About Hookena Beach Park on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
Ho’okena Beach on Kauhako Bay is an oasis of fun about 45 minutes south of Kailua-Kona. You an easily spend the entire day here as there are concessions, gear rentals, and shade. And if you want to pitch a tent and spend several days here that’s great too.
Ho’okena has a gray sand beach that’s comfortable to walk on, but it can get warm in the hottest sun. Watch for rocks in the surf and at the edges of the beach.
The north end of the beach has pilings and walls that are remnants of an old pier known as Kupa Landing that served what was once a large town at Ho’okena. Outrigger fishing canoes line the back of the beach and are still used for fishing, teaching fishing to kids, and caring for the fish in this bay.
Swimming is excellent at Ho’okena so it’s popular with families. Kids can bring boogie boards and play in the waves. Bring or rent snorkel gear there so you have fins and can see the world under the waves. They also rent kayaks if you want to paddle up and down the coast from the beach.
To the north you can explore by kayak or walk on the lava rock shoreline to an area known as Kealia Beach (no sandy beach there). If you walk, look for the ruins of an old church which was damaged and relocated in the late 1800s. This church is now the Painted Church up by Captain Cook. To the south you can kayak along the cliff-lined shore of Kaukako Bay and continue to Kanekauii Point and an area known as Kalahiki Beach. There is sand behind the lava rocks near that point, but it’s difficult to pull the kayaks out in that area which gets more wave action. If you see dolphins, paddle away from them to a distance of 150 feet minimum.
A non-profit concession stand is provided for park visitors and campers. It has hot and cold foods, snacks, drinks and takes credit cards. Picnic tables and a covered picnic area are next to the beach. The camp spots at Ho’okena Beach can be booked through their website.
To find Ho’okena Beach, drive south on Highway 11 for nine miles from the main highway intersection in the town of Captain Cook. At that point the turn to Ho’okena is well signed (there’s a potable water spigot on the inland part of this intersection). It’s a two mile downhill drive from the highway to the beach. Near the end, follow signs that point to the left road for the main beach parking lot. The road on the right has a few public parking spaces too, but the main lot is more convenient for beach access.
Park hours at Ho’okena are 7am to 7pm daily (gates open and close at 6:30am and 8:45pm). This park is operated by Friends of Ho’okena Beach Park (FOHBP) through a partnership with the County of Hawaii.
- 86-3687 Hookena Beach Rd
Captain Cook, HI 96704
- Park Name
- Ho'okena Beach Park
- Other Names
- Kauhako Bay, Kealia Beach, Kalahiki Beach, Palianihi Point, Lainamaia, Kanekauii, Kimukoko, Puiwa.
- Pet Details
- No dogs or pets of any kind allowed
- Free day-use parking, fees for camping permits
- Camping, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Swimming, Fishing
- Campground, Concession Stand, Camping Rentals, Kayak Rentals, Snorkel Rentals, Showers, Restrooms, Covered Pavilion, Picnic Tables, Drinking Water, ADA Access
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