About Kamehame Beach on Kau & South Island, Hawaii
Kamehame Beach is a remote black sand beach that’s only reachable by hiking along the shore eastward from Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. The hike is about about 2.5 miles each way and traverses treeless lava flows on most of the route.
If you like hiking, solitude, and black sand beaches, this beach is just for you. Due to the remoteness and effort required, you’ll might have this beach all to yourself. Be sure to pack all that you’ll need for the day including extra water due to the shade-free trail. Sturdy shoes are a must as the route is rocky and loose in some places.
The beach is in a small cove with a large rock in the center and just offshore. This rock protects the beach a bit from the strong waves, but the rip currents in the cove are still strong so swimming is not advised. A high cliff wall behind the beach is part of Pu’u Kamehame (or Kamehame Hill). This peak is visible along your hike so you can see your objective.
If you walk out on the point on the east side of the beach you’ll find some rock arches in the lava rocks.
The trailhead for this hike is next to the boat ramp at Punaluu Beach Park. Look for rocks painted white to mark the trail entrance. From there simply follow the trail or the coastline east until you get to the beach. Portions of this hike are on an old road that’s intermittent and some of it will be inland from the water. Watch for large gaps in the lava flows and be careful near the edges of lava as they could break under your weight. This route is part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, a 175 mile long coastal travel corridor on the west and south sides of the island.
Kamehame Beach is one of the most significant breeding grounds for two species of sea turtles so visiting the beach during their breeding season of June through November is not recommended. This property is owned by The Nature Conservancy who works with the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife to manage it. Volunteers monitor the beach during the breeding season to protect these important and endangered turtles.
- Ninole Loop Rd
Pahala, HI 96777
- Park Name
- The Nature Conservancy Kamehame
- Other Names
- Kamehame Hill, Pu'u Kamehame
- Free parking at Punaluu Beach
- Hiking, Beach Exploration
- Trails, Rock Arches, Historical Sites
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