Located in Kua Bay
Perched on a private peninsula, Maniniʻowali offers some of Kona's clearest ocean views. Its three-quarter-mile white-sand beach backed by lava rock and the turquoise reef is a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or kayaking. Soak in spectacular tropical sunsets and cool off in the crystal waters of Kua Bay with the warm pink rays of the beautiful setting sun reflecting off its pristine waters.
Overview of Manini'owali Beach
This lovely little pocket of sand used to be very difficult to access, but since a multi-million dollar road has been paved right through the lava- it's a snap to enjoy this Big Island Gem. This beach has fine sand and excellent water, but it has a reef that extends along the shoreline, which makes swimming safe for children. As you swim in the warm waters at Manini’owali Beach, you will see tropical fish swimming around your feet. Don’t be surprised if some green sea turtles come up to say hello. If you want to go snorkeling, bring your equipment or rent it from one of the local vendors on the beach. There are also lifeguards on duty every day on Manini’owali Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many hiking trails near Kua Bay, so check them out while visiting.
Getting There- Manini'owali Beach
Manini'owali Beach (known as Kua Bay) is a sandy, sunny paradise on the west coast of the Big Island. It's located in the Kekaha Kai State Park, just north of Kona International Airport. You can find it by taking Highway 19 north from Kona, then turning right onto (Queen Kaahumanu Highway) Hwy 11. Drive north on Hwy 11 for about 15 miles until you see the parking lot/entrance on your left-hand side. The beach is about 1 mile beyond that.
Amenities at Manini'owali Beach Located in Kua Bay
The following facilities are available at Manini'owali Beach:
- Parking lot
- Picnic tables
Essential Tips for a Great Visit to Manini'owali Beach
The water is generally very calm and transparent, making it an excellent place for water activities. However, there can be strong currents and high surf during the winter months, so check with a local before going out into the ocean here.
Located just south of Kailua-Kona town, it does not offer the best protection from the sun. There are no trees or shade on the beach, so bring an umbrella or hat.
This famous beach gets crowded during peak season due to its proximity to Kona International Airport and downtown Kailua-Kona. Plan your visit early to avoid the crowds.
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Having Fun at Manini'owali Beach
Fun Activities to Do at Manini'owali Beach
Are you looking for something fun to do on the big island? Look no further! Kua Bay is the place to be! Kua Bay offers a variety of activities for the whole family.
Spectacular Sunsets: You've come to the right place if you're looking for a memorable picture. Why? Because Kua Bay's sunsets are hard to beat. If you have a front-row seat, you'll be treated to a kaleidoscope of color that's sure to impress. We can't promise that it will make your Instagram feed more popular, but it will be more beautiful.
Snorkeling: If you're looking for some colorful fish below the surface, snorkel along the southern part of Manini'owali Beach near a rock formation called "the wall." You might see some parrotfish or butterflyfish and many other tropical sea creatures.
Kayak or Paddleboard: To have an even more unique experience at Kua Bay, rent a kayak or paddleboard from one of the vendors on site. You can explore this beautiful part of Hawaii from a different perspective!
Go surfing and boogie boarding: The white sand beach has a reef break and is excellent for boogie boarding and surfing, especially for beginners. Manini'owali Beach is famous for boogie boarding, but be careful of the rocks when you're body surfing or boogie boarding during winter and low tides.
Swimming: The waters at Manini'owali Beach or Kua Bay are calm and crystal clear. This makes it an excellent place to do some swimming and enjoy the beautiful water.
Wildlife sightings: Hawaiian sea turtles often come ashore to bask in the sun at Kua Bay. During the winter months (November - May), you may also spot humpback whales or dolphins frolicking in the ocean from the beach! If you are looking for a great snorkeling spot in Hawaii, it's! With Kua Bay being on the island's west side, it can get quite windy. But once inside the bay, you can see huge schools of fish swimming around in about 4-6 feet deep water. If you are lucky, you may even sea turtles!
Nearby Attractions and Sights of Manini'owali Beach Located in Kua Bay
Beach-hopping: For those looking to visit some of the Big Island's gorgeous beaches, Kua Bay is a convenient halfway point between Kona and Kohala Coast. For instance, from Kua Bay, you can still quickly go to Hapuna beach (about 5 to 10 min by car) and Mauna Kea beach with its incredible sunsets.
Family Activities at Manini'owali Beach
The bay is perfect for small children, with a sandy shoreline and gently sloping water. Some spots have coral, so we recommend water shoes to keep little feet safe. This beach will be perfect for snorkeling and children with a series of coves and lagoons. You and your children will enjoy the many types of colorful tropical fish like parrotfish, tangs, butterflyfish, and much more here! There are also many sea urchins, coral, and eels hiding in holes in the reef. Be careful when you get close to the reef since some areas have sharp rocks that can cut you if you step on them.