Kahuwai Bay

Kahuwai Bay, Big Island

Kahuwai Bay is a well-guarded secret of the Big Island diving community. The sandy beach is home to about 40 different diving sites, most of them within easy walking distance. The underwater lava rocks form beautiful archways and canyons that look almost surreal in the sunlight.

There's also some interesting marine life here, most notably the green sea turtles that sometimes swim close to shore. The water is very shallow, so you don't even have to wade in to see them up close.

One thing, however, that you can't get here is a leisurely swim. The only access to the water is via a sharp, slippery lava shelf, and the current can get out of control at times. There are also no lifeguards, so go diving only if you are very experienced and know your way around the bay.

The beach itself is a nice place to relax. There are palm trees lining the area, which provide shade for picnics and parties. The beach also offers nice views of the late afternoon sunset. It is located next to the Kona Village Resort (which is closed indefinitely after sustaining extensive damage in the tsunami on March 11, 2011, which was generated by an earthquake in Japan).

Kahuwai Bay Overview

  • Good beach for diving, but poor swimming conditions due to rough waters and difficult ocean access due to a slippery lava shelf
  • Beach offers nice sunset views and plenty of shade, ideal for picnics and relaxation
  • Sandy shoreline with some rocks

Location:
Off Highway 19, Kailua-Kona HI 96740
Directions: From Kona, take Highway 19 north. Right behind Mile Marker #87, make a left turn. Ask for a “public access pass” at the Four Seasons Resort guard house. Make a right turn at the intersection. Follow the road to the parking lot and the public access trail to the beach.


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