Hawaii is known for many of the best black sand beaches in the world [toptenz.net]. 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 [mauiguidebook.com].
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!
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.
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.
This is the view from the bumpy dirt road.
This post was submitted to Travel Photo Thursday [budgettravelerssanbox.com], Friday Daydreamin’ [rwethereyetmom.com], and Photo Friday [deliciousbaby.com]
Amazing! I’ve never seen anything like this. Hope to be able to visit a beach as unusual as this.
Beautiful! We were in the area but totally missed this stretch of beach the last time we were in Maui. Another good reason to go back. Love the first picture!
Interesting color of the sand. It looks like dark brown. Is it edited picture or is it natural color?
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.
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!
When you say ‘relatively coarse’, what do you mean exactly? Too coarse to walk on bare-footed?
Walking on it is okay – it just doesn’t have that silky powdery feel to it.
I love that part of the island! Stormy seas are always great to look at although I wouldn’t want to be out on them at that time.
OMG- take me here right now, even in the storm I want to go! Lovely photos!
I love the contrast between the sea and the sand in that first photo.
You were brave to go out with a typhoon coming.
I think I’m more of a white-sand-girl, but these pics make the black sand beaches appealing. Very pretty!
Beautiful. I visited the beaches in Hana when I was there many many years ago.
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.
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.
Yes, getting past Wailea can be tough especially if anyone in your group likes to shop!
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.
I havne’t seen sand that color before – a lost looks like dirt! What a great hike!
Wow, that’s black sand reminds me in my country in Philippines, but I like most the white sand.
Very pretty! I haven’t been to Maui in years… I really need to get back there!
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. 🙂
Great photos of Naupaka. We did visit there several years ago when we were staying nearby, but I’d love to go back. Beautiful beach.
I love the beaches on Maui. Just driving around the island makes me happy. It is such a beautiful place to discover.
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.)