One of my favorite beaches on Maui is located on the Northeastern side of Maui in a remote tropical jungle. The sand is black, the surf is fierce, and lush green foliage covers the area.
My husband and I drove the Road to Hana in excitement of visiting this exotic black sand beach and were looking forward to exploring the surrounding area.
After a few hours in the car we arrived at Wai’anapanapa State Park and found ourselves in the middle of a tropical downpour. Of course, if you are traveling to Hawaii you should know the one rule about these islands: If it’s raining, wait a few minutes and it will probably stop. We took cover and waited out the storm, which ended only a few minutes after it began.
With our beach towels in hand, we quickly made our way down to the beach. The beach itself is very interesting; on the eastern side the rocks are bigger and more rough, and towards the western side of the beach the rocks became smaller and more like the sand you find on any other “sandy” beach in Maui.
As we walked along the beach we spotted a blue jellyfish stuck on the beach. It’s not fun getting stung by one of these bugga’s–trust me, it happened to me on Kauai.
The water was too rough for swimming that day, however, it was perfect weather to relax on the beach and soak in the scenery. We watched in awe as the waves pummeled the shoreline and my husband was able to capture some striking photos of mother nature at her finest.
The angry ocean was the very reason that there was a beach to relax on that day. After years and years of the rough surf pummeling, breaking, and carving out the surrounding shoreline of lava rock, the black sand is broken down and accumulates into the beach that is there today.
After enjoying our time on the beach we packed up the beach towels and began to explore the surrounding area. We hiked along the western shoreline and saw beautiful views of the beach below.
The eastern side of the beach has picnic tables, restrooms, and an outdoor shower to rinse off the sea-water. There are many activities within the 122-acre State Park to keep you occupied all afternoon: take the path out to the lava arch, explore the caves and lava tubes, see the blow-hole, visit the ancient heiau (a Hawaiian religious temple), and more.
If you plan ahead, you can reserve a campsite at Wai’anapanapa State Park for $18 per night, and if you’re not the “camping” type, there are a couple of cabins available for rent that will run you closer to $90 per night. It’s a great opportunity to spend more than just a couple of hours at this amazing place.
If you’re driving the Road to Hana on your next visit to Maui, the Wai’anapanapa State Park is going to be one of the highlights of your trip. Make sure you spend some time here to truly appreciate your journey.
Have you been to Wai’anapanapa State Park? What was your favorite part?