Come with us on a tour of the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii has 10 of the worlds 14 climate zones! There is an incredible amount to see in a reletively small place. Today I’m starting a series on the Big Island of Hawaii and my favorite location is up first. The green sand beach, it is one of only 4 on the entire planet.
The green sand beach.
The green sand beach of Hawaii is a little known and hard to reach area of the big island which brings me to the best way to experience the big island and that is to rent a jeep and just do it yourself on your own time.
The jeep we rented happened to be a brand spanking new one with 7 miles on it. By the time this series on Hawaii is complete we will have put nearly 700 miles on the jeep in a week! I’m pretty sure we drove and every road on the island. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It’s obviously not the best method for many other Hawaiian Islands because they are so small, but for the big island it’s really the only way to see it all and believe me you don’t want to miss a thing. I’ve never seen such a small place with so many different types of scenery.
Driving south on hwy 11 from the eastern coast (main tourist and beach area) of hawaii you’ll head to South Point Park. I should probably mention at this point that you will eventually leave what we think of as an actual road and will be on a dirt trail. Once you get to the ocean, even the dirt trail ends. Here you’ll find a few locals selling snacks, etc. Grab a snack here to take with you because there is nothing at the green sand beach but beauty.
The second thing I need to mention is that you’ll either have to break the law and drive your 4x4 to the beach or be prepared for a very hot several mile hike across what looks like a desert. I opted for breaking the law. There was a large sign that said no vehicles beyond this point. However, I noticed many local driving past and I knew this was the way to the beach. So against my wife’s wishes, I followed. Several locals immediately flagged me down to say that this is a treacherous 4x4 trail and taking my brand new rental jeep may not be a good idea. I mention that I’m from Tennessee and this just looks like a ride to the barn for me. I’m happy to report that although there were some treacherous spots that weren’t for those that don’t know how to drive a 4X4, we still made it without a scratch or bottoming out once. Just pay attention to always put your tires on the high spots and you’ll be fine.
Lava tube, you'll find these all over Hawaii. Tunnels made by magma flow
The Green Sand Beach is also known as Papakōlea Beach or Mahana Beach. It’s at the very southern tip of the island which also happens to be the southernmost point in the United States (No matter what you heard about Key West). There are only 4 green beaches in the world! It gets its name from olivine which is a mineral which is eroded from the volcanic rock in the area. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivine
Source Image Olivine
Papakōlea Beach is located in a bay half circled by Puʻu Mahana, a tuff ring formed over 49,000 years ago and associated with the southwest rift of Mauna Loa. Unlike cinder cones, tuff rings consist mostly of volcanic ash produced by violent interactions of magma with groundwater
(Diamond Head, on the Island of Oahu, is another example of a tuff ring). Since its last eruption, the tuff ring has partially collapsed and been partially eroded by the ocean. The beach is sometimes named after the tuff ring, and sometimes after the area of land called Papakōlea, which comes from papa kōlea, which means plover flats in the Hawaiian language. Papakōlea is the area near the crater where Pacific golden plovers (Pluvialis fulva) are sometimes seen in winter.
The best part:
My favorite part about this beach is its isolation, there are usually very few people here. It’s incredible beauty comes not only from the sand but the surrounding scenery. The beach is a small alcove between two high ridges of volcanic rock in what looks like the middle of a desert.
Source Image I wanted to show the sand up close
At first glance the beach and sand doesn’t necessarily look so green, that is unless you compare it beside some normal sand. Then the green hues jump out. Also, when you pick up a handful of this sand and look closely you see that it's filled with these tiny little green crystals that look like miniature emerald gemstones!
I hope you enjoyed this journey with us. Please upvote and resteem if so! Thanks for stopping by!
I have two main interests: Travel and Farming (which for me consists of everything from homesteading to heavy equipment). I’m realizing that a lot of people following me have no interest in both of these categories on Steemit. So, I’m planning on making it easier for people to quickly pick from these categories in my feed. This is the start of Qberry Travels segment.