Kiholo Bay: the amazing Big Island Bay

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  3. Kiholo Bay: the amazing Big Island Bay
Written by SandrineUpdated on 05/03/22
4km round trip

Kiholo Bay is an astonishing hidden bay on the west coast north of Big Island. It is reached by a short walk along the ocean, at the end of which we discover the lagoon of Wainanalii of an incredible cyan color. This little corner of paradise will be the opportunity to spend a little time away from the island's popular beaches, in the heart of a small natural jewel.

Along the way, the walk will also allow us to discover other points of interest not to be missed!

1Getting to Kiholo Bay

Access to the car park is from Route 19 via a rolling gravel road to the left of the highway after mile marker 83 in a south-north direction. On this path you will have to go straight ahead until the end and park at the roundabout. The path starts on the right of the roundabout, along the ruins of an old building.

A little advice before leaving: don't put on any sunscreen for the moment, we'll see why.

The trail is actually not really a walk, it's a walk along the beach. The disadvantage is that it's not sand but gravel, and walking in fine gravel in full sunlight is quite exhausting. In the end, the 3 km round/trip will have made us tired. It must be said that we hadn't brought enough water either, fatal with the 32°C that reigned that day. You've been warned!

Along the beach that leads to Kiholo Bay.

2Discover Kiholo bay

Keanalele Waterhole

300m after leaving the car park, look to the right, you will see a hole in the ground at the edge of the trees. Here you are in front of the Keanalele Waterhole, a spring of underground water in which you can bathe.

Be careful, this source is sacred, that's why to avoid any pollution it is strongly advised not to put sunscreen before you relax, because yes the water is fresh and does a good mad at high temperatures.

Now you can get out and put on some sunscreen ;)

Auwai channel

By continuing your way towards the lagoon, you will walk along properties. It goes without saying that it is not necessary to enter it, the inhabitants wanting their tranquillity! After a little more than 1 km, you arrive at the Auwai channel, a small channel that allows the fishpond located in the vegetation on your right to evacuate its overflow of water, also having its source.

If you're lucky, you'll see turtles coming up the channel when the current is not too strong, to rest and feed in quieter waters than the ocean.

One of the properties along the beach.
Look at the bottom right, it's a turtle ;)

As usual, observe a certain distance with them, rest is precious for these beautiful and precious creatures. It is not uncommon for wild goats to come and quench their thirst.

The fishpond

Located upstream of the small channel, the fishpond was formed by a lava flow which isolated it from the sea, knowing that the waters of the basin are fed by a natural source. It is said that it was King Kamehameha I who created this fishpond, an artificial fish stock used by the ancient Hawaiians to survive during the winter months when fishing in the Pacific was too dangerous.

Viewed at the edge of Kiholo Bay, the fishpond is in the background, behind the trees.

The Wainanalii Pond

Continuing a few hundred meters further, you finally arrive at the Wainanalii Pond, the highlight of the stroll. Here, the color of the water is just incredible. The few palm trees scattered on the peninsula make it a landscape of postcard and tranquillity.

The Wainanalii pond seen from drone. The color of the water is incredible!

Take the time to relax here and enjoy the calm waters and relax! We won't have crossed many people in the end, the place is calm and serene. To discover absolutely!

Our opinion
We like

A very peaceful and little visited place.

The incredible color of the water!

See turtles swimming in water or on the sand.

We don't like

Walking at the water's edge can be quite strenuous in warm weather.

About us

We are Sandrine and Flo, French thirty-somethings. In 2019 we quit everything to live our dream, become nomads and travel around the world. We left with our baby, Lena, who was only 5 months old at the time. After a first trip around the Pacific Ocean by plane and a long 3 months stay in Hawaii, we left to discover Iceland for 3 months on board our 4WD pickup truck and truck camper. Then we continued our adventure in North America.

Today, if we can continue this adventure, it is above all thanks to our blog, Smartrippers! We created it one day in 2016, with the desire to share our good travel tips, without thinking that it would lead us there! We have developed it a lot over the years and have become experts on our 3 favorite destinations: Hawaii, Iceland and the American West. We now guide you to these destinations to help you plan the trip of your dreams!

Follow our adventures!