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About Pohue Bay Beach on Kau & South Island, Hawaii

Pohue Beach is an idyllic white sand beach backed by palm trees in the southern part of the Big Island. Next to it is a bonus beach with an oasis of anchialine pools behind it. Unfortunately the drive to these beaches is on a rugged road that’s probably best as a hike.

There are points along this road that even the best 4x4s will struggle with. The last mile is blocked by a gate so your minimum hike is about a mile. A good plan is to drive the road as far as you are comfortable and then park out of the way and hike the rest of the road. If you don’t have a 4×4 rig, you’ll have to park at the road entrance and walk downhill from there. The full hike is about 2.5 miles one way and takes about an hour or so.

Pohue Bay is below the private housing subdivision of Hawaiian Ranchos. The community entrance at Kohala Blvd is gated and requires a keycard, but the entrance at Prince Kuhio Drive is open. Signs there discourage proceeding, but the roads to the Pohue Bay Trailhead entrance appear to be public. Suffice it to say that you should not trespass on any properties off the roads all the way to the bay.

To get to Pohue Bay Beach, turn onto Prince Kuhio Drive off Highway 11 near the Malama Market in Ocean View. Continue down Prince Kuhio to Lanikai Drive and go left for two blocks, then turn right at Maikai Boulevard. The 4WD road begins at the end of Maikai Blvd. Drive or walk down this road toward the two sets of palm trees you see at the shore. The right one is Kanonone Waterhole and the left one is Pohoe Bay Beach. The main road goes to the waterhole and then you can follow the road or a unique trail with smooth gray stepping stones that goes across the lava to Pohoe Beach.

You should check out both beaches on your trip, but don’t enter any of the freshwater pools as they are sensitive habitats. Historic rock walls are all around Pohue Bay and petroglyphs can be found in the area too. Don’t disturb any rock piles you come across. If you see any sea turtles or seals on the beach, stay back to allow them to rest without stress. This beach is a natural habitat for hawksbill turtles and Hawaiian monk seals, both of which are endangered.

Note that the land around the beach and the waterhole is signed “Private Property”, but it was recently acquired by the national park service and will be incorporated into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The national non-profit Trust for Public Lands recently facilitated this land deal and made the transfer to the NPS as soon as their acquisition was completed. Be sure to heed any official signs you encounter on the way to the bay.

Old roads and trails that are part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail follow the shore in both directions if you want to extend your adventure beyond these two beaches.

Make sure you have all the food and fluids you need for the day as this is a hot arid environment with no shade along the access roads. Malama Market is a great place to get all your provisions. When you get to the beaches you’ll have trees to find shade under.

Maikai Blvd & Lanikai Dr
Ocean View, HI 96737
808 985-6011
Park Name
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Kahuku-Pohue Parcel
Other Names
Kahuku Beach, Kanonone Waterhole, Keliuli Bay, Pu'u Ki
Pet Details
No dogs allowed
Free parking
Hiking, Beach Exploration, Off-Road Driving
Anchialine Pools, Trails, Historical Sites, Petroglyphs, Rock Arch, Tide Pools, No Facilities
Hawaiian Ocean View,US
8:43 pm, July 15, 2024
temperature icon 77°F
L: 76° H: 81°
Feels like 78.15 °F light rain
Wind gusts: 5 m/s
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0.01 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:54 am
Sunset: 7:03 pm
Humidity 90 %
Pressure1017 mb
Wind 5 m/s

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