Updated: Jun 26, 2022
The Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park was a pleasant surprise for a FREE attraction with a 20-30-minute walk/hike from the parking lot to the ocean, where you make it to the water's edge where you are greeted by tons of green sea turtles! Entry is FREE and there are clean bathrooms at the visitor center.
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Entrance & Parking || Duration || Be Prepared || Activity Level || Shade || Bathrooms
ENTRANCE AND PARKING
Both are FREE! The parking gates close by 4pm, so if your car is stuck inside the lot after 4pm, you will not get access to it until the next morning at 8:30am, YIKES!
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The walk/hike takes about 20-30 minutes from the parking lot to the ocean. However, total time spent here depends on what you come for as it took us about 1.5-2 hours to explore and stand and watch the sea turtles. Some families were here swimming and snorkeling, so you can potential spend a good amount of time here.
We suggest bringing:
Stuff to be ready for no shade
we did not see water stations while we were there
you will navigate gravel, large rocks, lava rocks, sand and algae covered rocks that are SLIPPERY
It is an easy hike with a mostly flat trail over gravel and some lava rock with some steps or having to step over some obstacles. Once you get to the fishing ponds area there ARE some rocks covered in algae so PLEASE watch your step it's VERY slippery. There is a parking area that is closer to certain ponds, which the visitor's center told us about and it was directly from the sand to the parking lot, but when you Google the park it won't take you to that entrance, so just ask at the Visitor's Center.
The reviews were correct, there is MINIMAL shade and I could see it being QUITE miserable in the sun (luckily it was overcast the day we went). And even with the overcast day, I got a good tan!
There are well-stocked bathroom stalls at the visitor's center (toilet paper, soap, etc). There was a set of port-a-potty's closer to the fishing ponds, as the restrooms at the end were out of order in April 2022
SNORKELING & SWIMMING
Reviews report you can snorkel here as well and because of the rocks, the water looked like a calmer area where the kids were able to play safely. Some families were swimming in certain areas and with little ones would be great, because the waters are very shallow.
Holy sea turtles! We stayed here longer than planned watching the sea turtles. It was SO neat to see the sea turtles interact in their own environment rather than just sleeping. Note that you do have to keep your distance from them, but you can still get great shots/video! There were a TON in the tide pools: see my photos and videos
Other attractions were enjoyed around here were the Kanaloa Octopus Farm and Seahorse Farm, Pink Mocha Cafe, HiCO Coffee and walk around Kailua Bay. Read our blog/itinerary about Big Island for more details.
OTHER TOUR IDEAS
NOTE: Most links on our website are affiliate links, which means that The Bouj Crew collects a little bit of money or points when you click on certain links (this is at no extra cost to you). This is to help us with the upkeep and fees associated with running a website, offering products, etc!
A MAP OF PLACES
I love using maps when planning my trips in order to see which places would be within walking distance, etc. See our map of places we went here (always easiest to view the map on the desktop)
Comment if you have visited here and if there are any pointers that we missed!