On the road to Volcanoes National Park is Punaluu Beach, one of the most popular black sand beaches on the Big Island. This beach has paved parking, is easy to access, has a picnic area, bathrooms, and a souvenir stand. The rocky shoreline and strong currents, however, make it difficult to enjoy water activities here, especially on the left (North) side.
If you want to explore the area a little, there are a few places to see, including a famous Hawaiian’s memorial, worn-down bridges, and a palm-lined freshwater fishpond.
Wondering just where all that black sand comes from? It comes from the Kilauea Volcano spilling molten lava into the ocean, where it then cools and is broken up into tiny pieces that wash up on shore as black sand - and it’s not the only unique characteristic of this beach.
Punaluu Beach is a known nesting site for Hawaiian sea turtles, which are frequently spotted crawling in the sand and feeding on seaweed in the shallows. So if you’re looking for a unique beach experience that you’ll never forget, spend some time at Punaluu Beach.