Hookipa Beach Park

Hookipa Beach Park - A Favorite Among Surfers and Sea Turtles
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Hookipa Beach Park is a popular hotspot for surfers, windsurfers, and other aquatic athletes. The beach has been home to surfing and windsurfing competitions due to the challenging waves that form. The white sand and rock beach is also a protected home for green sea turtles. Even during a quick visit, guests may see more than 30 green sea turtles basking on the sand or in the rocks.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Hookipa Beach Park is known for two things — green sea turtles and watersports like surfing. Locals and visitors to Maui’s North come to enjoy the waves or the local scenery.

Hookipa Beach Park is an iconic destination for surfers and windsurfers. Since the 1930s, serious surfers including competitive athletes surfed this beach. Several notable surfing and windsurfing competitions took place at Hookipa Beach including the Hookipa Surf Classic, The Aloha Classic and it was the previous home of the Red Bull King of the Air. 

Hookipa Beach Park is a favorite spot for outdoor adventure activities like snorkeling, surfing, body surfing, windsurfing, and parasailing. The rocky shore, reef system, and wind contribute to an environment where waves can reach as high as 30-feet tall during the winter season. Such days are best for experienced surfers and windsurfers seeking a challenge.

If you are a beginner or intermediate surfer or swimmer, be sure to check the day’s weather and surf conditions. Also, consider talking with the on-site lifeguards for guidance about how to enjoy the beach safely.

Even if you are not into water sports, Hookipa Beach Park has something to offer. Nature lovers also enjoy a trip to Hookipa Beach Park. This 8.4 square miles park is also a protected area for green sea turtles known as “honu” in Hawaiian. If you visit at the right time, you may see more than 30 sea turtles basking in the sun on the sand or the rocks. It is a great opportunity to see the turtles on land.

Hookipa Beach Park contains signage instructing people to stay 10 feet away from the turtles. Sometimes park staff or lifeguards remind guests if they get too close. For the best turtle-watching experience, you may want to do a little research on the current regulations. The turtles have their own dedicated space that is typically roped off. 

Since this area is a protected space for the green sea turtles you may see them just about any time. Many people find they are most likely to see them during the summer between 11 am and 1 pm. 

In addition to turtle watching, Hookipa Beach is a great place to watch surfers and windsurfers. Park amenities include parking, picnic tables, barbeque grills, restrooms, and basic showers. The park has three parking lots, the main lot is ADA accessible. On-street parking is also available. 

If you are in the area during sunset, be sure to visit the Hookipa Beach Park. There is nothing like sunset views over the ocean. The combination of white sands and the rocky shoreline are rustically beautiful. If you are lucky you may also spot sea life such as turtles or seals.

Insider Tips:
-Respect the sea turtles, they are protected under the Endangered Species Act and Hawaiian regulations. While they are not aggressive they may snap or bite if they feel threatened. 
-Check the weather and wave conditions if you plan to swim or surf. The area is a hotspot for competitive surfers and windsurfers because of the challenging waves, especially during the winter. Check the surf conditions in advance or chat with the lifeguard to see whether it is safe and appropriate for your skill level.
-Hookipa Beach Park is a 20-minute drive from Maui’s airport, some like to plan a quick stop to see the turtles or watch surfers before catching their flight.