Explore Ka'u South of Pahala
Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach
A few minutes away lie a beautiful black sand beach, coconut groves and resting sea turtles.
Snorkel with the Hawai‘i state fish, called humuhumunukunukuapua‘a, Hawaiian green sea turtles and much more.
Look for a yellow gate on the coastal side of Highway 11 and park on the paved area in front.
A decent walk along a bumpy road will lead you to one of the prime surfing beaches in Ka‘u and one of the most pristine estuaries in the state. Bring water.
Honu‘apo/Whittington Beach Park
Look for monk seals (the Hawai‘i state mammal) here. Community members and organizations came together to purchase this land for the county, saving it from development.
As a result, Ka‘u has the longest undeveloped coastline in the state—and this park has one of the healthiest estuaries on the island.
Here you’ll find several of the southernmost eateries in the United States: Punalu‘u Bake Shop (a popular stop to pick up sweetbread and malasadas), Hana Hou (a local favorite with delicious pies) and Shaka bar and restaurant.
Pick up fresh local veggies and crafts from the farmers market at Ace Hardware and Shaka on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
The southernmost point of the United States, Kalae is thought to be the first landing place of early Polynesians in Hawai‘i.
It is a popular destination for fishermen and thrill-seeking cliff jumpers. Make sure you have a local guide show you where to jump.
Green Sands Beach
From Kalae, visitors can hike or take a very bumpy 4WD trail out to Green Sands Beach.
Walk down a steep hillside with makeshift stairs and steps to the beach made up of tiny olivine crystals.
It is prohibited to remove the sand, but pictures are welcome!
Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
The Kahuku side of the national park is open on Saturdays (except the first Saturday of every month) and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hike or drive around historic ranch land and peer into deep forested pit craters filled with native plants.
Make sure to bring a flashlight, proper walking/hiking shoes, a rain jacket and sunscreen.