There is no sand at this beach; instead, Mahukona Beach Park (Hwy. 270 between mile markers 14 and 15) is a modern-day ruin with a rocky shoreline. It was a shipping port during the plantation days, and you can still see the decrepit structure of the Hawaii Railroad Company (from 1930) standing in the parking lot.

Mahukona Beach Park is a modern-day ruin with a rocky shoreline.

Mahukona Beach Park is a modern-day ruin with a rocky shoreline. Photo © DrBjorn, licensed Creative Commons Attribution & ShareAlike.

History or archaeology buffs will want to take a quick detour just to see the ruins that are above ground. Snorkelers can delight in an underground adventure not so much for the fish, though there are plenty, but for plantation and shipping artifacts scattered under the water. To enter the water, look for the ladder at the old dock. Waters are calm and clear most of the year thanks to the sheltered location.

Fishing is permitted here.

There are no facilities in this section of the beach park; instead, at the fork in the road veer left to the campground area (camping by permit only), where there are bathrooms and showers. It’s not a great campsite, but the picnic area is nice and sheltered.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.