A hidden gem in the Wainapanapa State Park are the black sands of Honokalani Beach. You will find this gorgeous beach off of the Road to Hana, a drive that will take you from Kahului or Pala to Hana. Along the Road to Hana, you will see amazing views, lush rain forests, and secluded beaches such as Honokalani Beach.
Made up of tiny polished lava pebbles is what makes Honokalani Beach so unique and beautiful. The black sands are composed up of volcanic rock that was pulverized and smoothed into sand by the waves of the ocean for thousands of years. The flow of lava that entered the ocean here at Honokalani Beach, was still molten that created a rapid temperature change, which caused viscous fluid to quickly solidify and shatter, making it into sand. Higher up on Honokalani Beach, the black sand will give way to normal sand.
Located in beautiful Pailoa Bay, Wainapanapa State Park stretches right along the coastline. Honokalani Beach is located just past mile marker 32, inside of Wainapanapa State Park, being very close to Hana Town. Swimming can be dangerous here because of there being no outer reef to protect the beach from the open waters. Enjoy just wading in the water, unless you are with others or an experienced swimmer. There are warning signs about the strong currents here, along with jellyfish, and the man-of-war that can give you quite the sting. There are life preservers on the cliffs surrounding the beach, should you ever need one. Summertime will give you the calmest waters where it is most suitable for swimming or even kayaking.
With there being strong currents, you will not find any surfers here. But you will find access to cliffs for rock climbing, blowholes, arches, lava tubes, and even caves that have been noted to be in many of the island’s legends and history. You can do some hiking here in Wainapanapa State Park that will provide you with numerous scenic outlooks. You can hike from Honokalani Beach all the way to Hana Town, if you wish. The trail is known as King’s Highway Coastal trail, where you will past the ruin temple, Ohala Heiau, and go through a native hala forest.
With lush green vegetation and sparkling turquoise waters, makes Honokalani Beach very picturesque. Although its small, it provides a very large iconic image of Maui’s rugged Hana coastline. For you birdwatchers, you will see a large variety of sea birds here. Honokalani Beach is a wonderful day trip, but should you want to stay the night, there is camping available in the park. You can rent out a cabin, which can sleep up to six people, they are fully furnished, have a full kitchen, and are very reasonably priced. The facilities here at Honokalani Beach and Wainapanapa State Park include restrooms, showers, and drinking water. Don’t miss out on the unique and beautiful Honokalani Beach. You will get some of the most amazing pictures in Hawaii to take home with you for a lifetime.