On the very southern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii is Ka Lae (means the point in Hawaiian) or as the locals call it, South Point. This is not just the southern most tip of the Big Island, it is the southernmost spot in all of the United States. Hawaii Island has so many attributes that are unique only to the island and this point of reference is no exception.
The latitude is 18.910667184215498 and the longitude is -155.6807627679882. South Point is 390 miles further south than the southern most tip in the mainland in Florida (Key West).
63.4 miles south of Kailua Kona, it will take about an hour and a half to get there.
Head south on State Route 11, 52.8 miles to South Point Rd. Take a right and follow to the end of the road. South Point Road is not very well maintained and you will want to use caution heading down there.
There is a lot of pasture land and you drive by a row of very large windmills called the Pakini Nui project there 14 wind turbines. You will eventually come to a Y in the road, take a right to the cliffs. Take a left to a a boat launch and Green Sand Beach.
TO THE RIGHT AT THE Y:
About a half of a mile you will come to the end of the road. You may want to park above and walk down about 150 feet to the cliffs edge if you are in a low car. The cliffs run along the coast line and offer some great photo opportunities, they are really cool. When I first went down there, I was with a group of friends. We all looked over the edge and saw a metal ladder coming up the cliff face off of some wooden platforms. We surmised that the platforms were used to set up large block and tackle for bringing in caught fish up to load. All of a sudden a young girl came running up behind us and leaped off the cliff into the ocean. Mind you, these cliffs are about 40 feet high! So, not to be out done by a twelve year old we decided we must jump off the cliffs. My first jump was a little miserable, I had my arms out slightly and when they slapped up against the water is was very painful. The second jump was much better as I held my arms tightly to my side. The plunge didn’t seem like it was going to quit. I just kept plunging deeper and deeper. I opened my eyes on the way back up and saw huge fish in the distance just floating silently almost like large logs.
There is also a large blow hole that opens up to a lava tube that is room sized and opens up to the ocean through the cliffs. This is a pretty amazing place be! The wind is pretty constant and causes the few trees that are out there to grow at an angle. It should be noted that the currents here collide together and can be very dangerous, in fact, a Chief named Halaea was carried away here and eventually died.
TO THE LEFT AT THE Y:
You will drive by a set of old foundations of where once was a small community that was built during World War II then later dismantled. There is an area where you can park and walk down the hillside to the boat ramp and the entry towards the green sand beach, Papakolea Beach. The Boat ramp is a crude makeshift boat launch that would require a four wheel drive to access. Just before the actual ramp is the road to Papakolea Beach. Stay updated and Like Us on Facebook or Follow our Twitter feed to get updates on our next venture to the Green Sand Beach! Mahalo for checking out our post, we hope you enjoyed it!