Kua bay on the Big Island

Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay)

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Manini’owali Beach is a secluded and small white sand beach at Kua Bay. The water here is  crystal clear water, and the beach is located just above the Kona airport. This beach is a strong competitor for the title of “best white sand beach” on the Big Island!

Kua Bay
Kua Bay is a small beach with good surf in the winter and snorkeling in the summer

Kua bay is filled with find soft white sand. This beach gets good waves in the winter, and is great for snorkeling if the water is calm. Wildlife sightings (turtles and an occasional dolphin) are normal here. Bring your own drinks and food since you cannot buy anything at the beach, and make sure to leave nothing behind but footprints.

kua bay big island hawaii beach
The white sand at Kua Bay consists mostly of shells and bits of coral, with some pieces of black lava rock

There is little shade and beach access is somewhat tricky because you have to clamber down ~10 ft over lava rocks to get to the sand. The parking lot is small so make sure to arrive early on weekends.

White sand beach at Kua Bay
This is what the beach at Kua Bay looks like as you approach on the access road.

Directions to Kua Bay

You can find Kua bay a few miles north of the Kona airport. After passing the airport, take the second exit to the left (opposite the veterans cemetery, which is better signposted than the beach). Once you take the left you will soon reach the park entrance.

Kua Bay entrance
Kua Bay is part of the Kakaha Kai state park just north of the Kona airport

Beaches close to Kua Bay

Kua bay lies midway Kona (King Kam beach at alii drive) and the paradise like white sand beaches (see e.g. beach 69Hapuna beach and Mauna Kea beach) at the Kohala coast. For all beaches on the Big Island see our map of Big Island beaches.