Onomea Bay

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles71 reviews
Excellent
47
Very good
19
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Russ Lacuata
Long Beach, CA9,550 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
The scenic drive on the Hamakua Coast is a MUST do drive. The road twist and snakes through a lush tropical rain forest lined with streams. Several stops allows for breathtaking views of the ocean coast.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan W
Austin, TX87 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
On a private tour Mauka Makai Adventures, Josh made a stop at Onomea Bay. Just a short, easy hike leads to this beautiful little bay. We were the only people there, and spent about 20-25 minutes just taking it in. There is something mesmerizing and magical about this spot. Great place for reflection and renewal.
Written June 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kontiki50
Hakalau, HI69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Family
This little jaunt or bypass on the Old Mamalohoa Hwy off of Hwy 19 about 6 miles north of Hilo, is well worth the detour. As it offers a beautiful drive through a rain-forest of various types of palms, tropical plants, and numerous waterfalls. There are also examples of old Hawai'ian "kama'aina" homes, businesses and even a church along the way. Reminders of the old sugar plantation days from when there was the Onomea Sugar Mill

One needs to drive slowly on this fairly narrow two lane road and not just because of the occasional oncoming traffic or pedestrians, but keep "a-look-out" for "turn-outs" that come up quickly and are limited, yet they afford the best views of the bay.

Onomea Bay used to also have another name called, "Onomea Arch". Prior to a 1956 earthquake, there was a large arch at the end of the northern point that had become a famous landmark until it had collapsed leaving a just a gap at the point. Hawai'ian legend has it that King Kamehameha threw his spear to create this huge tunnel in the rock(must have been some spear!). The arch was estimated to be over a thousand years old.

Just off the Old Mamalohoa Hwy at the center of the bay, you'll see the Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Gardens. By the way, this is well worth going to as well as affording some spectacular views at the bottom where the garden meets the sea.

Taking this detour also allows you to continue north a few more miles where you'll run into Sugar Mill Road in the small town of Pepe'ekeo which will bring you onto the main Hwy 19 again.

If you get too overheated, there's a nice little food and refreshment place that serves "shave ice" at Old Mamalahoa Hwy and Kulaimano Road, just before you reach Sugar Mill Road and on to Hwy 19.
Written August 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MidwestRoadTrips
Indianapolis, IN121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
Totally worth it. Very quiet the day we visited. The view of the ocean was beautiful and peaceful. If you’re traveling to Akaka Falls, I recommend taking 15-20 minutes to stop here.
Written July 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Treblehop
Auburn, AL250 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
My husband and I were driving along Highway 19 from Waipi'o Valley to Hilo and saw parking spots on the side of the road, so we stopped to investigate. I'm so happy we did! We followed the trail down to the water, it was approx. a half mile one-way. It led to a beach with black sand and rocks, with beautiful bits of green olivine. The surf was rough in December and I wouldn't recommend swimming to amateurs during that time. This was our first black sand beach experience, and it was wonderful! It was just past the Botaacal Gardens (travelling South), and is worth a visit!
Written February 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer N
Cedar City, UT18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016
This is a 4 mile scenic drive that doesn't disappoint. The views are spectacular. Don't forget to stop by Coconut Willy's and buy a cold coconut. He will cut it open for you to drink, then he will cut out the fresh coconut for you to take with you. Nicest guy!
Written February 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tubeye
Bucks County, PA33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015
We did the scenic drive to the bay from the Hilo side. Take your time, it's a slow road but an easy drive. Stop at the pull off and walk down to the bay. Make sure to take the Donkey Trail at the edge of the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens fence. Steep climb back but a paved trail. Wish we had time to tour the gardens too. Stop at What's Shakin' for a smoothie after.
Written July 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan S
Huntington Beach, CA39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Couples
I don't think I'd go 20-30 miles out of my way to see this drive but, because it's on the way between Hilo and Akaka Falls, it was a very convenient. It is better to take the drive south to north because most of the pullouts are on the right hand, ocean side. The road goes thru very lush and quintessential rainforest foliage and has several great scenic view stops with ocean/ bay vistas. Most of the drive is 60 - 100 ft above sea level so you are looking down to the water.

We were going to hike down to the shore via the "Donkey Trail" which was recommended on other hiking sites but we met up with a park ranger who said the Donkey trail was fairly steep and mostly uneven footing over rocks which can be very slippery when wet - which is much of the time. He recommended the Onomea trail which is about a half mile south of the Donkey Trail and has a pullout that will accommodate 4 to 5 cars. There is a nice scenic view at the top of the trail. It is mostly a paved pathway down to a little cove at the beach with a nice little waterfall (maybe 8-10 ft tall) feeding into the cove.
Written November 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

buckeyetravelgirl214
Columbus, OH67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Couples
I have walked to Onomea Bay many times as my hubby and I have vacationed several times a year on the big island. This is an incredible walk with beautiful views of the pacific with crashing waves. You will walk past the botanical gardens turn right and walk down to the ocean...but go back to the main path and keep walking you will then cross over a stream there are some hidden small waterfalls then go uphill a bit and you are at the top of the cliff with to die for views...the ocean is so blue and so gorgeous. I love this walk and best of all its free. It would be a great place to bring a light picnic if you wanted as it is private and most people dont walk this far...and it isnt really a far walk.
Also the scenic onomea bay drive is fantastic I love this drive it feels like you are in a jungle...lots of one lane bridges, roadside waterfalls, beautiful foilage and flowers it is a must do dont miss it!
Written June 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AFWife_11
Honolulu, HI53 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2011 • Couples
My husband and I stumbled upon Onomea Bay completely by accident. We took the "scenic route" en route from Hilo to 'Akaka Falls State Park. The trail down is pretty easy to do, and is absolutely beautiful. The shoreline can be pretty choppy, so I wouldn't advise anyone to go swimming, but it's lovely to go down and enjoy. Very few people were in the area, so it felt like our own secluded beach! Only took us about 30 minutes to leisurely walk down, explore the shoreline, take lots of photos, and come back up to our car. Worth the stop!
Written October 26, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Onomea Bay - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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