It’s no secret the 2018 Kilauea volcano eruptions caused quite a stir. For a little while, some of the island was off-limits and Volcanoes National Park temporarily closed its gates. But that’s all over now. And, there’s a silver lining. Lava flow from Kilauea’s eruptions created Hawaii’s newest black sand beach.
The latest addition to the Big Island’s family of black sand beaches can be found in Isaac Kepoʻokalani Hale Beach Park. The beach formed as a result of Kilauea’s lava flow in May 2018.
The park, also known as Pohoiki Beach Park, was closed last spring when lava flowed over Highway 137 and made it impossible to access. Since then, a new road has been constructed and on December 6, Pohoiki reopened complete with its new black beach.
What can you do at the beach?
Visitors may swim at their own risk by should be advised that there are strong currents and dangerous shore breaks.
In addition to a beautiful black shoreline, four new ocean thermal ponds were formed. However, the Hawaii Department of Health reminds visitors that the ponds have not yet be disinfected and could cause bacterial infections, so if you must go in the pools, make sure you have no open wounds.
According to CNN, Ross Birch, executive director of the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, says the new beach is a sort of “silver lining” after the devastation left behind by the eruption.
“We hope our community and visitors can make new memories with loved ones at this special place, and always remember the island of Hawaii’s unique ability to be ever-evolving,” Birch said.
What other black sand beaches can you visit on the Big Island?
Kehena Beach – Kehena Beach is actually well-known for nude sunbathing even though it’s illegal in Hawaii. When the waters are calm, you can see schools of spinner dolphins playing in the surf and giving the locale its nickname – Dolphin Beach.
Kaimu Beach – Formerly one of the most famous black sand beaches on the Big Island, it’s since been covered by many feet of lava flow. Strong currents make this beach a risky place at which to swim, but locals have been planting coconut trees and flowers to revitalize the area in hopes of restoring its natural beauty.
Punaluu Beach – For the most well-known black sand in the world, look no further than Pualuu Beach on Hawaii just south of Hilo. Green and Hawksbill sea turtles sun themselves on the beach. The ocean floor is very rocky, making it dangerous for swimming.
If you love black sand beaches, lodging with us at Kilauea Hospitality Group is the way to go. We’re nestled just short three miles from the entrance of Volcanoes National Park in a tropical rain forest. To learn more about our many accommodation options, visit our Properties & Rooms page. You can also visit our Activities page to learn more about fun things to do once you’re here.