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Maui Big Beach Picture

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Maui Big Beach

Maui Big Beach Photo

South of the Wailea Resort area the road becomes narrower and you enter a more rural part of South Maui, the Makena area. Makena is the area where the developed area of South Maui meets the site of the most recent (1790) lava flow from Haleakala volcano. This place boast two beautiful beaches: Big Beach and Little Beach.

In the late 60th Maui Big Beach was the place of alternative life-style camp and locals called it a "Hippie Beach" and it is rumored that legendary rock stars used to camp there.

Now it is a kind of place many people conjure up when they imagine a perfect Hawaiian beach – beautiful and large, with practically no development on the horizon. Big Beach is a tremendous glistening stretch of fine sand and a premier sunset place with straight on views of Molokini and Kawoolawe. Little Beach is a secluded cove and is extremely popular among the nudes.

The Hawaiian name of Big Beach is Oneola, which means "long sand". And it is really expansive and wide, over half a mile long (3,300 feet long and 100 feet wide), with transparent turquoise water. But the open ocean beyond this place can be quite dangerous because of the powerful rip currents and hazardous shore breaks. Here the sand is so deep and coarse, that walking can even be difficult, but the ocean view opening straight on is just irresistible.

Most visitors can't resist strolling its full length southward before heading for the red-brown cliffs at its North end. A natural cleft appears as if by magic to reveal a "stairway" across the rocks which leads to much smaller and much safer Little Beach. Sheltered by the rocky headland and shaded by adjacent trees, it is probably one of the most idyllic swimming spots on Maui, with gorgeous views of Molokini and Lanai.

Little Beach is hidden by a rocky outcropping to the North of Big Beach. It takes just a few minutes to walk along the trail leading up over the rocks and linking the two beaches. From the top of this trail you can enjoy a splendid view of both beaches. Little Beach fronts a small sandy cove with the gentle slope perfect for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. When the water is calm it is an excellent snorkeling spot as well.

Makena Beach which is a collective name of Big Beach and Little Beach has recently become a state park. It still remains in its natural state except for a couple of toilets and picnic tables.

Right past Big Beach is a roadside barbeque stand called Makena Grill where kiawe wood is used to grill fish, chicken or beef. This stand has made a name for itself among the visitors to Makena. This site is decorated by pictures of the customers and fans, including Mike Tyson, Tony Hawk and well-known surfers. At this stand you can also buy photos, pieces of art made by local artists and craftsmen and hand made jewelry.

This place is a wonderful hideout and runaway from all civilization facilities, hustle and bustle of the urban world, noise and big crowd. Maui Big Beach is remarkable of its gorgeous beauty so you would find yourself busy clicking your camera all the time. Especially notable are the views of Molokini Crater, a picturesque offshore islet, and Kahoolawe, the so-called "target" island. It’s called "target" because this island was used as a bombing target a few decades ago. The beach is fringed with magnificent palms and grainy sand is sparkling in the bright sun, surrounded by two black lava points.

Under the sea, 80 feet deep in the water rests a World War II vintage US army tank that is a real fish magnet as every fish seeking shade goes to this tank, and so should you. This place is nice for scuba diving as there is excellent viewing and diversity of marine life.