When you speak of Anaehoomalu Bay on the Big Island's Waikoloa shoreline you are talking about history of the first magnitude in Old Hawaii. This bay was a spot of large population primarily because of its ocean resources and its spectacular fishponds. Lying to the mountain side of the sand bar that contains the bay are two enormous fishponds containing a mixture of both seawater and fresh underground spring water. This was the site of probably the largest aquaculture project in all of ancient Hawaii. The Hawaiians created small channels between the ocean and the natural ponds behind. At the entrance to these channels were placed doorways of slatted fence permitting only the smallest of the ocean fish to enter. Once inside the fish would thrive on the algae and nutrients found in the pond areas and grow to an extent that they were no longer able to pass through the gates and head out to sea. The fish were then an easy target for the Hawaiian fisherman to capture a rewarding meal. Unfortunately Anaehoomalu Bay was damaged badly during the Japanese tsunami of 2011 and the sand strip between the bay and the ponds were ruptured essentially cutting the beach in half and causing serious damage to the ponds. Repairs have been underway to restore the beach and pond to its original conditions.
A-Bay has always been recognized in old photographs by its beautiful palm trees that ring the strand of sand between the ocean and the ponds. The sand found here is distinctive mixture of both white and black sand with a healthy assortment of additional pebble-size or marble size chunks of lava. This sand sweeps gradually into the ocean providing a fairly shallow underwater area throughout the bay and you can often walk out a far distance and still be only waist-high. This somewhat sheltered bay with shallow bottom has been a favorite hangout for years for the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle and you will often see them laying on the sand (don't disturb them) or swimming in the water.
Anaehoomalu Bay is also the home of the Lava Man Waikoloa Triathlon which is a prelude event for the famous Ironman Triathlon held annually in Kailua-Kona. Additional ocean activity found in A Bay revolves around snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and swimming. A-Bay is surrounded by a number of Hawaiian resort properties and hence you will find many dining and shopping opportunities in the area after you're day of ocean relaxation and activity.
Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including this one. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. There are no lifeguard towers at this location.
Kikaua Point Beach is a tiny but very beautiful beach that is located about ten miles north of Kailua-Kona. Kikaua Beach is perhaps the calmest beach on the Big Island being protected from the open ocean by a series of huge boulders and rocks that provide a rim for the pond-like beach within.
La'aloa Beach Park in the town of Kailua-Kona is also referred to as Magic Sands Beach, White Sands Beach and Disappearing Sands Beach. Though its Hawaiian name has implications suggesting it is a beach of sacred nature the other three more popular names refer to the propensity of the beach to lose its sand each winter and early spring to the currents, waves and storms that extract the white sands from the shoreline portion of the beach and temporarily deposit them further out to sea exposing dangerous exposed rocks in the process.
The Old Kona Airport landing field became obsolete in the early 1970's but the one-mile landing strip still exists. This huge stretch of asphalt lies right next to the ocean just north of the city of Kailua-Kona and today serves as the gigantic parking area for the Old Kona Airport Beach.
Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is the largest black sand beach in the state. Located south of the Volcanoes National Park on the coastal Highway 11 it is a beach that is basically fairly far from populated areas and most people will decide to enjoy a quick visit when they take the southern route to visit the volcanoes if they are staying in the Kona region.
If it wasn't for the fact that Spencer Beach was located so close to Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beach, it would receive more notoriety than it does. Although it is a beautiful white sand beach with a sand bottom allowing for an easy water entry, it just lacks some of the luster and beauty associated with its nearest beach neighbor.
The Big Island often gets a pretty bad rap when it comes to beaches. Yes, it is true that it is the newest of the Hawaiian islands and as a result it has not had enough geological time pass by to jump-start the laws of physics and allow nature to work its magic on creating the type of amazing beaches that can often be found on other islands of the Hawaiian chain.
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