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“Nice Beach with difficult access!!!!”
Review of Mauna Kea Beach

Mauna Kea Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located behind the Mauna Kea Hotel.
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice Beach with difficult access!!!!”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Mona Kea hotel has very limited parking to provide access to this"public beach"!!! It is definitely controlled like it was their property.. They are probably just barely following the law!! During high season get there before 10:00 am to get a parking pass. We managed to get on the beach 1x out of 4 attempts!! All whining aside, it is a beautiful beach, with easy access to the hotel beach bar!!!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Phil D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 reviews from our community

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
131 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Over rated”
Reviewed January 30, 2014 via mobile

Don't bother coming early for a beach pass. This beach in particular access through Mauna Kea hotel but they guard it like it's a VIP entrance. It's the same beach as Hapuna State Park. Its just as beautiful, just as crowded, a nice beach but there are better ones along this stretch. I would skip it next time and go somewhere else.

5 Thank Island_Paradis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waimea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
109 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014

I would really like to say this is a terrible awful beach, littered, overcrowded etc. just so you wont go there. But the fact is this is the nicest beach that is easily assessable to the public, except for the parking issues. It is easily the hands down beautiful, and the naysayers flat out are unhappy with perfection. Sure the parking sucks, so walk, of course there is lava HELLO your in Hawaii. So if you dont like lava, tight parking, "overcrowded" or whatever please stay away and let the rest of us enjoy one of the best beaches ever EPIC

Visited October 2013
3 Thank foodie808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
158 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“White sand beach, clear water, gentle waves”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

This beach has been ranked by National Geographic as one of the top 10 in the world (that's got to be worth something, right?) Here is what I found with Mauna Kea beach on the Big Island in early January (conditions may vary per season as well):

Only 40 permits distributed per day which are free. We arrived at 9:45am and were permit number 13. They tell you this information at the main gate of the Mauna Kea resort entrance, so if you don't get your permit, you can turn around and head a few minutes drive away to Hapuna Beach which is free, and much more parking provided. In other words, try this beach early on in your trip so if you don't get a permit, you can try again another day. You can stay all day with this permit, and can park your car in a shady spot. There is a trek downhill (oh curse the uphill return too) which wouldn't be bad with your simple bag and umbrella, but when you are a family of 5 like us (two parents, one 6 year old, one 3 year old, and a 5 month old in a baby carrier), trying to carry bags, umbrellas chairs, food, boogie boards... it was very cumbersome. There were golf carts/workers driving by, and I thought, can't you just pick me up and help a mom out, but they keep about their business. There are bathroom and rinse off shower amenities at the bottom of the hill and by the beach entrance.

This beach has white powdery sand, and no rocks in the sand in the water where we played. THIS is wonderful. It has a slow, gradual decline into the ocean and out for a ways. So you and kids can play in the water and waves with ease. The boogie boarding wasn't great here. Although there were waves, not great boogie boarding waves that carry you all the way into shore (Kua Bay had perfect EASY boogie boarding waves.) I loved just hanging out in the water being tossed around by the gentle waves. The water visibility is clear, especially since it is so shallow.

We walked over to the Mauna Kea resort and ate there for lunch. (They do accept credit cards even if you aren't staying there.) We left our beachy stuff on the beach, and came back later and it was fine.

We liked the privacy of having only Mauna Kea guests and limited permits. The beach was busy, but not over-crowded. Hapuna was very similar in sand and water, but had way more guests because it is free and with much more parking. Going to this beach or Hapuna is a must in my opinion.

I give this beach 4.5 stars. It's missing half a star due to the walk from parking to and from the beach, otherwise would be a 5.

Visited January 2014
6 Thank hijodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice, but overcrowded”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Mauna Kea Beach is one of the nicest on Big Island, with white sand and facilities, but it is very much overcrowded and still has some sharp lava rocks.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank Evgenia_VP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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