Onekahakaha Beach Park, Big Island
Located just south of downtown Hilo on the Big Island’s east shore, Onekahakaha Beach Park is the ideal beach for families with small children and for tidepooling. There is a sand-bottomed cove that is separated from the open ocean by a boulder break, so the nearshore waters are shallow and free of currents or wave action. Also, lifeguards are on duty year-round.
Surrounding the cove are a few tide pools, which are sometimes visited by sea turtles. The largest one of them is home to a large population of sea urchins, as well as sea cucumbers, brittle stars, cone shells, sea urchins and sea anemones. However, this pool is not as children-friendly as it has a rockier and deeper bottom and is not protected by the breakwater. Also, it is subject to currents.
Behind the breakwater, the currents are strong especially when the surf it up, so in the past, when there weren’t any lifeguards yet, many drownings and near-drownings have happened in the turbulent waters behind the protected area.
When tidepooling, keep the following safety tips in mind: Always wear water shoes to protect your feet from the sharp lava rocks and reef. Don’t touch the sea urchins or other ocean creatures.
Onekahakaha Beach Park Overview
- Good beach for families with children and novice swimmers
- Sand-bottomod shallow cove is protected by a boulder breakwater
- Tidal pools are located in this area
- Grassy area behind beach is good spot for ball games and picnics
- Popular beach among local residents and visitors alike
- One of the safest swimming beaches on the Big Island
Onekahakaha Rd, Hilo HI 96720
Coming from downtown Hilo and heading east on Kalanianaole Avenue, make a left turn onto Onekahakaha Road.
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