Off the beaten Path - The Big Island's Kiholo Bay
"The Big Island has wonderfully uncrowded beaches compared to Oahu and Maui, but if you really want to be guaranteed absolute solitude on Hawaii’s killer Kohala Coast, I adore Kiholo Bay. Once part of a Hawaiian fishpond built by King Kamehameha in 1820, the brilliant turquoise waters of the bay are an unusual mixture of salt and fresh water. Be warned: green sea turtles are everywhere. You can look, but don’t touch!
The 30-minute walk to the beach off of Highway 19 at mile marker 81 (no public facilities either), practically guarantees you’ll have this gorgeous piece of paradise to yourself. The first time we visited we got sunburned on the hike down, so wear protective sun gear and tennis shoes—not flip flops—for this adventure. The walk takes every bit of a long, hot 30 minutes and is slow-going, especially when you’re carrying water, snacks and beach accoutrements on your back. Once you reach the bay, you’ll be overwhelmed by its beauty. You’ll also have a little more walking to do over coarse black sand and lava rocks.
At the northern end of Kiholo Bay you’ll find the famous fish pond, which is basically a shallow, partially walled five-acre lagoon that lies next to a sand spit approximately a quarter mile long. We waded across the water, waist-deep, to the sand spit where there are a few palm trees to provide shade, and of course, a gorgeous swath of soft white sand for settling in for a picnic or short siesta. Swimming along the pond’s enclosed walls is a delight, especially when the turtles are out for a romp. We used our snorkel gear, but it was challenging as the water is slightly murky (and cold)! due to the mixture of fresh and saltwater.
The second time we visited to the bay, the tide was too high to reach the sand spit, so we hiked north along the bay’s maze of black lava fields and found some large flat rocks at the ocean’s edge on which to sun ourselves. We kept cool by jumping into the ocean and swimming near the shoreline, ever alert for those beautiful prehistoric creatures.
I recommend consulting the latest copy of "Hawaii Revealed" before going to Kiholo. This thorough and well-researched guidebook to the island provides extremely accurate directions on how to find the footpath from the highway to the beach and gives an interesting overview of the fish pond’s history and information on how to get to nearby Queen’s Bath."
Once again a great Big Island story, Joanne. Lot's of mahalos. We are certain that all those who were not lucky yet watching the green sea turtles in Hawaii will pack the backpacks and head out for Kiholo Bay.
We love your Hawaii stories, Joanne. Hope more will come our way for publishing on Best Hawaii Vacation blog. As everybody knows 'Word-of-mouth' is the best advertising. So, all those Hawaii lovers who have a great Hawaii story to share, please, contact us. Sorry no advertising but we will publish your Hawaii article with a short bio and link to your blog or website URL and include you in our Hawaii Blog Authors category. Short stories are accepted too. Hawaii photos are most welcome! Share your Hawaiian story with our blog visitors and Hawaii lovers.
Much mahalo, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Kiholo Bay is on the sunny West Coast, Kona Kohala Coast, of Hawaii Big Island. See our Big Island map.
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