Barren fields speckled with little more than rusting windmills, remnants of long-abandoned military facilities, and horizontal trees welcome you to the far side of Hawaii’s Big Island. As the wind whips over miles of open ocean and across the grasslands, you might be tempted to forego this forbidding landscape and rush back to the land of white sands and palm trees. However, a trek across this desolate yet peculiarly beautiful terrain will reward you with one of the world’s most unusual beaches. Here, olivine sand slopes into cerulean water that doesn’t stop until Antarctica. This is Green Sand Beach, a rare and secluded stretch of coastline tucked away at the southernmost tip of the nation. A Dali painting come to life, its otherworldly atmosphere is an acquired taste–one enriched by an intriguing history stretching back more than a thousand years, when ancient Polynesians adorned the austerity with temples and petroglyphs, some of which can still be glimpsed today. The hardy still come to fish and dive from lava cliffs while the adventurous journey to the end of paradise to experience a raw and stirring Hawaii. It’s a sight that won’t easily make the cover of the travel brochures…nor will it be easily forgotten.
This is a VERY small secluded beach. It was about a 5-mile round trip hike to the green sand beach (wear proper attire and bring water), at times I thought we were lost or some how passed it. We didn't...try to stay away from the cliffs since the hike would be much harder and rockier. Stay on the dirt road...you'll get there! You'll see a MOB of people when you arrive. Beware it was VERY VERY VERY windy, I couldn't even hear my boyfriend talking to me. When we arrived to the green sand beach you have to take a steep walk down to the beach, be careful and wear sturdy shoes. You have to get down to see/feel the sand. We saw people arriving and just turning back???? If doesn't look super green from afar! It's a darker olive green color. We were getting blasted by the wind...sprays of sand + sea water. Keep your shades on. About 20-mins later...we saw 2 manta rays swimming very close to the shore. It was definitely worth it! If you're lazy and didn't wear the proper shoes you could always pay the locals about $10-15 a person for a 15-min super bumpy round trip to the green sand beach, I think they give you about 30-minute to walk around? Start the hike early if you can. I wish I could go back...right now!
South Point and More Nearby
Big Island, Hawaii