We spent two days on the Big Island, and the second day was just as wonderful as the first. We decided to adventure even more on our own, and had heard about some amazing beaches found on the Big Island. The first that we visited was Punalu’u Beach – the black sand beach!

I kind of expected the sand to be really rough, since it’s made from lava rock, but we were pleasantly surprised when it was soft to walk on and lay on! The black sand beach was easy to find, and we were able to park in a lot nearby and walk over to the beachy area. It is also the beach where the green sea turtles come to lay their eggs, so we saw lots of turtles!

After we spent some time at Punalu’u Beach, we decided to search for the Green Sand beach! This one was a little more difficult to get to. Basically, there was a sign on the road pointing to the beach, but it was another 12 miles down the road. At the end of the road was a small parking lot, where we assumed we should park. We then had to hike another 3 miles out to the cove where the beach was hidden. There were no signs – we guessed where we were going the entire way by following some dirt roads! When we saw this hilly area in front of us, we at first assumed that we needed to hike across it still…

…Turns out, that’s where the beach was! It was amazing and unexpected! What a treat! The beach is green – literally. I had to inspect the sand up close myself, but sure enough it’s green due to Olivine. It’s a by-product of the lava flows interacting with the sea water. It’s unknown of how long the beach will be there and be green due to the ever-changing volcano, so this was truly a treat. We had to hike down the side of the cliff to get to the sands, but once we were there we spent an absolutely wonderful afternoon laying in the sun and playing in the water.

(This photo was taken on my iPhone! Edited with Snapseed – one of my favorite editing applications)

Once we decided to head out from the beach, we hiked back another 3 miles and were able to enjoy a sunset at the southern-most point of the Big Island. It was beautiful. Again, photo from my iPhone!


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