A new Kapoho black sand beach with no name in Hawaii
Hawaii black sand beaches are truly unique and the island has so many of them to visit from the popular Black sand beach at Punalu’u in the southern part of the island, Gorgeous Polulu black sand beach on the west side and Waipio Valley on the northeast side. The east has beautiful Richardson Ocean Beach at Hilo which actually has black and green sand combined. The Puna district has some of the newest beaches formed on the island and one that doesn’t even have a name yet. This includes Kaimu, Pohoiki beach with its hot ponds and now the new black sand beach at Kapoho which has no name attached to it.
Recent Lava History to Lower Puna
The Big Island of Hawaii has such polar opposites of lush rainforests, stark lava fields, deserts, mountains and beautiful beaches. Destruction and creation all happen regularly on the island with active volcanoes that still shape her future landscape. Take for example this new black sand beach at Kapoho with no actual name to it – formed from the devastating destruction of the lower puna eruptions in 2018 that created several lava fissures that erupted in subdivisions and flowed down to the ocean. Taking away over 700 homes, agriculture and some businesses that were located throughout this area and leaving undulating masses of lava rock fields as far as the eye can see. Some of the favorite local spots in the area were destroyed from the Kapoho tidepools, Isaac Hale Park, the warm pond at Ahalanui and also the Champagne ponds.
Over 13.7 square miles of the lower Puna district were destroyed and covered with new lava and along with that over 1.3 square miles of completely new land was created in the process.
Black sand was created
But with all this destruction a rebirth also takes place in the area. Black sand was created from all this destruction when lava entered the ocean and exploded to many fragments, parts and even fine black sand particles. These fragments and rocks have been constantly pounded by the strong surf and being distributed to newly formed beaches in the lower Puna district. Two new black sand beaches were formed in the area, one at Pohoiki and the new one at Kapoho which hasn’t received any attention because lack of amenities and you have to still hike over an hour to get to the beach. Pohoiki is newly attached again for visitors to drive through all the way down to Isaac Hale Beach park and enjoy the expansive beach and hot ponds in the area. The other new beach at Kapoho has no facilities and you actually have to hike through an old road to get to this stunning beach which deters a lot of people from visiting.
A new road to Kapoho and Four Corners area
The county quickly decided to rebuild a roadway to connect to the existing areas of Waa Waa, Papaya farms road and other small existing neighborhoods and created a new Highway 132 over the existing lava fields. The new lava fields are extensive and creating over 13.7 square miles of covered land with these lava beds.
The new roadway goes over vast areas of newly formed lava fields and then transitions into gorgeous forested areas of giant mango trees and lush tropical plantings then skirting the ocean into winding roads. With so many beautiful lookout points you can stop and enjoy the views, the road eventually leads back to the Hawaiian Shores Neighborhood which you can drive back on Kahakai Blvd back to Pahoa town.
The drive through the newly paved Government Beach Road is stunning to drive through and one of the most scenic drives to experience in all of Hawaii.
Observation – at the end of the drive in Hawaiian beaches sits a beautiful sculpture donated to the community that represents a native Hawaiian with elaborate design and detail work worth stopping to check out and also see the last beautiful views of the coast from this vantage point.
Scenic route continues through Government Beach Road
When the road curves from Hwy 132, this eventually becomes Government beach road which is quite scenic and beautiful to drive all the way down the winding road through the forest areas and into the beautiful coastlines leading to the subdivision of Hawaiian Beaches. There are local stops to take along the way at fruit stands on Papaya farms road, the Mermail Ponds and some amazing black sand dunes that mostly only locals know about here.
A new black sand beach at Kapoho
This other new beach in the lower Puna district is located at Kapoho and has no official name, no facilities and no direct road to get there. Instead, you have to hike down an old access road that takes about an hour to get to the one remaining standing feature that survived the eruption – the Cape Kumukahi Light. The only standing feature left in lower Puna, the lighthouse has survived two lava eruptions in the area. Originally established as a lighthouse in the 1930s and replaced with a steel framework that beacon an automated signal in the area and there is a sampling facility still on site.
With all the new lava entering the Kapoho area, the black sand beach was newly formed into a beautiful crescent shaped beach. There might be additional beaches in the other parts of the Kapoho area but there is no access from here. There are variety of interesting inlets and tidepools that are also in the area that are fun to hike and explore. The landscape is raw, rugged and not developed (please do take care and remove any rubbish or trash that you may see on the beach area)
Fascinating observation – closer to the lighthouse area are sandy beaches that actually have a combination of black and green sand made with olivine minerals that site on top of the black sands.
Here’s some drone footage from above to Kapoho
Details to visiting the new black sand beach at Kapoho
There are no services or lifeguards at the beach area
There is no shade and only the hot black sand beach to rest on so be prepared in an exposed area
Please take out what you bring in – it is pristine land and no services for trash pick-up in the area
There is no drinking water so bring your own
The ocean water here is rough with strong undertow so swimming is dangerous most of the time and not advised.
Directions to the new Kapoho black sand beach
From Pahoa drive down Highway 132 and pass the Green Mountain until the road turns sharp to the left at Government Beach Road. Park anywhere on the curve and walk past the concrete barriers and spot the trail leading direct to the ocean.
The hike takes about an hour through a partially shaded access road to the end where you will see the lighthouse. There is a trail just to the right of lighthouse into the black sand beach.
Other posts on Visiting the Puna District
An entire guide to visiting the Puna District of Hawaii
Discover Old town Pahoa and shop/dine the new shopping areas of Puna Kai Center and Malama for sundries and other conveniences
Visit the new black sand beach and hot ponds at Pohoiki Beach on the Red Road
Explore MacKenzie State park and enjoy the cliffside views, ironwood groves, lava tubes and spiritual presence in the area.
Check out the Painted Church in Kalapana – visit this beautiful and primitive style church painted so beautifully inside and saved from destruction from the lava flows that destroyed the Kapalana region of the Puna District
Do a fun road trip through the Red Road along the eastern Puna Coastline. This scenic road is unspoiled and a wonderful trip that is Old Hawaii in look and feel. Just slow down and enjoy the views on this gorgeous road.
Visit Maku’u market and other small farmers markets of Puna. Maku’u market in Pahoa is the largest and there are smaller markets around the Puna district that happen on different days of the week.
Road loop drive on the Pahoa/Pohoiki road around newly formed lava fields and turns into lush jungles, windy roads around old mango trees and gorgeous coastal roads that feel like Old Hawaii.
Hiking venues in Puna
There are a few short and easy hiking places to explore the gorgeous Puna coastlines, forests and unique areas of the district below.
Botanical garden and hike around Lava Tree State Park
Hike the Kings road and cliffsides at MacKenzie State Park
Explore and hike the new Kapoho black sand beach
Any suggestions for a name to the new Kapoho black sand beach?
Thanks for checking out this post on Kapoho black sand beach. If you have any fun or cool names for this beach, let’s hear it below!
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