One evening earlier this month, we went for a shoreline hike at Anaeho’omalu Bay, beside the Waikoloa Beach Resort area. We had heard that sea turtles often hang out on the quiet and less crowded beaches along this trail, and wanted to photograph them in the glow of the evening light. We headed out from the trailhead near the Lava Lava Beach Club about half an hour before sunset, equipped with flashlights for the twilight walk back.
As we headed south along the trail, we found beautiful little white sand beaches nestled into patches of twisted trees and naupaka shrubs. This shoreline hike was mostly on the sand with some sections of lava rock and shrubby trail. The further we went, the sand became nicer and the beaches more inviting.
I almost didn’t see the first turtle we came across until it was right in front of me! It was hidden in the shadows cast by the setting sun. As we continued for a few more minutes, we saw three more sea turtles resting on the beach close to the water. I would have loved to stay and watch them for a long time (giving them some space, of course), but we just took some photos and looked for a few minutes. Even with our flashlights, we didn’t want to head back after it was completely dark.
We went in the evening, but if you don’t mind walking a ways with beach chairs or mats, these beaches would be a great place to get away from the crowds. This is a beautiful area to explore with friends and family, see the sunset, and take photographs.
We only walked the northernmost mile of the trail on Anaeho’omalu Bay, but the trail stretches 6 miles further south to Keawaiki Bay if you want to explore more of this beautiful coastline. If you have good shoes (closed toes or hiking sandals), you can keep going over the lava rock to (name of beach – look up on hikes page/big island hikes). The sandy part of this hike would be great for all ages – essentially walking on the beach with a couple of rocky and shrubby areas.
If you want to know more about this shoreline hike, check out its page on the Big Island Hikes website. We’ve also compiled a list of family-friendly and more adventurous hikes on this page.