Kukio Beach Overview
Located just north of Kikaua Point Beach Park on the Big Island’s Kohala coast you will find the white sands of Kukio Beach. Located approximately 18 miles from downtown Kailua-Kona, this lovely white-sand beach can be reached through the entrance gate to Four Seasons Hualalai Resort.
Framing Kukio Beach’s white sands, you will find coconut palms, ironwood and mesquite trees with a few small brackish-water ponds adjacent to the shoreline. Lava rocks contour the length of the beach’s tideline, forming tidal pools where little ones can check out the marine life. Because of these rocks, water shoes are suggested if you’re wading out into the bay.
A good access point is a sand bagged spot at the north end of the shoreline. To enjoy your day at the beach, make sure to bring along fresh water, snacks, a hat and plenty of reef-safe sunscreen, there’s not a lot of shade along Kukio Beach, but there is an area of coconut palms just south of the main beach at Kikaua Point.
Kukio Beach Activities
The main bay is not the best for swimming or snorkeling due to its frequently murky water and lava rocks, however, the water in Kukio Bay is relatively calm in the morning and excellent for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing. During the winter months, the swells are abundant, but the rocky shoreline discourages many board sports. Visitors to the area will often spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (honu) resting along the shores or even spinner dolphins out in the bay’s expanse.
Kukio beach connects up with Kikaua Point Beach Park at the southern end, offering access to a coconut palm lined park and a small lagoon, perfect for kids to swim or for adults to cool off in a more gentle beach environment. This area also offers showers, restrooms and drinking water.
Ala Kahakai Trail
Kukio Bay has a section of the Ala Kahakai Trail. “Ala loa” is the Hawaiian term for a long coastal trail and “Kahakai” means shoreline. This culturally significant trail follows the Big Island’s coastline for 175 miles and was established as a National Historic Trail in 2000 to preserve native Hawaiian culture and its natural resources. The trail has been in continuous use since ancient Polynesians first arrived on the Big Island over 1500 years ago. Interesting archaeological artifacts, fishponds, shrines and the remains of ancient dwellings can be found all along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
Access and Directions to Kukio Beach
Kukio Beach fronts the Kukio Club, a high-end gated residential community neighboring the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort. In Hawaii, all beaches are public and access is allowed to this beach through the Four Seasons entrance. Access to Kukio is 18 miles north of Kailua-Kona between the 87 and 88-mile markers.
Turn off of Highway 19 onto Kaupulehu Drive, just south of the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort sign. Drive to the security hut and let them know you would like to go to the public beach. You’ll turn left just after the security hut and follow the road until you reach the parking lot. There is a nice restroom and showers here. After you park, follow the walk way to Kukio Beach.