This family-friendly beach at the north end of Kauhako Bay on the South Kona coast is frequented by young children who enjoy the small surf and tide pools.
The beach sand is composed of lava sand and fine gray coral. Snorkeling is best on the left side of Hookena Beach. This area was a boat landing during the steamship days of old Hawaii. Shady areas provide places to relax and enjoy this pleasant dark-sand beach backed by sea cliffs. Trails along the shoreline lead to some interesting areas including boulder formations and groves of trees.
Snorkeling, swimming, bodyboarding, kayaking, picnics, camping.
The south end of Hookena Beach is frequented by experienced bodyboarders and can draw a fair number of people on weekends, though weekdays are likely uncrowded. Campsites along the beach can be reserved online.
Need to Know
A rough seafloor makes water shoes a good idea here. Hazardous conditions may occur when the surf is large and swimming should be avoided during these times. Sandy areas near both the southern and northern ends of the beach provide good places to enter the water. The shoreline gets deeper fairly quickly and ocean currents may flow offshore so only experienced swimmers should go into the deeper areas.
Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, picnic pavilion, campgrounds, parking. No drinking water.
From Kailua-Kona take Hawaii Belt Road (Hwy. 11) for about 20 miles. Just past Mile Marker 102 go right on Hookena Beach Road and go about 2-1/2 miles to the end of the road.