One of the most unique (and my favorite) places on the Big Island is South Point’s Green Sand Beach. A small beach and bay nestled between a sandy cliff, the sand is made mostly of the stone olivine, a type of volcanic basalt that’s rich in iron, magnesium and silica and lends a deep green hue to the sand. The sand looks truly green, and is reached by a little adventure through empty land at South Point. The entire trip out will take the better part of a day since a drive to South Point is required first, which takes one to two hours if you’re coming from parts of the island where visitors stay and spend most of their time.
Although the beach isn’t so green that it resembles sparking green emeralds, it has a pretty strong green tint and is a very unique place to visit. Plus the drive to South Point is beautiful, as well as the rest of the area.
To get there, go left where South Point Road forks. You’ll see a shack that marks the beginning of a roughly two and a half mile ride out to the beach. To drive out you don’t necessarily need a four wheel drive, but a high vehicle is definitely needed. Most of the dirt road isn’t gnarly four wheel drive material, but there are some rocky areas and there is a high rise strip of dirt and grass between the wheel paths. It takes about a half our drive. Otherwise don’t leave any valuables and park at the shack and enjoy the hike in. Bring water and a lunch. Try and choose a day with calm winds and small waves. You can swim out here, but if the waves are even medium big it can be intense with a strong current. Once out there you’ll have to scale down the side of a sand and rather steep cliff to the beach. It won’t be the most crowded place, but you’re likely to run into some other people.