About Awakee Bay on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
Awake’e Bay Beach is part of Kekaha Kai State Park, but it doesn’t get the visitation of the sandier and easier access beaches in the park. There are really two reasons, ok three, for coming to this beach. The first reason is to get closer to Makalawena Beach. The bulk of visitors are people driving Jeeps and trucks with lift kits and large tires that want to shorten the walk to Makalawena which is a much longer (and hotter) walk from the southern main access. Another reason to visit Awakee is to enjoy the wonderful snorkeling when the surf is mellow. The third reason is for curious folks who want to go hiking and see a new section of the Kona shoreline.
No matter if you walk or drive the rugged road, when you first reach the shoreline you’ll be at the best place to get in for snorkeling. This tiny cove has some protection from the waves. The shoreline is mostly rocks everywhere you go at Awakee. If you aren’t snorkeling maybe you should just continue walking to Makalawena Beach where there’s abundant sand. This walk is along the rest of the 4×4 road from wherever you got out to walk. Along the way you’ll find some anchialine ponds and you might find a rope swing on an old tree snag. It’s a pleasant walk that ends at a gate where you can continue to Makalawena.
You can drive to Awakee Bay Beach if you are lucky enough to have a 4×4 vehicle (a Jeep Wrangler or similar with high clearance, not a standard SUV). The access road starts on HI-19 just south of the Kua Bay Access Road (Kua Bay Road is across the highway from West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery). The road to Awakee Bay goes right by Pu’u Ku’ili cinder cone which has the best views in the area. You could hike up to the top of it if you have the time and energy. With 4WD you can drive to the top of Puu Kuili by taking a right at the first intersection. If you are not going up the cinder cone the driving directions are simple – just stay left at all intersections and you’ll get to Awakee Bay. Keep in mind that the road to Awakee is so rough that it’s about the same speed to walk it or drive it. We suggest donning a backpack and doing the hike or at least stopping and parking if you come to a section of road that is too difficult.
- HI-19 & Kua Bay Access Rd
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
- Park Name
- Kekaha Kai State Park
- Other Names
- Awake'e, Kawikohale Point
- Pet Details
- Technically this is state park property and dogs are not allowed on beaches
- Free parking
- Hiking, Snorkeling, Off-Road Driving
- Trails, Rope Swing, Anchialine Ponds, Cinder Cone Summit
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