What is Wainapanapa State Park?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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Wainapanapa State Park is a beautiful park in Maui, Hawaii that is home to two “secret beaches.” Secret beaches are stretches of sand that are not as frequently visited as other beaches. They are called “secret” because you may have to do a little extra research to find them. Furthermore, you may have to hike to them.

One of Wainapanapa State Park’s secret beaches is the Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach. This is an especially exotic beach as it is, in fact, the apex of an ancient volcano. It is the activity of this ancient volcano that has given the beach its distinct hue. The jet sand is actually made up of tiny, rounded pebbles of lava. Laying on the sands of the Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach is literally like reclining on ancient eruptions. In addition to being covered in unique black sand, the beach is an interesting destination spot for adventure enthusiasts. There are adjacent sea caves and lava tubes that Wainapanapa State Park visitors can climb inside of.


There is, however, a second beach covered in black sand in Wainapanapa State Park. The Honoklani Black Sand Beach is another “secret beach” that is located just between commanding lava cliffs. Much like its sister beach in Wainapanapa State Park, Honoklani Black Sand Beach has a number of nearby attractions. If you visit this beach, you will have the opportunity to witness as lovely sea arch, climb inside of sea caves, and explore ancient lava tubes. All of these attractions are within walking distance of the main beach.

Although both of these beaches in Wainapanapa State Park are considered to be secret beaches, they are not impossible to get to. Both of them are accessible by King’s Highway, and are just a few miles from the town of Hana. Interestingly, King’s Highway follows an ancient footpath that was a route for indigenous Hawaiians for centuries. Even getting to the beaches of Wainapanapa State Park is an interesting historical experience.

It is important to note that lifeguards are not always on duty at these beaches. It is important not to swim without a lifeguard present. Furthermore, be sure to heed all signs and warnings about the waters. If you do decide to visit Wainapanapa State Park on an upcoming vacation, have a safe and enjoyable trip.


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