Punalu'u beach is the largest and one of the most popular black sand beaches in Hawaii. It is located on the southern end of Big Island close to the small town of Na'alehu. It is known for its jet black sands, coconut palm lined shores and sea turtles.
The biggest attraction to this beach is ofcourse the genuine black sand. Like some of the other black sand beaches in Hawaii the sand is coarse and more pebble like. While it is tempting to take back a pebble or two home, it is said that it will bring you bad luck. Same for all the other colorful sand beaches in Hawaii.
This beach is great for swimming, snorkeling or a picnic. However, as with all the other beaches in Hawaii, one needs to be very cautious of the ocean currents and rocks.
Sightings of 2 endangered species of turtles, the Hawaiian Green sea and Hawksbill turtles are very common. They can be seen swimming in the waters and basking on the beach enjoying the warmth of the sand.
There is a beautiful lily pond behind the beach in full bloom.
One other thing famous in Na'alehu town is the Punalu'u Bake Shop. They sell some unique and delicious fruity doughnuts, pastries, breads and icecreams. It is a popular stop for anyone visiting this part of the island.
We used Fuji X-T1 with 18-55mm lens. As a secondary camera Fuji X-70.
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Where to Stay: We stayed in a vacation rental in Volcano town close to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Check out other options. For accommodations closer check here.
Getting there: Whether you are driving from Kailua-Kona (65 miles) or Hilo (55 miles) or Volcano (30 miles) you will have to take HI-11 freeway to the south. Turn on Punalu'u/Ninole loop rd. and look for signs to the beach.
Hours and Cost: Open 24/7. No fee.
Things to do in the area: South Point, Green Sand Beach and Punalu'u Bake shop.