49 Black Sand Beach

Experience Kohala's only Black Sand Beach at 49 Black Sand Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Although the Hawaiian Islands are known for their black sandy beaches, 49 Black Sand Beach is only one of its kind along the Kohala Coastline. Spend a few hours or an entire day on this beach, and try out snorkeling in the crystal clear, pristine waters. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Situated near Mauna Lani Resort, on the volcanic bay is 49 Black Sand Beach, one of the most unique beaches on the Big Island. Other beaches located nearby contain more traditional white sand while 49 Black Sand Beach is composed primarily of fine grains of lava, making it the only black sand beach on all of the Kohala Coast. As such, this somewhat secluded beach is ideal if your idea of fun is being away from crowd-packed beaches and to experience something a little different. 

The unique appearance and texture of the 49 Black Sand Beach sand was created from a lava flow that originated on the slopes of Mauna Loa some 50 miles away, which occurred in the 19th-century. In addition to the beautiful black sand beach itself, you can also enjoy the picturesque sea cliff trail that follows the rim of the bay, providing spectacular views of the nearby sea coves and tide pools. Be sure to watch your footing in this area as it is littered with sharp lava rocks and can be a little treacherous. 

As far as the water itself goes, you will find crystal clear, deep blue, seawater awaiting you at 49 Black Sand Beach, which presents the optimal snorkeling environment on days when the ocean itself is calm. For the best snorkeling experience, try near the rocks on either side of the beach, and then in the center of the bay. Within the rich, clear waters, look for tide pools, underground rock formations, and breathtakingly colored tropical fish swimming about. As an added bonus, Hawaiian Green sea turtles seem to love the black sand at this location and are frequently found basking on its warm surfaces. 

Though secluded, quiet, and not nearly as crowded as some other beach options, 49 Black Sand Beach still offers some guest amenities that make it an ideal getaway for a day of fun. Public restrooms are conveniently located near the parking lot, and you can find a shower near the trailhead of the beach. The parking lot is located a minute away from the beach. The beach itself is pretty accessible, even though it presents an ambiance of seclusion and privacy when visiting and the terrain is a bit uneven. 

This 800-year-old black sand beach is surrounded by a community featuring 49 custom homes that are nestled atop the rugged cliffs of the Kohala Coast. This exclusive community contains multi-million dollar homes creating the ideal surrounding for such a breathtaking beach. It actually provides a natural barrier between the beach and the hustle and bustle of the city. This ocean-front community sits on 60 acres of private property. You can access the public beach parking lot even if you aren’t a guest of this community. To do so, speak to a security guard who will give you a parking pass to gain access. 

When visiting 49 Black Sand Beach, keep in mind that the black sand attracts the sun and tends to heat up even more than other types of sand. Therefore, it’s wise to wear water shoes or sandals to protect your feet from the hot surface. Also, be aware that this isn’t a great deal of shade to be found on the beach, so make sure that you bring along an umbrella, hat, sunscreen, or another form of shade to keep yourself from getting too much sun exposure when visiting. 

If your goal is to experience something truly unique, a visit to 49 Black Sand Beach is a great way to spend a day or part of a day in the area. Just keep in mind you need to protect your feet both on your way to the beach from the parking area and while you are on the beach itself. Though the calming environment is ideal for snorkeling and the crystal clear waters are inviting, the lava based-sand can be a bit tough on the tender parts of your feet, so plan accordingly to protect them. With that being said, you will absolutely love this unforgettable beach! 

Insider Tips:
-The luxurious community surrounding 49 Black Sand Beach is also located near Mauna Lani South golf course. 
-The entire 49 Black Sand Beach community is designed to blend natural surroundings and breathtaking beauty with luxurious amenities. 
-There are lifeguards to be found here, so feel safe while you swim