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“beautiful beach.... long walk”

South Point (Ka Lae) and Green Sand Beach
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Volcanoes National Park and Waterfall Hilo Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Naalehu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The big island of Hawaii's southernmost point features the Green Sand Beach.
Marne, Michigan
Level Contributor
102 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“beautiful beach.... long walk”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is a long walk from the car park to the green sand beach. It is not too hilly, but there are some long inclines. There are enough 4 wheel drive vehicles that make a good trail to follow. We went on a sunny day so it meant sunny and windy long walk. Bring water. You will need it. It took us 45 minutes to the beach and 1 hour back to the car. It was worth it. If I were to do it again I would plan on staying at the beach and swimming in the cove and spending the day there with a picnic lunch. We went there as a side trip on our way to Hilo.

It was a Sunday when we went there so it may have been influenced by the weekend, but there were 2 trucks driven by locals who were willing to be the taxi to ferry people to and from the beach. Cost? $10 each. They said it was for both directions or for just the ride back. I'm sure that changes depending on the mood.

It was good exercise and I definitely got my 10,000 steps in that day.

Visited November 2012
Thank marymich55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
376 reviews
232 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
“Windy greea beach”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I went there on my way back to Volcano village from Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Otherwise I think is not worth to go here from Hilo/Kona or Volcano village just to take swim. The South point is well signed. Even thought I had a 4WD car I left it at the car park lot and walked around 2,5 mile or 45 minutes to the beach. But if you are lazy or tired there are locals with their 4WD hanging around to give you ride for 5$.

After the walk I was happy to jump into the water and appreciate the green sand. Unfortunately it was too windy and the waves to high for real swimming or snorkeling. But the sand color was so rare to see that I still appreciated this little and hidden beach.

Visited October 2012
Thank duhoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
201 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 669 helpful votes
“Long drive for not a lot.”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

If you're ticking off the sites down the southern end of the Big Island, you might feel drawn to visit South Point and Green Sand Beach. You'll find the turn-off not far south of Naalehu village. The road heads towards the sea, and the first part is gppd tarmac. Then you come to several wind-farms, two of which are old and ruined, with bits hanging off the rotors and looking generally like wrecks on poles. Ater that, the road becomes rutted dirt until it reaches South Point ... the most southerly point in the USA. Green Beach is nearby, also not well sign-posted and hard to reach. Was it worth the journey? Not really. But if you're keen ....

Visited October 2012
Thank onero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kensington, Maryland
Level Contributor
227 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Windy, but green”
Reviewed November 9, 2012 via mobile

Green sand beach: 1) the drive to Ka'lae has improved significantly with the replacing of the road almost all the way to the parking area for green sand beach (no paved road to the beach, but this made the drive much better). 2) this is a hike to something beautiful, not exactly a day at the beach, so to speak.
To get there: drive south on the road to south point which will turn to one lane about 1/2 way there. At the sign for green sands, follow the arrow and turn left. At the end of the pavement turn right onto the poorly paved road for about 1/4 mile. Don't go on the dirt road. Just past the old houses you should see the dirt and gravel lot usually with some locals in trucks hanging out to give you a ride. If you don't want to hike, pay them their fee and ride on a crazy 4wd road. For me, I get motion sick, so I walked. From the parking area walk straight toward the water until you see the open gate and kapu (forbidden) sign. Follow the road closest to the water for 2.25 miles. The road is best traveled in sturdy shoes, but a number of people attempted it in flip flops (don't know if they made it). You will come upon the large cinder come with a small beach that looks brown from above. Go about halfway around the cinder one and you'll see a little path leading to a ladder and some well worn foot treads to get you down to the beach. Pick up the sand in your hand. Look at the individual grains. They are very green. The green-ness of the beach depends on lighting. I went on an overcast day, but my camera flash really picked up the green when I held the sand in my hand. Dry sand looks greener than wet.
This was my third time on this hike and my first time making it to the beach. The trip can be confusing if you don't do your research and look at the pictures of your final destination. Every time I have been to Ka'lae it has been insanely windy. Some suggest bringing a hat, but you might lose it if you do. It is also almost always (except today) sunny--very sunny. Wear sunscreen!! As for water--I used about half a liter. I think I used so little because it was overcast which kept the temp down a little. There are no facilities anywhere near Ka'lae. Depending on which side of the island you come from, stop in one of the little towns along the way for a bathroom break unless you are cool with taking care of business out in the open desert--no where to hide.
All in all--I'm thrilled I found the beach and hear that it is eroding, so who knows how much longer it will be there. The walk took me 2 hours total, including a about 15 minutes on the beach.
As for south point, see it, get some pictures, don't drive off the road.

2 Thank TammyS3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centreville, Virginia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“What a sight!”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

After leaving South Point we drove over to the green sand beach. There are only two such beaches in the world so this was a read treat for our visit. Be careful - steep climbing, and rugged roads to get there. And, take a snack with you. We opted to pay one of the guys there to take us from the parking area to the beach in his 4X4. It was worth the small cost (he called it a "fair donation). Get in the water and look closely at the sand and the colors that glitter in the sand. You'll remember this trip forever.

Visited September 2012
2 Thank KNSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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