If you are heading to Pahoa, on the East coast of the Big Island, there are 3 lava rock sites that will blow your mind. We strongly recommend checking them all out. All 3 are close to each other so it makes a nice day out.
Coming from the lush and green Kauai, this island seemed completely opposite to our beloved ‘garden island’. The massive difference in the landscape was equally shocking and fascinating.
Lava rock site 1 – Isaac Beach Park
Isaac’s Beach Park located approx 7 miles from Pahoa, was the first out of 3 lava rock sites we visited. It’s not a very big park, but the rock covered beach looks really beautiful against the blue ocean. We arrived here early in the morning to find the park nice and quiet.
The park is good for camping and surfing along Pohoiki Bay. You can try snorkelling here, but the conditions aren’t great most of the time, which is a real shame.
Isaac Hale Beach Park on Google Maps:
Lava rock site 2 – MacKenzie State Recreational Park
MacKenzie State Recreational Park was the second lava rock site we visited. It was a great place to watch the rough waves breaking into the lava cliffs and explore the crazy landscape created by the lava.
It was very cool to walk on once hot lava, that was destroying everything in its way and at the same time, creating new land. It’s quite a big park, great for a quick hike.
We stopped here for our lunch break. Even though there is a designated picnicking area, we had our packed sandwiches on one of the cliffs, while the ocean spray was keeping us cool.
There are a few restrictions for the park visitors as the volcanic cliffs are quite hazardous. Please remember, while fishing is allowed in designated areas, no pets, camping, alcohol or bikes are permitted in the park.
MacKenzie State Recreational Park on Google Maps:
Lava rock site 3 – Kaimu Beach – Eco Path
Kaimu Beach also known as Black Sand Beach was the last of the 3 lava rock sites we visited, and my favourite. It was a hot day already, and walking through the black lava rocks seemed even hotter. Make sure you have plenty of water with you and a sun hat.
At Kaimu Beach you will be able to take the Eco Path through the ancient Hawaiian village of Kalapana. The village and its beautiful black sand beach was completely covered by the lava back in 1990.
We recommend checking out the photographs at the beginning of ‘Eco Hike’ showing what the area looked like before the eruption of Kilauea volcano. It’s pretty shocking.
This 10-minute walk will take you on a scenic journey through the lava rocks towards the blue ocean. Here, a new beach is formed as the ocean breaks down the lava rock creating beautiful black sand.
It was hard to believe that this area was once a village with a beautiful sandy beach, surrounded by green forests. However, not everything is lost, a new life now is coming out of coconut shells as you will be able to see along the way.
Kaimu Beach Park on Google Maps:
Have you visited any of the lava rock sites above? Which one was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below…
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