Puna only has two easily accessible sandy beaches, one of which has no trees and is too dangerous to swim at. The lack of beaches makes Kehena beach very popular, especially on weekends. Kehena is spectacular, has friendly people, great waves & swimming, plenty of shade, and is frequented by dolphins. New Kaimu beach was created as a result of lava flowing into the ocean in 1990, as was Kehena in 1955. Both beaches are temporary. The sand will gradually be washed away or covered by newer lava flow. The old Kaimu bay is completely filled in by lava and the new beach is a 10 minute walk south of the old one where it used to be open ocean. People in the area have planted hundreds of coconuts which will someday make the beach quite beautiful.

There are also other beaches with minimal sand but larger rocks and pebbles. Past Kehena, slightly west of Opihikao is a beach at Kalepa Point. It can be accessed beyond the Japanese Cemetery on the Red Road, or from further east where the Red Road nearly graces the water. Another coastal area where you can snorkel and swim is the Kapoho tide-pools. This area has naturally formed protected pools, some of which are volcanically heated, and the snorkeling is amazing! Nearby is Champagne ponds, with volcanically heated water and tiny bubbles, and beyond that in Wa’a Wa’a are swimmable tidepools along the edge of rugged coast.

The final pictures in this series are of the area immediately east of Kehena, and another area a couple miles west off the Red Road.

The Kapoho tidepools, Champagne pond, Kapoho Bay, Ahalanui warm pond, and all of Kapoho was destroyed in the 2018 eruption. Fox’s Landing was destroyed in the 2010 lava flow.

Puna Coast & Beaches