About Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park on Hilo & East Island, Hawaii
Laupahoehoe Beach Park is an historic park located on the northeast shore of the Big Island between Hilo and Honoka’a. It’s a great place to walk, explore the shore, learn local history, and even camp if you want to.
This site was devastated by a tsunami on April 1st, 1946 and you’ll find memorials and signs with information about that fateful day. At that time there was a school at Laupahoehoe Point and there was no tsunami warning system. The waves crashed onshore and 20 students and four teachers were lost. Laupahoehoe Point Cemetery is near the old school site at the back of a huge open lawn. Next to the cemetery you’ll probably spot an enormous Banyan Tree. The school was re-established on the bluff above the point.
Near the point a light pole with a diamond-shaped marker on it is easy to find. This is the new automated Coast Guard Light which replaced the former lighthouse tower. That older structure is laying in its side on the ground just below the new light. The point beyond the light has tidal pools that you can soak in and has excellent views too. The beaches in the park are mostly made up of large smooth lava rocks.
Camping is allowed at Laupahoehoe Point if you reserve ahead of time via the county website. Flat grass areas with picnic tables right next to the ocean make this is pretty cozy camp spot (if it doesn’t rain).
A boat ramp, breakwater, and dock were added to the park in 1988 by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Hawaii County’s parks and recreation department. When the surf is mild, this spot on Laupahoehoe Harbor is a popular place for swimming. If you swim, don’t venture far from the docks as currents in the harbor can be strong (fins are recommended). Two hundred years prior to the convenience of the boat ramp, King Kamehameha the Great launched his war canoe fleet from this point to reach other parts of the Big Island.
To get to Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, drive north from Hilo or south from Honokaa and look for the large green signs pointing makai (towards the ocean) for Laupahoehoe Point. It’s just over a mile downhill from the highway to the parking areas near the shore. The boat ramp is to the right and camping is to the left when the road spits near the end.
- 36-1041 Laupahoehoe Point Rd
Laupahoehoe, HI 96764
- Park Name
- Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, Laupahoehoe Harbor
- Other Names
- Laupahoehoe Point, Waipunalei, Kilau
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed at county beach parks
- Free day-use parking, fees for camping permits
- Camping, Fishing, Walking, Picnicking, Sightseeing
- Campground, Picnic Tables, Covered Pavilion, Drinking Water, Restrooms, Showers, ADA Access, Cemetery, Boat Ramp, Historic Sites, Former Lighthouse, Grass Lawns, Banyan Tree, Interpretive Signs
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