Experience an eco tourism Hawaii shoreline tour on the Big Island

Visitors curious about the geology, marine and birdlife and also Indigenous plants along the coastline here in West Hawaii and close to the Kona International Airport can enjoy a fabulous eco tour that combines all these features.  Tours offered through the Keahole Center for Sustainability through their local nature guide who will take you on an hour and a half, guided tour along the coastline of Keahole Point, beach and rocky lava shoreline.

The tour covers all the fascinating shore discoveries you will see and experience on your visit along the coastline on this natural history tour. Visitors get to learn about the ecology at Makako Bay, looking for various coastal plants and their multiple use by early Hawaiian settlers, and spotting resident and migratory bird species at the around Keahole point. You also get to tour the tidepools along the coastline and check out all the typical inhabitants inside the shallow pools.

Experience an eco tourism Hawaii shoreline tour on the Big Island

Our Eco tour nature guide – Lance Tanino

An experienced Eco Tour Guide and birding expert, Lance Tanino carries a large and high-powered field scope to help spot the locale and migratory birds and sea life close up with to see all the details from a safe distance.

A very friendly and casual person, Lance has degrees in zoology and environmental studies and he is also the Hawai’i regional editor for many local and national birding organizations. With expertise and knowledge in Geology, marin and coastal wildlife, birding and local plant life along with historic ancient Hawaiian civilization, Lance touches on a variety of fascinating topics, trivia, nature and natural sciences of the islands.

Our Eco tour nature guide - Lance Tanino

As part of the tour experience, the tours arranged are typically small groups or individuals that can be booked directly through the website or you can call in a reservation. We start the tour by following Lance on a short drive down the coastline to the lava rock shoreline and beach areas of Makako Bay. Lance quickly gives an orientation of the area surrounding Makako and the significance of this eco and innovation park that is called the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park. At the forefront of eco energy, innovation and technology and aquaculture ventures, HOST is at the forefront of the covergence of technology combined with Eco/sustainabiity measures on the island to meet the 2045 initiative to be 100 percent energy self sustaining.

Lance quickly scans the coastline and spots a variety of local and migratory birds that he focuses on the scope and then shows to his guest and gives some interesting facts about what you are seeing, their habits and other bird details that most visitors do not know anything about.

Shoreline views at Makako Bay
Shoreline views at Makako Bay

Touring the lava coastline and tidepools

The tour continues walking through beach areas along with the rugged pahoehoe undulating lava rock forms and Lance explains all the local flora in the beach area of which many have uses for medication or household uses.

local flora and indigenous plants of Hawaii
local flora and indigenous plants of Hawaii

local flora and indigenous plants of Hawaii

Along the way, he points out a fascinating ancient Hawaiian rock game called Konane (similar to checkers) with actual sea shell pieces that are used to mimic the actual game process. He mentions that there are a few konane lava impressions in the area that were used by ancient Hawaiians in the day.

konane lava impressions in the area

The stark contrast of black lava rock against deep blue ocean is broken up with small tide pools that break up the coastline. We eventually walk to some of the tide pools to check out what we can spot in the pools. Various small tropical fish that Lance spurts off quickly along with some small corals and unusual brown frilly Padina algae forms commonly known as peacock tail, small hermit crabs and black crabs along with some very small brain coral forms in the tide pools. We also spot small pools of sea water in lava rock that is eventually forming into salt particles and he mentions the large salt making facility in the park as we pass through the metal lighthouse that signals the western most point of Hawaii island. Off in the distance, Lance points out two large nets popping out through metal towers which as the aquaculture fish farms off the coast that are used for growing Kampachi a delicious fish delicacy on the islands and also exported worldwide.

small tide pools at keahole point

brown frilly Padina algae forms commonly known as peacock tail

Sea Salt production facility at Keahole Point
Sea Salt production facility at Keahole Point

In just a short hour and a half tour, the time quickly passes and our shoreline tour is close to finishing with a casual question and answer period and Lance leads us back to the Keahole Center for Sustainability if we need to use the restrooms before departing.

The discovery tour of the shoreline at Makako bay was fun, informative and an overall engaging experience with Lance. It was a fantastic learning opportunity to enjoy nature and the landscape, visit some of the lava coastline and tide pools filled with marine life, local and migratory birds and to get a fascinating overview of eco programs and innovation at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology park.

Details on the guided coastal Natural History tour

Details on the guided coastal Natural History tour

Every Wednesday at 8am

Phone 808-329-8073

Address 73 – 4460 Kaahumanu Highway #125

Public Tours – Keahole Center for Sustainability (kcshi.org)

Participants are encouraged to bring water, wear sunscreen and a hat

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Petroglyphs of Hawaii

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Conclusion - Have you experienced an eco tourism Hawaii shoreline tour?

Conclusion – Have you experienced an eco tourism Hawaii shoreline tour?

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.