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Jun 20

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Big Island

honuPunalu’u  Beach Park is a must stop if you are traveling to the Big Island.  It is probably the best and easiest black sand beach to get to.  Punalu’u Beach Park has public restrooms, picnic tables, showers, and it allows camping.  It is a perfect place to stop and have a picnic on your way to Volcanoe National Park, which is what Karen and I did when we were there.  It would also be a good place to get out and stretch your legs, especially if you are driving from the Kailua Kona side of the island.
Black Sand

The best part about the park, besides the wonder and beauty of just seeing a black sand beach, is that there are large numbers of honu, green sea turtles, in that area.  They frequent the area to use the black sand to warm up.  While we were visiting the area we saw at least five sea turtles just sunbathing on the beach.  On that day at Punalu’u the water was too rough to do any snorkeling, but it was an awesome sight just seeing the sea turtles there.   Even though the turtles look friendly enough everybody there needs to remember to give them their space and not disturb them.  It is against the law in Hawaii to touch or harass sea turtles.
Punalu'u

According to an Hawaiian legend Punalu’u is home to a mystical sea turtle named Kauila.  Kauila loved all children and would sometimes change herself into a little girl so that she could play and protect the children that played on the back sandy shores of Punalu’u.
Kauila

Karen and I really enjoyed our time at Punalu’u.  Neither of us had seen a black sand beach before so it was an exciting adventure.  Since black sand is only made by grounded up lava you have to have recent or active volcanoes to produce the sand.  Eventually over time the black sand will be swept into the ocean and never be seen again.  Punalu’u was one of our favorite places to visit on the Big Island.
Green Sea Turtle

Location Punalu’u Beach Park is on the south side of the Big Island between the towns of Na’alehu and Pahala.
Admission to the park is free. It is a must see if you find yourself on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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