Kua Bay, Kona (Manini‘owali)


Kua Bay Beach, Kona

The Immaculate Kua Bay Beach

The road to beautiful Kua Bay and the Manini‘owali section of Kekaha Kai State Park is now paved. The park road, new parking areas at Kua Bay, new accessible comfort station and picnic tables, opened to the public in October 2005. In fact, the road is so new it is not reflected on most maps even to this day!

Located off the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway (19) north of Kona between mile markers 88 and 89, Kua Bay offers a scenic white sand beach gently sloping down into the ocean. The turn off is opposite the entrance of West Hawaii Veteran’s Cemetery. The beauty of this white sand beach and light blue waters is breathtaking - this is one of the prettiest beaches on the Island. There are no trees or shade here - so make sure you bring tons of sunblock, a hat and perhaps a beach umbrella because you will be completely exposed to the Kona sun the entire day!

During calm conditions, the swimming and snorkeling are excellent and easy. Facilities are limited but do include showers, drinking fountains, picnic tables, and restrooms. From the parking area you will need to traverse over rough lava rocks to get to the beach below. This beach is not baby stroller accessible.

This is one of the most beautiful bays you will ever see — the water is crystal clear, deep aquamarine in hue, and peaceful in the summer. The stark contrast from the ultra-white sand beach to the black dried lava rocks on the ridge is striking. Rugged, rocky shores on either side keep the beach from getting too windy in the afternoon, but the surf here can get very rough in winter. Still, it’s always beautiful, and usually pretty quiet.

We have spotted a dive boat with SCUBA divers at the northern edge of this bay early in the morning but have yet to dive these waters.  You may get the urge to snorkel here, but because of the rolling waves and sandy bottom, the underwater visibility is near zero.  But, swimming and body-surfing is very enjoyable here!

Get out and enjoy the beautiful sunny Kohala coast! The Big Island has many great tour providers that can show you the best kayaking and snorkeling spots near Kua Bay and throughout Kona.

Virtual Tour: Take a Virtual Tour of Kua Bay Beach

Virtual Tour: Take a Virtual Tour of a Hawaiian Coral Reef

Directions: The new park entry road begins opposite the West Hawai‘i Veteran’s Cemetery on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway (between mile markers 88 and 89 on Route19) and ends behind the beach at Kua Bay within the Manini‘owali section of Kekaha Kai State Park. Beach is open 9:00AM - 7:00PM daily, except Wednesdays. View online map.

Nearby Beaches: Kikaua Point Beach, Kukio Beach, Makalawena Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, Kahuwai Bay Beach.

Check out our Kona Snorkeling Section for more information on snorkeling in Kona. Want to take your digital camera underwater? Check out our water-proof underwater cases.

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Kua Bay

Shimmering blue waters at Kua Bay

Aquamarine Waters at Kua Bay

Shallow shoreline with winter waves

Kua Bay, Kona, Hawaii

Dried lava rocks surround the bay

White Sand Beach at Kua Bay

Lots of room to spread out, but no shade

White Sands and Azure Waters of Kua Bay

White Sands and Azure Waters of Kua Bay


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