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This beautiful bay is a mixture of salt and fresh water with a rocky lava island in the middle. Most of the bay is surrounded by private property but there is public access to the water.
At Mile Marker #82 off Highway 19 is an Overlook with a terrific view of the bay. To get closer, you have to hike from the highway down a long, hot road to the ocean.
This bay was part of a Hawaiian fishpond built by King Kamehameha the Great in 1820. It was 2 miles in circumference with rock walls 6 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
In 1859 a lava flow from Mauna Loa destroyed most of the fishpond. However, remnants of the pond can be seen such as walls and a sluece. When the tide is out, terrific tidepools dot the bay. The entire area is terrific for swimming and snorkeling when the surf is calm. Several private homes surround the bay. Be sure to stay off private property and stick to the coastline, island and water.
Walking south down the coast from the bay is the Bali House. This large, unusual structure is home to the owner of Paul Mitchell hair products.
About 100-200 yards further down south down the coast is a Queen's Bath (Keanalele Waterhole). This is a lava tube that is filled with water from a spring. The tube's roof has collapsed in two places allowing access to the water which rises and falls with the tide.
Inland from the bay is another small private pond, Wainanali'i Pond, where turtles often come to spend the night.
The area is well marked but the hike from the highway is long and hot! The bay is a beautiful variation of blues due to the mixture of salt and fresh water. Fresh water flows into the bay through walled streams. Wainanali'i Pond is often home to sea turtles who come to rest here at night. In several areas the lava is pulverized into small stones resembling a black sand beach. Views from the coast are gorgeous. The ocean is often calm here as the bay has a natural semicircular barrier.
Private property surrounds the bay - do not trespass
Use the public access road to reach the beach
NO FACILITIES or drinking water
Rocky beach - wear appropriate shoes
Good swimming and snorkeling during calm surf
Frequent sea turtle sightings
Take Highway 19 north from Kohala Resort Area. The public access road is on the right between Mile Marker #82 and 83. The gate is usually open during the week between 8am-4pm. If the gate is locked, hike the access road or take the path at Mile Marker #81 down to the beach. Both trails take at least 30 minutes to walk.