road.

The greater Mahai'ula Bay was originally an ancient village where fishing was plentiful and ancient Hawaii thrived for many years. The beach is still the location of many ancient Hawaiian archeological sites including burial caves along with a fishing diety rock formation Pohaku o Lama. Today, the beach is popular spot for shoreline fishermen who position their poles in the hopes of being rewarded with a host of tasty reef fish that frequent the area.

Mahai'ula beach is a rustic with a shoreline that varies from soft sand to eroded bench rock. Bordered by two coconut groves with a seasonal anchialine ponds on the south end, sand dunes in the center and a cluster of shady kiawe trees on the northern end. Those who enjoy plane-spotting will delight in watching the airplanes land at nearby Kona International Airport at Keahole.

While this beach has several amenities, it is secluded, remote and difficult to access and most of all lacks a full-time lifeguard. While it can be calm and inviting, it has also been known to be rustic, rugged and unpredictable. Therefore it may not be the best choice for families with small children or the inexperienced. Take along an umbrella, picnic lunch and beverages since there are no snack shop available.


along Queen Kaahumanu Highway between mile markers 90 and 91.
Kailua-Kona HI 96740
GPS: 19.769389 , -156.021641


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