Kauna’oa Beach, Tropical Hawaiian Paradise

Also known as Mauna Kea, Kaunaʻoa is a rather small (500 m/1.500 ft), almost perfect crescent shaped beach shaded by palm trees that face the Northwestern immensity of the Pacific Ocean.

Kauna’oa Bay is quintessential postcard Hawaii.
You will find everything you can imagine in a tropical Hawaiian paradise on this fabulous beach, which preserving all its natural charm offers you the comforts that a grand resort can offer.

Kona, Sunset, Hawaii.
Kona, Sunset, Hawii.

A family beach and the Kohala Coast favorite, it has good access to facilities and offer good snorkeling during the calm summer months.

Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii
Kauna'oa Bay, Hawaii.

Where is Kauna'oa Beach located?

Kauna’oa beach is located in the Kona District on the west coast of Big Island, 35 km/22 mi north of Kona international airport. 

How to get to Kauna'oa Beach?

From Kona International Airport, take Highway 19 to the north and turn left following the “Mauna Kea Resort” indication. 

Hawaii moutain and beach
Hawaii Mountain.

To know before arriving at Kauna'oa Beach.

The beach is public but free parking is limited, so to avoid waiting for an empty spot or paying $40 for valet parking, get there early! 

surfer inside a wave tube
Kauna'oa Beach Surfer. Hawaii.

Things to do around Kauna'oa Beach.

Out at Sea

The Kona coast is home to Manta Rays, Spinner Dolphins, Tiger, Oceanic Whitetip & Hammerhead sharks. You can snorkel or scuba dive with them, the manta tours usually are at night. The Kona coast is protected from the dominant winds by mounts Mauna Loa (4.169 m/13.677 ft) and Mauna Kea (4.207 m/13.802 ft), so calm sea conditions are the norm. Whales watching is another big activity in Kona, especially when Humpback Whales migrate to the area to mate and give birth (November to May). If boats are not your things, you can still watch the whales from land, with a bit of luck, from Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site. Its actually not the only place for land whale watching, but we suppose it got its name (puu: hill, kohola: whale) for a good reason! The rest of the year there is still the possibility to see the occasional Pilot, Sperm or Beaked Whales.


If you like stargazing, you can do so from the highest volcano in Hawaii, the Mauna Kea. We recommend, however, to watch the skies from the visitor center instead of the summit because the lack of oxygen at the top (4.207 m/13.802 ft) is likely to blur your vision. Another reason is that the summit, the first-born child of Earth Mother, Papahanaumoku, and Sky Father, Wakea, is kapu (taboo, off-limit) to native Hawaiians. Whether you go on your own or book a tour, remember to bring a jacket; scuba divers should wait 24 hours after their last dive before going up.


Popular surf spots in Kona are Kahalu’u (good for beginners), Pine Trees (can be crowded), or Banyans (experienced surfers only).

Visit a Chocolate, Vanilla or Coffee Farm.

Hawaii is a great producer of coffee, chocolate and vanilla, and they have several guided tours to visit their farm and taste their products. Enjoy!

Kauna'oa stars
Mauna Kea, Stargazing.

Night Dive with Manta Ray in Kauna'oa, Kona. The Most Memorable Dive on the Planet.

All the dive operators in Kona organize night dives with the giant mantas, and Kauna’oa is one of the best and most reliable place in the world to see them. Kona manta rays can be up to 5 meters in wingspan and weigh almost 900 kilos! On any given night, you will be able to see several of these fantastic plankton feeding creatures, as they gravitate towards the bright lights that the Mauna Kea resort points at the bay. Watching these giants whirl around mouth wide opened for their evening dinner is beyond words, and should not be missed, and is not reserved to scuba divers, you can assist to this otherworldly show snorkeling or even from above the water, on a concrete platform at the north end of the beach.

manta ray at night dive
Night Dive Manta Ray, Kona, Kauna'oa, Hawaii.

Mauna Kea "the Highest Mountain on the Planet"

The Hawaiian Mauna Kea volcano is part of Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, that stretches 6.200 km/3.900 mi from the Aleutian Trench off the Kamtchaka peninsula, Russia, to Lo’ihi seamount, a submerged volcano 35 km/22 mi southwest of Hawaii island. Considering that the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain sits at a depth 0f -6.000 m/-19.685 ft, Mauna kena has a whooping total height of 10.207 m/23.585 ft dwarfing mount Everest and its 8.849 m/29.032 ft

Mauna Kea Vs Everest.

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