Naupaka: The Other Black Sand Beach on Maui

Hawaii is known for many of the best black sand beaches in the world []. While the most famous ones are found on Big Island, Maui has a few nice ones to explore. Honokalani and Waianapanapa are the more well-known black sand beaches located close to Hana, but if you are staying near Kihei you might want to check out Naupaka Beach, also known as One’uli [].

Naupaka Black Sand Beach Maui
Located in Makena State Park, a short 20 minute drive south of Kihei, Naupaka is very close to most of the island’s more affordable tourist accommodations yet is still reasonably quiet. The volcanic black sand is relatively coarse compared to Hawaii’s white sand beaches and there aren’t any typical public beach amenities but it’s still a great place to stop for a picnic and to take in some unique views. Snorkeling and kayaking are also supposed to be good here, but be very careful of the sharp volcanic rocks surrounding the beach!

Naupaka Black Sand Beach on Maui

Of course, if there is a typhoon heading on its way between Maui and Oahu like there was on the day that we visited you might just want to stop, take a few pictures, and get back to the hotel like we did. I’m not sure where this sailboat was heading for safe harbour.

Naupaka Black Sand Beach on Maui

To get to Naupaka you just head south from Kihei and go past the Grand Waliea and Four Seasons. After that you’ll pass a couple of golf courses. About a mile past the Makena Beach & Golf Resort you’ll see a small dirt road with a yellow gate. Follow the very bumpy dirt road for a few hundred yards until you get to a small parking area next to the beach.

View Larger Map

This is the view from the bumpy dirt road.

Shrubs at Naupaka Black Sand Beach on Maui

This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday [], Friday Daydreamin’ [], and Photo Friday []


23 thoughts on “Naupaka: The Other Black Sand Beach on Maui

    • The sand there has some reddish brown colour depending on how the light hits it. I have a couple of shots facing the other way where the sand looks more like a dark charcoal grey but the sand was not jet black like some of the pictures I’ve seen of other black sand beaches.

  1. Beautiful photos! We stayed on Wailea beach in Maui and I had no idea that there was a black sand beach so close by – would have loved to have seen it!

  2. The only black beach I have ever seen was on in Bali. The sand was dark black from volcanic ash, but sprinkled with sea salt crystals which made it sparkle beautifully in the sun.

  3. You want me to drive PAST the Grand Waliea and the Four Seasons? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Black sand kind of creeps me out anyways. Doesn’t seem right for walking on. Sure looks beautiful though.

  4. Black sand beaches defy the conventional images we’ve been fed about what a beautiful beach should be like. And as a result can have an other worldly feel. I like that. And they have a real beauty of their own. Looking forward to exploring some when we tour Iceland this summer.

  5. One thing I really look forward to enjoying next month in Hawaii is the different colored sand beaches. I don’t remember them as prominently as I should from several years back, so I will be sure to pay more attention this time. 🙂

  6. Hmm…spent two weeks in Kihei last summer, and have been to Maui a few times before, but I don’t think I found this beach. (There’s a black sand beach not far from the airport near Hana on the southeast corner of Maui.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ six = 15