A Guide to Re-Creation, Sustainability & Fun!
Hawai'i Re~Creation Guide
Image of Hawaii Island Courtesy of HVCB
On the Island...Guide to Re-Creation, Sustainability & Fun!
Whether you go in from one of our local beaches, or charter a boat to go in deep, snorkeling is one of the "must do's" on the Big Island. Here are some suggestions for beach and boat access to our lovely Hawaiian waters.
First though, some words of caution. The ocean is not a swimming pool, and there are important things to know before entering to snorkel.
Find entry and exit places that are not over coral or rocks. Enter at a sandy place. Incoming waves can be strong, and you don't want to be dragged over rock, coral or even rocks and pebbles.
Always wear snorkel goggles in the water. You want to be able to SEE where you are at all times, especially in relation to where any underwater rocks or coral may be. Goggles and snorkel give you an added measure of safety to be able to see and breathe without having to worry where the rocks are. Use defogger to keep your lenses clear. In a pinch, spit will help.
Fins are very helpful in having purchase in the water. Without them, you can kick for a long time against the ocean and go nowhere fast.
Be aware that though they are slow and magnificent, turtles are protected, and there is a hefty fine for touching them.
Please don't walk on coral. It is delicate, and deserves our respect and care.
One of the most beautiful, and most popular beaches on the Big Island, with miles of golden sand and deep blue seas. There are few opportunities, near the water, though for shade. So, if you want some trees and more snorkeling opportunities with rocks, you might want to travel a few more yards up the road to Waialea Bay (Beach 69)
Turn left at the 69 mile marker, marked by a sign for "Hapuna Beach". Follow the road left, and turn right into the first parking lot.
Spencer Beach Park
One of the northermost sandy beachs on Hawaii Island. From here, the coast becomes increasingly rocky as one heads up to Upolu Point and the northernmost tip of the Big Island. This is a "locals" beach, and is quite busy on the weekends, with safe entry into the ocean, picnic areas, and public restrooms.
Take Highway 19 north from the resorts, to where the road splits to go either to Waimea or Kawaihae. Spencer Park is on the left, just before you enter Kawaihae. Be sure to check out the historic elements of this park, as well as sunset here. It is a wonderufl, relaxing place for family fun.
Click Photos to go to a Panoramic View
Waialea Bay (Beach 69)
Stepping onto this beach is like stepping onto a postcard scene. Complete with trees, safe sandy entry, plenty of snorkeling, and even (on the far left end) a rope swing, this is the perfect hidden treasure of a place to take the kids and spend the day.
Another "locals" favorite, this is the perfect spot for a lovely day at the beach. There are public restrooms and outdoor showers (beware the bees) and places for everyone, from shady spots to read to deep water exploration, and decent body boarding.
Traveling north on Highway 19, turn left into Puako Road right before the70 mile marker. Take the first right, and come to the first parking lot on the right. If you go further down the same road, you will come to Hapuna Beach, described above.
Mauna Lani Beach Club Beach
One of the favorite beaches on the Island is the Beach Club beach at Mauna Lani. The coral reef here is nothing less than breathtaking. The fish are numerous and energetic, and the waters (on a clear day) are as clear as can be. Definitely not to be missed. You can easily swim to the boat moored in the bay. Behind the lounge chairs, you can see the Beach Club Restaurant.. This beach is the epitome of Hawaiian beauty!
From Hwy 19, turn left into Mauna Lani Drive, and take the roundabout to S. Kaniku Drive. If you don't have a parking lot pass (members only) you may have to park at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and walk across their grounds and the fish ponds. Well worth the stroll!
Anaehoomalu Bay - southern end (A-Bay)
Accessible from the public parking lot, the south end of A-Bay is a popular snorkel beach, located just behind the Queen Shops at Waikoloa Beach Resort. During whale season, guests can watch the whales right from the shore. There is ample space for all beach activities, from reading in the shade to snorkeling among the coral reefs. Safe sandy entrance and all the sun you want. Further down the beach, is the Waikoloa Hilton portion of the beach, which is more pristeen with softer sand and more sun (less shade). All is available to everyone....but the entrance from the parking lot comes onto the south end of the beach, pictured here.
Turn left at MM 76, into Waikoloa Beach Resort. Turn left right past the Queen Shops, and go to the parking lot at the end of the road.
Kahaluu Bay State Park
Touted as the BEST snorkeling beach on the island, Kahluu is a safe place for snorkeling. Just one stop short of the (now closed) Keahou Outrigger, it is easy to find on Ali'i Drive, four miles south of Kailua Kona. Turtles are especially numerous here, and snorkeling is out of this world! Remember to take your underwater camera. Snorkel gear is also available for rent here.
You can either take Ali'i Drive four miles south, or turn off of Queen K at Kamehameha III Road to Ali'i Drive, turn right, and go to the parking lot one drive past the old site of the Keauhou Outrigger.