Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beaches Do-Over

Hapuna Beach (or Hapuna Matata as we came to call it) is a half mile long, golden sand beach on the west side of Hawaii Island.  It's about a half hour north of Kona and we visited it twice during our ten day stay on The Big Island.

It's been voted best beach in the U.S. many times and we chose it because it looked like it would have good conditions for skim boarding.  Our son is an avid skim boarder in the summers on Vancouver beaches.  Unfortunately the lifeguards were not as enthusiastic and relegated him to an area of the beach that was not skimboard friend, but he did a get a few runs in.

 Timing is everything.

Looks to me like skateboarding on water.

 Father and son.

The first beach day and we're pretty pasty....

 "Spare change?"

The second time we visited Hapuna Beach was when we tried to go to Mauna Kea Beach just north of Hapuna.  Our guide book* said there was a 27 space parking lot for the public at Mauna Kea Resort and if you got there by 10:00 you'd get a spot.  We arrived at 8:35 (hoping our skim boarder could beat the crowds and the lifeguards) and were told that the last spot had been taken at 8:28.  Doh!

Our guidebook also said you could walk from Hapuna to Mauna Kea along a well marked path that would take about a half hour to navigate.  That was true.  Hubby and I took a walk along the path later in the morning.  It was a nice little hike but I wouldn't have wanted to do it with all of our gear.  We had four chairs, a cooler, a skimboard, an umbrella, and each of us was carrying a knapsack or bag stuffed with towels, books, sunscreen, snorkelling gear and other necessities.  

Guess we'll have to go back another time and try to arrive earlier!  Here's what we saw on our hike to Mauna Kea Beach.

  Looking back at Hapuna.

 South end of Mauna Kea Beach.  Snorkelling is supposed to be fabulous.

Looking North at Mauna Kea Beach Resort.

 Wish we were here!

Some cute birdies along the way back.

*In order to do a little pre-planning for our vacation, we purchased "Hawaii, The Big Island Revealed - The Ultimate Guidebook" by Andrew Doughty.  He has a whole series of books on the Hawaiian Islands.  It's reported to be a good book, especially by he and his writers, but I found it lacking in many ways, so much so I may even do a post on it, or at least an Amazon review.  I found the tone arrogant and sarcastic and I found much of his book inaccurate.  He claims they are on top of everything because they re-issue the book every year and have a website where they do updates, but I still found it rife with inaccuracies.  Prices on tours were incorrect, one was out by $150 per person. They said there was a concession at Hapuna when there wasn't they recommended restaurants that weren't very good.  These are just a few minor issues.  We finally started using trip advisor to search for restaurants in our area when we found ourselves away from the house at meal time. Had some great meals as a result.  Yes, you can only do so much but when you brag about how wonderful and accurate and up to date you are, then you better be at least accurate on things that only require a quick phone call to confirm.  We also purchased the Kauai version and found that lacking as well.


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