Mauna Kea Beach is located on the west coast of the Big Island (also known as Hawaii). This gorgeous stretch of the Kohala Coast is relatively secluded and almost always empty, due in large part to the fact that it is within such close proximity of the much larger Hapuna Beach State Park. The huge Mauna Kea Beach Resort is located here, and since it shares Hapuna Beach, many visitors of the resort itself even pass over this tranquil, tropical paradise in favor of Hapuna Beach. As such, this is an ideal locale for people who are interested in enjoying a more private beach experience while also staying within close enough driving proximity of shopping, dining, and entertainment. This is one of the most picturesque beaches on the Big Island and one that you should strongly consider visiting if you are staying on its western coast. If you are staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Resort then you should definitely not overlook this treasure trove.
Mauna Kea Beach, which is also known as Mauumae Beach, is a white-sand beach that offers calm waters of a protected bay. There are also plenty of shaded areas where you can find a reprieve from the hot sun. There are no services or facilities at Mauna Kea, so you will definitely want to be sure to bring along everything you may need in terms of sun protection, food, and beverages. It is always a good idea to bring along plenty of water and sun block, as well as protective layers of clothing, sunglasses, and a hat.
This beach may at first be difficult to access if you are not sure what to look for. There is no direct walking access from the Mauna Kea Beach Resort to Mauna Kea Beach, so you must drive. You will pass through the entrance of the resort. Tell the guard on duty that you wish visit Mauna Kea, and if the parking lot is not already full, you will be given a parking pass free of charge as well as a helpful map. After this point, it only takes about five minutes driving to reach the beach. Before arriving, you will cross over two bridges. There are signs for parking and markings for where to access the beach. The walk from the parking area takes no more than five to ten minutes and is a lovely walk at that.
As mentioned before, the main benefit for many people who visit this beach is the calm water. Even though there are no lifeguards on duty here, parents will find that the surf is more than accommodating. An extensive shelf allows people to wade out for a substantial distance before the water level even hits the upper legs. You want to be sure to bring along any gear or equipment you may need, as there are no places to rent them at the beach. Snorkeling, kayaking, and boogie boarding are all great here. If you plan to stay in this area, you will also have the benefit of visiting Hapuna Beach, which offers more in the way of public facilities, restaurants, beach bars, and gear rentals. For those who want to relax in the sun in peace, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than Mauna Kea Beach.