Whether you visit the Big Island for a few days, a couple weeks or a few months, you want to make the most of your time in Paradise. With such a wide variety of natural and commercial attractions, it is natural for the visitor to get a little overwhelmed in the “Option Overload” and not be able to make a balanced and informed decision on what they want to do and how best to spend their time.
Even choosing the beach you want to spend time on…which beach? How do you find the right beach for your particular needs? Are you going just to relax and sunbathe? Or is the trip to snorkel, boogie board or to explore? Do you want a beach that’s alive with fun people or one hidden, secluded and empty? Do you want a beach near your resort or one that’s at the end of a day of delicious wandering?
Tour Guide Hawaii is excited and proud to announce the release of their new GPS/WiFi enabled App for iPhone and iPod that helps you navigate your trip to Hawaii with hours of informative, location-aware video and information. Although our video guide will lead you to dozens of unusual, untamed and unspoiled spots, let’s look at one, hidden but gorgeous, beach hike you would otherwise not find if you did not have Tour Guide Hawaii’s new App.
Hiking to Honomalino
A true gem of West Hawai’i, and rarely crowded, Honomalino Bay lies on the southeast flanks of Mauna Loa along the southernmost Kona Coast. The beach is reached by a 20 minute hike starting in the Old Hawaiian Fishing Village of Miloli’i, which is perhaps the last, truly Hawai’ian fishing village in West Hawai’i. Miloli’i is a tightly knit local community who are perhaps best left to themselves by the casual visitor. Though the surfing and the snorkeling here are excellent, the beach lovely and the facilities in good repair, the visitor may not find the aloha for outsiders terribly abundant. Especially on weekends.
However, by hiking south to Honomalino Bay, the causal visitor finds everything they are looking for in a quiet, secluded beach. Park at the Miloli’i County Beach Park; the hike begins at an obvious trailhead near the end of the road, between the restrooms and the yellow church. The trail wanders along the coast, in and out of the surf line, to the wild and untamed Honomalino Bay—a wonderful place to picnic, snorkel or kayak.
On the hike in, be sure to keep always to the right at any fork in the trail to avoid trespassing on private property. Honomalino Beach itself is fronted by private property and dwellings, so be respectful of these peoples’ homes and privacy.
Snorkeling is most interesting on the north side in the rocks, or the extreme southern reach of the bay. Go in only when the surf is low; be cautious of the open ocean currents and rip tides. The water, though very clear, is sometimes quite cold due to spring discharge in the sand on the beach.
Exploring on foot in the area of the bay and further south provides many wonders and archeological treasures, from abandoned temples and villages to the largest holua, or sledding track, in Hawaii. Remember to respect the Hawaiian natives, their culture and their sacred sites…take noting but pictures, don’t even leave footprints, stay on established roads and trails.
There is no fresh water anywhere along this hike, so be sure to bring plenty of drinking water. It’s also nice to bring a couple of extra quarts of water to rinse off after swimming, and dry clothes to hike out in.
There are no provisions for restrooms or trash disposal, either, so wait until you are back at the county park for restrooms and remember to hike out with everything you brought in, including trash.
As the trail crosses significant swathes of both sharp aa lava fields and thick keawe tree copses (with there numerous, impressive and painful thorns), it is imperative that you wear at least running shoes, if not hiking boots, to protect your feet.
No services at all are available at the beach, and there are no commercial services in Miloli’i. Please leave no valuables in your car.
To see the new iPhone/iPod Touch App, please visit http://www.tourguidehawaii.com/iphone.html. The best of Tour Guide Hawaii’s free content about traveling to, and exploring, the Big island, can be found here. For more information on traveling to Hawaii in general and on touring the Big Island in particular, please also visit www.tourguidehawaii.com and www.tourguidehawaii.blogspot.com.
Copyright 2009 by Donald B. MacGowan. All rights reserved.