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“Hard to Find but Easy to Forget”
Review of Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay
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Reef and Dolphin Snorkel Eco Adventure
Ranked #24 of 133 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Edinburg, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Hard to Find but Easy to Forget”
Reviewed 6 December 2013

The access from SH 19 was poorly marked and consisted of a poorly graded gravel road that twisted and turned for several miles to a"park wherever you can" lot. The beach was rocky and difficult to walk. My wife slipped and dropped her cell phone and it took several days to get it working properly again. We did not see any turtles or any other marine life although the park was adverised as a great place to see sea turtles. A great place to see sea turtles is at the Black Sand Beach at Punaluu off SH 11 south.

Visited November 2013
7 Thank kenfults
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great to see the sea turtles”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

It is easy to drive down to the park if you don't want to hike from the highway. The hike is hot and the terrain is uneven and not very exciting, I would recommend driving.

Kiholo Bay is located in 'Kiholo State Park Reserve'. Take Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway (Hwy 19) north from Kailua-Kona. There is a dirt road to the park on the ocean side of the highway between mile marker #82 and 83. There is no sign on the highway to indicate the turn-off. We had no trouble getting our little rental car down the dirt road to the parking lot. There are gates that are locked at 6pm (7pm in the summer) so don't get locked in the park. There are campsites that can be rented on the weekends.

You drive down the dirt road towards the ocean. At the fork, if you turn left it will take you to the campsites and an abandoned round-house where you can park. There are portable toilets there. Turning right at the fork will take you a short distance to another set of portable toilets and a parking area. The parking area on the right is closer to Kiholo Bay and to the 'Queen's bath'.

This is a black sand beach, aka, a lava rock beach. There is no soft sand here and the water can be rough for swimming in front of the campsite area. I would advise sneakers or hard soled shoes for walking out to the bay. Walking in my flip flops for the 30-45min walk was a bit painful. As you head north along the beach you will come to the 'Queen's bath' on the inland side of the beach. We missed it on the way out. If you've come to the two fancy houses then you've gone too far. There is a sign with the Hawaiian name (I can't remember what it is). The 'Queen's bath' is a lava tube with a mixture of fresh water and seawater (brackish water). There are stairs to get down into the lava tube and then you can go through from one opening to the next. You can continue exploring deeper into the lava tube if you're not afraid of the dark. A headlamp would be useful.

When you leave the 'Queen's bath' you will continue along the beach towards Kiholo Bay. You will pass two fancy houses and then some other residences. You can see the turquoise water in the bay and walk along the lava rocks to the other side of the bay. Not a great spot for snorkeling because it can be cloudy, but the water is very calm. Hopefully you'll see lots of sea turtles out on the rocks and on the sand. We saw quite a few.

It's a quiet area because it does take some walking to get there. It's neat to see the contrast between the shallow turquoise waters and the black lava rock. It's pretty neat to swim in a lava tube.

Visited November 2013
8 Thank A-night-abroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“23 turtles! cool water, nice low key hike”
Reviewed 2 November 2013

I wanted to explore this area after reading about it in 'Lonely Planet' and 'Big Island Revealed'. I took the gravel road and parked my 2wd all the way down to the end next to the port-a-loos. I dont think you need a 4WD to do it. Make sure you have cold water, walking shoes/reef shoes and a camera. Its a rocky beach hike to get there (about 25-30mins with a 4yr old in tow) but its worth it. We counted 15 turtles lounging on the island and about 5 more across the bay. The water is quite cool but perfect for a dip after the walk there... and very rocky in places (hence the need for reef shoes).

We had an awesome afternoon exploring and recommend it for everyone. Its a beautiful little bay.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank IslandAdventurer83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great fun exploring”
Reviewed 21 October 2013

Loved hiking around the bay to find turtles sunning themselves and watching two kiteboarders as we walked. You can see a few properties built by wealthy celebrities (Loretta Lynn, Paul Mitchell,& the inventor of the pacemaker). Cool off in the Queen's Bath on your way back. A great couple of hours of exploration.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank SVanT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“No turtles on this day.”
Reviewed 21 September 2013

I liked that the beach was not crowded, as it is not very easy to find. We drove the gravel road in our rental car and there was no problem, much easier than hiking in. Sadly, the surf was a little rough and there were no turtles on the day we were there. The queens bath was interesting and fun to swim around in. There was a family there when we arrived, so we left for a few minutes and when we returned, we had the place to ourselves. As with most beaches on the island, it was lava rock, not sand, so don't expect sand there.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank traveling_monster_me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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