Across the harbor from Ahukini Landing is Hanama‘ulu Beach Park, a small park with a quarter-mile beach. Behind the beach is Hanama‘ulu River—or Stream, depending on who’s doing the telling—which at high tide barely reaches the bay because the incoming tide is vigorously flowing upstream.
Although I’d heard of the beach here, and knew that Hanamaulu River empties into the ocean here, I had no idea what it might look like. However, my heart stopped as I came down the hill, long before I was anywhere near the beach, as I came upon a beautiful arched bridge over the road. This wasn’t exactly “Great Railway Journeys” territory, but for someone who grew up watching an old narrow gauge railway fade into history, and played fort along an unfinished grading of bygone big railroad dreams, this was a thrilling discovery.
OK, back to the park. This tiny park has picnic tables scattered about in shady places, restrooms (not like home, but usable) and showers, a small playground and one large shelter. A family was preparing their catch of the day when I arrived as the kids were running off to play in the surf.
The Breakwater at Ahukini Landing shelters the beach from erosion as well as dangerous surf and rip currents.
The beach is sandy and fairly free of debris, no driftwood or shells to speak of, and the light surf is slightly muddy because of the abundant sand.
Whether or not it’s allowed, driving on the beach is evident but not recommended for a rented Chevy Volt.
One of the things I liked about this beach was the mix of open and shady spots. A group of men talked story around a shaded picnic table, while some of the keiki (kids) swam in the surf, and still others fished, both in the surf and up the river.
Because this beach is frequently closed due to sewage overflows during heavy rains, I was surprised at how inviting the stream appeared from behind the picnic shelter.
A brief stopover at this beach can be quite relaxing, if only for the absence of crowds, and the swaying pines are even more refreshing than wind chimes on a hot afternoon.
Among other things to see here, new earth is being made above the beach.
…and some uncommon vegetation is nearby as well.
Oh, and one last point, the getting there is fairly easy. Turn down Hanama‘ulu Road at the light highway 56 in Hanamaulu Town, continue downhill until just before the road veers left, and turn right onto Hehi Road, which ends at the park.