Ahalanui Park

Ahalanui Park is one of the best family beaches and a fine example of the many things we love about living on an island of volcanoes. On some parts of the Big Island, water that is heated by the volcano finds its way to the surface. This is particularly true in the Puna district, where we find Ahalanui Beach Park.

At Ahalanui, a pool has been created to capture the warm water. The pool is fed by an inlet from the ocean and warmed by a volcanically heated spring. It has a natural sand/mud bottom. A unique Hawaiian bathing experience, the pool at Ahalanui Beach Park is by no means a hot spring. Water temperature will fluctuate between about 90-95 degrees F (32-35C). By comparison, your public swimming pool is probably around 82 degrees F (27C).

Because Ahalanui is fairly large, you’ll want to swim around to find your perfect temperature. Pockets of cooler and warmer water will form as the ocean water mixes with the warmer spring water. 

Ahalanui Beach Park

Ahalanui Beach Park is scenic and relaxing. The pool is surrounded by coconut palms with views of the open ocean. Enjoy the relaxing melody of the surf breaking over the sea wall. On a part of the Big Island that is characterized by pounding surf and strong currents, this is one place you will be able to relax in the water. They even have lifeguards!

Relative to most Hawaii Big Island beaches, true Puna beaches are limited. The Puna coast consists largely of lava rock with pockets of interspersed sand. To call this a “beach” park is a bit of a misnomer, but even if you don’t go in the pool, Ahalanui Park makes a nice place for a picnic with plenty of room to spread out. There are also showers and toilets and plenty of free parking. If you happen to be in the area, we think it’s worth a stop.

Ahalanui Beach Park

Note that sulfur is associated with the volcano, so visitors may detect a slight sulfur smell in the water. And a word of caution: never swim in any springs or streams in Hawaii if you have cuts or open wounds.

Directions to Ahalanui Park

Ahalanui Park is south of Hilo and east of Pahoa in the Puna district on the southeast coast of the Big Island. From Hilo and points north:

  • Drive south from Hilo on Highway 11 for approximately 5 miles (8k).
  • Turn left onto Highway 130, Keaau Pahoa Road and continue 12 miles (19k).
  • Just before the Pahoa Schools, turn left onto Highway 132, Kapoho Road.
  • In a little more than 2 miles (3k) you will pass Lava Tree State Monument, well worth a stop in our estimation.
  • Continue past Lava Tree, and at the point where Highway 132 veers left, stay straight onto Pohoiki Road for 4.5 miles (7k). You will reach a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 137. Turn left toward Kapoho and continue north for just under a mile to the park (on your right).

Enjoy what we consider to be one of the best family beaches on the east coast of the Big Island!

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