Waialea Beach (Beach 69)
A family favorite on The Big Island of Hawaii
Golden sand, lots of sun, and good snorkeling are some of things that make Beach 69 a popular Hawaii Island beach. The landscape here is rugged and natural with shade trees that line the shore making it a family favorite for locals and tourist alike. The bay is protected and a bit calmer than neighboring Hapuna Beach and lesser known with a bit less crowds.
Waialea Bay (Beach 69 to locals) gets its name from the utility pole that used to be the landmark for finding the beach. The beach slopes gradually into the water and reaches depths of around 30 feet just outside of the bay. There are several coral colonies around the larger underwater rocks where lots of colorful tropical fish make their home.
The water is less friendly for families in the winter. Since there are no lifeguards on duty, it may be best to stay on the shore and watch the waves. When the surf is up, surfers and bodyboarders are drawn to a surf break at the northern point of the bay.
Closer to the north end of the beach you’ll find the restrooms. There is less shade and quite a bit more sun at the south end of the beach.
There’s a trail over the north headland that leads to a secluded (often clothing optional) cove and then onward across small beaches and headlands about a mile to Hapuna Beach.
To reach Beach 69, take the Puako Road exit from the highway and turn north toward Hapuna (just before Mile Marker 70). Before the road bends south toward the town of Puako, take the first right turn (an obvious, if narrow, road). Near Pole 71, the newly paved road and parking lot indicate the County Beach Park and the start of the short trail to the beach.