Green sand beach at Mahana Bay on the Big Island, Hawaii

Green sand beach at Mahana Bay on the Big Island, Hawaii

Green sand beach at South Point.

There is a parking lot and a shack which has been designated as a "visitor's center."

If you park in this lot, there is a chance that someone will emerge with a clipboard and ask you to pay for parking.

Several guide books make the point that this is public land and that you are allowed to park without paying any fee. While this may be true, some travelers have been harassed or even threatened for asserting their rights to park. A more promising alternative is to park at the boat launch, adding half a mile to your hike.

Keep in mind that with the drive from the highway and the one hour hike from the parking lot to the beach, it is a three hour round trip minimum from the highway.

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