Kuki'o Beach is a long and pretty ribbon of white sand located north of Kikaua Point on the Kohala Coast. This Big Island beach is very scenic and can be pleasant for a stroll along the shore.
There is lots of shade provided by the numerous coconut palm, kiawe and ironwood trees that back the beach. Lava rocks line the length of the beach near the waterline, so this isn't generally considered a very good swimming beach. With all the lava rocks near the shoreline the ocean entry can be challenging, so bring your water shoes. Should you decide to go in the water, the easiest entry is through an opening in the rocks at the south end of the beach.
The water is frequently too murky for good snorkeling. But if you are into fishing, it can be excellent just off the shore. Despite not being the best of our Hawaii beaches for either swimming or snorkeling, the water in the bay is relatively calm and can be fun for stand up paddle boarding.
We often spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (Honu) resting on the sand along the beach, especially at low tide, or in the tide pools around the western edge of the bay. The beach and surrounding lava rocks that have been warmed by the sun are a favorite place for turtles to rest.
As always, please be respectful of this endangered species by not approaching too close, and remember to never touch the turtles.
All Hawaii beaches are open to the public; there are no private beaches. So while the Kuki'o Club is a gated residential community adjacent to the Hualalai Resort, the public is allowed access to the beach through the security guard shack. With limited parking spaces at the beach it's a good idea to arrive early, especially on weekends.
Access to Kuki'o is the same as for Kikaua Beach, 12 miles north of Kailua-Kona between the 87 and 88 mile markers.
Turn off of Highway 19 onto Kuki'o Nui Drive, just south of the Hualalai Resort sign. Drive to the guard shack and ask for beach access. They will provide directions to the parking area.
Follow the sidewalk to Kikaua Beach and continue through the grove of coconut palms, around the north of Kikaua Point. You will enjoy the tranquility of this sandy oasis with a palm fringed lawn, a gorgeous beach, tide pools and spectacular ocean views. Continue walking just a few hundred yards past Kikaua Point to Kuki'o Beach.
If you continue walking along the shoreline from Kuki'o Beach, you will eventually reach a paved sidewalk that leads past the Four Seasons Resort. Continuing on the beach beyond the Four Seasons will lead you past the old Kona Village Resort. This resort was heavily damaged during the 2011 tsunami and has been abandoned. There is a sand/gravel beach on the north end of Kona Village that you are likely to have to yourself if you venture this far. The entire route is part of the Ala Kahakai Trail.
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