Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
May 25, 2008
From journal Beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii
by Ady Lackas
January 20, 2008
December 1, 2007
From journal Hawaii
by Sail Army
November 14, 2007
From journal Weekend on the Big Island of Hawaii
East Berlin, Pennsylvania
April 26, 2006
Taking off your shoes for at least a little bit is critical. Why? Because true black sand doesn't FEEL like ordinary sand, and it's hard to explain. A few steps and you'll understand. It's neat and definitely different.
You can swim on this beach, but the water is cold—especially due to some freshwater that comes up from the ground here (you can see it along the water's edge). We opted to wade and take in the beauty. Our boys enjoyed playing in the water and on the rocks. There are plenty of turtles around if you haven't seen any on the BI yet.
Tour buses stop here, as does pretty much every tourist circling the island, so be prepared for crowds. Even so, it's worth it to stop. When the buses aren't there the crowds are quite reasonable, so wait a little bit if they are there when you arrive. They don't stay long. It's a fine place to picnic if you are so inclined, but we didn't. (We wanted to eat at the Southernmost restaurant in the U.S. [see separate journal for Hana Hou Cafe].)
This stop makes a nice stretch of legs if one is going to/from Volcanoes National Park and Kailua-Kona. It's a shorter beach, but nonetheless, the beauty makes it nice for beach walking.
If you want some tourist souvenirs, there are shops here.
From journal Hawaii Vacation: The Adventure Continues
by Liken D Sun
December 15, 2003
From journal 17 Days on the Big Island
September 24, 2003
Punalu'u was hit by so many tsunamis it is no longer a town. Now its known as Punalu'u Beach Park. It is the the largest black sand beach on the big island.
The coastline of Punalu'u does change overtime from erosion, but right now it is a beautiful cresent of black sand. The beach looks like a big cresent of shiny, crystal black sand surrounded by turquise sea on one side, and rows of towering tall palms on the other.
The back side of this beach is the home to an abandoned restaurant and other Hawaiian style structures. The restaurant closed in the early 90s due to changes in tourism. In 1987 we had my birthday dinner there, and is was a vey nice place.
About 10 years ago my husband and I were lacking common sense and snorkeled in this bay. The water is very rough, the waves can be big, and the current is strong. We were quite distrcted from that by the beautiful giant Hawksbill turtles that live there. They swam with us and tummbled in the waves with us, it was awesome. However, when we surfaced and came ashore the locals told us that was very dangerous water for swimming. They said they even had a boat ready for the rescue. This falls under the do this yourself category. This beach is a beauty to visit, but do not swim there.
On our most recent visit there was an area of the beach closed to protect the Hawksbill turtle eggs that had been laid there. Someone was staying near the nest 24 hours a day to make sure the hatchlings made it to the sea. We have seen the giant turtles come ashore and catch rays on this beach. They are a wonder to see in the wild.
There is a camping area in the woods near the beach. A $3 camping permit is required, and can be obtained from the Parks and Recreation Department in Hilo. There is also a timeshare near there called Sea Mountain at Punalu'u. We've have stayed there a few times. It is remote from both Kona and Hilo, but we have always enjoyed being near this black sand beach.
For those who are wondering what black sand is. . .black sand is created when molton lava explodes on contact with the sea. Many black sand beaches are created then washed away. This black sand beauty seems to stay and remain a wonder not to be missed on the big island.
It may be tempting to take some black sand home but locals told us it brings bad luck to those who remove it from the island. They said that their post office receives many packages of black sand from the mainland so the curse can be removed.
From journal Best black-sand beach on the big island of Hawaii
by Gwilym Owen
September 1, 2002
Punalu’u means "diving spring" and there is small freshwater lagoon behind the beach, which is popular with ducks, to authenticate this name. The black sand is a product of the constant wave action against an old lava flow that went into the sea at this point. The beach is lined with palm trees and is extremely popular with Green Sea Turtles.
You are almost guaranteed to see at least one turtle on your visit here as they enjoy basking on the hot black sand as well as the fact that the beach is a perfect breeding ground for them, which means that camping on the beach is not allowed under any circumstances.
There is a small souvenir and refreshments trailer just by the entrance to the beach.
The Sea Mountain hotel is here and also has a small golf course you can play on, though it is a bit threadbare. A derelict Polynesian style complex that was abandoned after the 2000 ‘Millenium’ flood that swept through this region is just behind the lagoon and serves testament to the power of the sudden floods that can sweep through this area.
The nearest settlement to the beach is Pahala just off the highway towards the Kilauea National Park, which is an interesting small old plantation town. Perhaps one of the most unlikely attractions in the area is the Buddhist temple and retreat center in Wood Valley which was dedicated by the Dalai Lama in 1980.
From journal Big Island Adventure
St. Louis, Missouri
July 7, 2002
The beach is lined with palm trees. Behind the narrow black sand beach, is a small pond with ducks and other water fowl on it.
Punaluu is suppose to be one of the better spots to see green sea turtles. This bay has lots of cold fresh water seeping into it from the ocean floor. Turtles like the cooler areas of water. Since we were on our 2 day trip around the island when we went here, we didn't take the time to snorkel here, but we were fortunate enough to see a turtle basking in the sun on the black sand. We were also fortunate enough to see sea turtles just about everywhere we did snorkel!
From journal Big fun on the Big Island of Hawaii
August 20, 2001
The passage through Kau consisted of farming land, rugged coastal areas, hills, mountain slopes, dry upland forest and lava deserts.
From journal Our Most Favorite Island in Hawaii