Kiholo Bay

By September 10, 2023Beaches

Kiholo Bay offers one of the most scenic locations on the Kohala Coast and due to there is a scenic point at mile marker 82 when heading south from Waikoloa Beach Resort.  On clear days the waters include a mix of the deep blue and turquoise waters.

For the adventurous type, there is roughly a 1 mile hike into Kiholo Bay and once you are there there is a trail that you can spend hours on enjoying the sites.  While there is a small path to drive into Kiholo Bay, we do not recommend it for those that are not familiar with the area.

There is a lot of Hawaiian history behind Kiholo Bay so if you are going to spend the day at Kiholo Bay, it is recommend to understand more about conservation at Kiholo Bay as well as the sites there.  Historically, Kiholo Bay was a great fishing village, but due to many different reasons over the years a lot of what it was has been compromised.   The lead conservation group for Kiholo Bay is Hui Aloha Kiholo.   While they have been responsible for many things, three things that they have done and continue to do that has drastically helped Kiholo Bay is they have led prohibiting driving on the beaches of Kiholo Bay, prohibited diving at Kiholo Bay, and well as they work with the permitting process for camping at Kiholo Bay.  Since this work has began there has been a noticeable growth in the ecosystem of Kiholo Bay.

The beautiful waters of Kiholo Bay are made by the blending of the saltwater and freshwater that has traveled down the mountain.  While the water appears beautiful, due to the blending of waters it can be murkier than other locations along the Kohala Coast.  You may also find areas of Kiholo Bay were the waters are also colder than other areas of the island.

Due to there being several tidepools in Kiholo Bay one thing you are sure to see while spending time at Kiholo Bay are sea turtles.  The tidepools are great feeding areas for them.  While you are down there you will also come across an anchialine pool, which is a body of water inland from the ocean, but is receives it water from the ocean.  While it may be compelling to take a dip in the waters, it is prohibited.  You will also find a lava tube filled with a mix of saltwater and freshwater.  While it makes for great photos, it is illegal to swim in this area.


There is a section of Kiholo Bay where there are a few private homes.  They span in size from smaller, old homes to mega mansions.  Please be conscious of where private property lines are and respectful of the properties.  Private homes make up a relatively smaller area of Kiholo Bay.  If you travel south down the coastline you will also come across another property.  While the house itself is not as nice as some of the others, the location is one of the best on the island.  Nestled in a more private area, on a pond, surrounded by palm trees, elevated giving it spectacular views of Kiholo Bay, and just steps away from a black sand beach, this location can not be beat!

kiholo bay house

kiholo bay house

Also worth noting is that people have received permits to camp at Kiholo Bay so be equally respectful of the camping areas.

If you are going to truly enjoy Kiholo Bay, it is at minimum a half day adventure.  Be sure to take a snack, plenty of water, good hiking shoes, and sunscreen.  Take into consideration that it will more than likely be significantly hotter coming out of Kiholo Bay than going in.  While Kiholo Bay is part of the Hawaii State Park system, it does not have emergency services such as lifeguards.  There are porta-potties, but no potable water or showers.

If you are looking for a place to stay on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort is about a 10 minute drive from Kiholo Bay and offers beachfront home and condo vacation rentals.