Coastal areas along the island of Hawai`i are subject to seasonal high surf. During periods of high surf, strong currents may run along the shoreline. These currents may create hazardous conditions, making the ocean unsafe for swimming. For a number of the access ways listed in this guide, access to the ocean is over rocks and other hazardous terrain. Wave activity can make getting in and out of the water difficult due to dangerous shorebreaks and slippery rocks, therefore please proceed with caution.
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park - (Federal) – Shoreline is mostly lava rock seacliffs of varying height. Hiking, camping, fishing, nature study, picnicking. Facilities vary depending on area. Hazardous footing, lava flows, landslides, lava tubes, cliffs, waves, currents and weather. Vehicular access is permitted to coastal area via Chain of Craters Road and various trailheads provided lava flow has not caused closure of road. Extensive hiking trails to portions of the Puna and Ka`u shoreline are typically very rugged and steep. Ranger on duty in the Kilauea Visitor Center from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. More information, including trail maps and permits, is available at the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
- Punalu`u Beach Park (County) – Black sand beach and rocky shoreline. Swimming, fishing, diving, picnicking, nature study. Restrooms, pavilions with electricity, showers, drinking water, picnic areas and parking. Camping by permit only. Hazardous footing, waves and currents. Caution: Sandy beach areas are resting sites for the protected Hawaiian green sea turtles. More information is available at the County of Hawai`i Department of Parks and Recreation website. Park access is via Ninole Loop Road at either the entrance to Sea Mountain Resort or the paved road approximately 56 miles from Hilo.
- Whittington Beach Park (County) – Low rocky shoreline with tidepools. Fishing, picnicking. Restrooms, pavilions with electricity, fire pits, ponds, and parking. Camping by permit only. Hazardous footing, waves and currents. More information is available at the County of Hawai`i Department of Parks and Recreation website. Vehicular access is off Highway 11 at Honu`apo.
- Manuka Bay (State) – Small coral rubble and white sand beach flanked by rocky seacliffs. Fishing, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and nature study. Single outhouse, otherwise undeveloped. Hazardous footing, waves, currents and cliffs. Access is via 6-mile long, 4-wheel drive jeep trail from Hawai`i Belt Road. Access road is 0.7 miles north of the 82 mile marker.
- Road to the Sea – Black sand beach and rocky seacliffs. Swimming, fishing, nature study. Undeveloped. No amenities. Hazardous cliffs, footing, waves, and currents. Access road is unpaved 4-wheel drive jeep trail approximately 9 miles long to Humuhumu Point.
- South Point (Federal/State/County) – High seacliffs. Fishing and hiking. Parking. Hazardous cliffs, waves, currents, and footing. Narrow paved road from Hawai`i Belt Road to Ka Lae, southernmost land in the United States.