Photos of Manini Beach at Honaunau on Big Island

Manini Beach

Manini Beach at Honaunau is close to Two-Step Beach but very different. For one thing, it’s nestled right next to that huge sloping hill (Kealakekua Cliffs) in a secluded cove. For another, it has soft grass and not hard pahoehoe lava on which to rest your derriere. Manini Beach is also very quiet. A lot of people come here to read and relax.

If you don’t know where it is, Manini Beach can be difficult to find. Fortunately, I had my friend, Anita, to show me the way. Just take Napoopoo from Mamalahoa and hang a left. Keep your eyes open for the sign Manini Beach Road on the right and turn right. Park across from the bamboo house.

Manini Beach

Although we brought our snorkel gear, we sat on the grass and talked. If we had gone into the water, this is where we most likely would have entered. There were quite a few snorkelers in this channel.

Manini Beach

Many photos of this spot show water entering the tidal pool and being sucked back out underneath. But this particular image shows a reflection in the water, and it seems so peaceful, I did not want to distort the tranquility.

Manini Beach

This is wild cacti growing by the sea. It is extremely hardy to survive the harsh conditions and salt air. I figured it would be hard to kill. Anita found a piece of cactus with the roots still attached, so I took it back to our house in Kona and planted it.

Manini Beach

The orange color of the Hawaiian crab against the gray lava was striking. Ordinarily I don’t take photographs of dead sea creatures, but I could not resist this particular opportunity.

Manini Beach

According to my favorite plant app, Plant Snap, this is called the Devil’s Backbone. It grows all over Manini Beach on the rocks. What I did not immediately recognize was it also sports flowers, shown below.

Manini Beach

At first blush, I thought these were coral bells until Anita pointed out they are growing from the Devil’s Backbone. We had similar flowers on a few cacti in Sacramento, so I should have recognized it right away, but I didn’t.

Manini Beach

If you were to rent kayaks to paddle out to the Captain Cook Monument (marking the spot where he died), this is the cove where you would rent them. Too much paddling for me. In fact, when I was at Planet Fitness last week working out on the rowing machine, I look out on the ocean from that spot in Kona. All I can think about is if it were up to me to row a canoe to Maui, we would all drown or starve to death.

coffee shack captain cook

We decided to blow off snorkeling and go to lunch. It was after 2 PM by the time we finished exploring Manini Beach. The closest place I could think of to go was the Coffee Shack. Since Anita has stopped in for coffee but never lunch, that pretty much sealed out fate to go there. Anita liked the background behind me so she shot this photo.

Anita at Coffee Shack

We closed down the place since lunch is over at 3 PM, and we were still there. On the way to the car, Anita shot photos of the mural in front of the Coffee Shack, so of course I shot a photo of her. Someday I will return to Manini Beach, and this time I will probably go snorkeling. It was gray, overcast and a bit chilly, so I don’t regret not jumping in the water.

It’s a beautiful spot, and I have Anita to thank for showing me how to find it. Only one more day in Hawaii and I will return to Sacramento real estate.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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