Hawaii’s Hapuna Beach-Breathtakinly Beautiful

Guest Post by: HNLhulagirl

Although the Big Island is more than twice the size of all the other major islands put together, it is dead last when comes to an abundance of large white sand beaches.  However, the few it does have are some of the best in the islands.

Hapuna Beach, HawaiiMost of these beaches can be found along the sunny Kohala Coast where native grasses grow in cracks and crevices of black and dark brown  a’a and pahoephoe lava, where,  dark expanses of lava contrast with the cerulean ocean, foamy white crashing surf and the wide expanses of pale golden sand. On clear days, Haleakala can be seen just beyond the unpredictable Alenuihaha Channel that separates Maui from the Big Island.

Hapuna is a beach that is breathtakingly beautiful. The half-mile stretch of sand is nestled between two lava bluffs where the ever-changing shoreline widens during the summer months and where powerful winter surf erodes the beach to a narrow stretch. Summer or winter Hapuna is always pristine.
Midway between the two lava bluffs is another lava rock feature that divides the beach in half. This rocky outcropping is named Ihumoku which translates into Hawaiian as the ship's bow. These lava rocks mark the official boundary of the Hapuna State Recreation Area. The state park is well appointed with camping shelters that can be permitted for up to four persons. The area also has paved parking lots, picnic pavilions, restrooms, showers, and paved walkways to the beach.

A visit to Hapuna on any weekend and especially holiday weekend will find the park awash with islanders who come from all over the island to enjoy the surf and sand. Locals also find fun in jumping off shoreline cliffs and fishing from the lava outcroppings. Since Hapuna is one of the sunniest shorelines, it attracts many island visitors who seek the sun, snorkeling and more.

Hapuna Beach State Park, HawaiiHowever the beautiful it is, Hapuna is not without danger. Summer is the time when Hapuna is inviting, peaceful and hospitable. Gentle waves and a soft sandy bottom make everything from swimming to scuba-diving irresistible. The beach also gives up a small shallow calm protected cove at the northern end that is perfect for children to enjoy.

Between October and April the mood at Hapuna is drastically different. Rough ocean conditions, pounding surf breaks and strong rip tides make it a spot where entering the water is only for the experienced. Inexperienced body surfers who brave the powerful waves risk neck injuries and even death.

However, regardless of what time of the year, Hapuna is always staffed with lifeguards that are highly trained and knowledgeable on conditons, rescue and more. Lifeguards should be consulted regarding ocean conditions before entering unfamiliar areas.

Other Articles by Guest Post by: HNLhulagirl
Have you traveled to Hapuna Beach? Visited other parts of Hawaii? Do you have any advice or recommendations for our readers?

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Discovering Hawaii’s North Kohala

Guest Post by: HNLhulagirl

North Kohala,HawaiiWhile the mega resorts are clustered near beaches of the South Kohala coastline where the dark lava flows and straw colored brush contrast with the gorgeous cerulean waters of the Pacific and the white sands of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. As gorgeous as it all is, there is more to Kohala, Hawaii, lots more. Divided into two parts, South Kohala has the beautiful beaches, Hawaii’s North Kohala is untouched and scenic. Both have enormous historic importance.

A 4WD is not necessary, a convertible would certainly be nice, but a small SUV or compact car will do just fine. Allow an afternoon or a morning, no less than 3 hours from Waikoloa and 4.5 from Kailua-Kona to insure enough time to wander, picture take, soak up the fresh air and vistas. Combine it with a visit to Spencer Beach for a full day of Big Island fun.

Kohala HawaiiBegin by taking the Queen Kaahumau Highway north, turn right at Kawaihae and head to Waimea then left onto Kohala Mountain Road to Kapaau then right and onward to the end of the road.

To return, head back to Kapaau and continue onward along Akoni Pule Highway to Kawaihae and south toward Queen Kaahumanu Highway. The drive is scenic and easy. Be on the lookout for wild goats and turkeys along the road. Views of the summit of Haleakala on Maui and whales along the coastline in the winter are abundant.

Here are some points of interest along the way:

Pololu Valley
End of Akoni Pule Highway
Niulii HI
Wonderful vistas, optional steep and strenuous hiking trail, small free parking lot.

Statue of King Kamehameha the Great, HawaiiStatue of King Kamehameha the Great
54-3900 Akoni Pule Highway
Kapa’au HI 96755
Quick stop for photos at this iconic statue. This statue is the original, copies are located on Oahu and in Hilo.

Bond Memorial Public Library
54-3903 Akoni Pule Highway
Kapa’au HI 96755
Located across the street from the statue, the books were moved to the new library down the street in late 2010, but the building still retains charm and interest.

Located just 3 miles from Kapaau, this former plantation town is now a collection of galleries, boutiques and eateries. It’s a great place to have lunch, browse the shops and stretch.

Puukohola Heiau
The largest archeological site in Hawaii, this historic site was the war temple of King Kamehameha the Great. A visit is a wonderful experience in ancient Hawaiian culture and history. Not to be missed.

Spencer Beach
Located next door to the Puukohola Heiau, this beach is one of the more popular spots to swim and sun. Bring lots of sunscreen and water.

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