• Jyothi Vummiti

South Point/Ka Lae - Southern Most Point of the USA

Updated: Nov 21, 2018

South Point also known as "Ka Lae" is the southern most point on the Big Island of Hawaii and the United states of America. South point is a historic landmark and a great fishing spot for the locals. This is a must go while visiting the Green sand beach, and vice versa. 


Ka Lae / South Point - Big Island, Hawaii


South point road is a narrow paved road that splits into two almost at the end, one leading to the beach and the other to south point cliffs. The drive was beautiful with great views of grassy landscapes, grazing horses, windmills and wind blown trees. 


Ladder down for snorkeling or swimming

Horse and its foal / Uneven trail


Views from the top of the cliff were absolutely stunning. The South point is known for strong ocean currents and winds. Although swimming is not recommended here due to the currents, there were 2 metal ladders going down into the water. We saw a couple climb down the ladders for snorkeling. Cliff jumping is also quite common among locals and thrill seekers. 


Dry and dusty but beautiful views / South Point light tower

Ocean views


The short trail to the light tower was very rugged and dusty. There are no cliffs near the tower so it was fun to just stand around for a while, watch massive waves hit the rocks and cool off ourselves from the mist. There was no proper sign for this spot except for some sea corals arranged on a black rock reading "South Point". ​ ​Gear Used: We used Fuji X-T1 with 18-55mm lens. As a secondary camera Fuji X-70.

Useful Information:

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 (55 miles) or Hilo (65 miles) or Volcano (40 miles) you will have to take HI-11 freeway to the south and take the south point rd. exit. Continue for 10 miles until the road splits, one leading to South Point and the other to Green Sand beach. Hours and Cost: Open 24/7. No parking or entrance fee. Trail: Parking area and the trail to light tower and very uneven and dusty (depending on the season). Not suitable for driving in a small vehicle. What to Bring: Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water, sturdy shoes, and a camera. Things to do in the area: Papakolea Green Sand beach, Punalu'u Black Sand beach and Punalu'u Bake shop.

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