Honomalino Bay is 30 miles south of Kailua-Kona, a scenic and quiet bay with gorgeous clear water and a smooth, palm-backed white and black sands beach. Just past Miloli'i Beach Park, Honomalino Beach is one of the larger south Kona beaches.
The hike to Honomalino Beach takes you through a jungle scene of thick vegetation and past sacred burial grounds before opening onto dramatic pitch black lava flows. Some of the lava appears hauntingly fresh, as if the hillside was only recently buried. Beyond the lava you'll see the groves of coconut palms that fringe Honomalino Bay.
The beach is long and wide, especially at low tide. The thick sand on Honomalino Beach gives way to lava rock pebbles at ocean entry, so water shoes are definitely helpful when swimming or snorkeling.
At high tide, there is a fascinating blowhole tucked into the lava on the south side of the sandy beach. As waves and ocean surges meet the shoreline, a jet of water shoots through the small lava tube with a loud whoosh, sending a plume of seawater skyward.
This hike to Honomalino is most pleasant in the morning when the air is a little cooler and the surf in the bay is calm, making for nice swimming. If you come early enough, you may see a pod of dolphins hanging around in the bay.
Honomalino is one of the more remote South Kona beaches. Look for the Miloli'i sign and turn off Highway 11 just south of the 89 mile marker. Drive slowly as you follow the steep, narrow, winding paved road down to the coast and past the village of Miloli'i until the road ends at Miloli'i Beach Park.
From the parking area it’s only about a twenty minute walk to this often deserted beach. Walk between the bathrooms and the yellow church at Miloli'i Beach Park, follow the shoreline in front of the small bay for a short way, then follow the arrows painted across the lava rocks.
If you aren't local, you may feel a bit out of place here. It's definitely different. Miloli'i is one of the oldest fishing villages on the island, and Miloli'i Beach Park is very local. Some people have mentioned noticing a peculiar or perhaps unwelcoming energy about the place.
Rest assured that you are well within your right to visit Honomalino Beach and Miloli'i Beach Park (or any beach on Hawaii for that matter). But please respect the locals' right to privacy, heed the no-trespassing signs, and leave it to the locals on weekends. Weekends are generally a time for local gatherings, and it's best to stay away if you haven't been invited.
This is an easy hike with gorgeous scenery. In our estimation it's worth the drive down. Take your time, relax, and enjoy this hidden gem.
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