Hawaii, ocean, beaches and naturism. Sounds like something straight out of a dream, doesn’t it?
While it’s all dreamy and swoony, nudity on beaches can be an extremely delicate matter confined by a lot of issues such as laws, culture, personal preferences, confidence and availability. However, if you’re in good company (no kids!), feel safe, and are confident enough in your body, having some summer fun on nude beaches can offer you the excitement and freedom that you’ve been longing for and overshadow all the aforementioned issues. Because let’s face it, at the end of the day, many of us have thought about what it’d be like to completely untether ourselves from the hustle and bustle of mundane corporate lives and reconnect with nature without being shamed.
The Hawaiian islands – a stunning paradise in itself – are home to quite a few beaches that overtime were deemed as unofficial nude beaches. Such as the beautiful nude beaches on Kauai and the dreamy naturist ones on Oahu.
But have you wondered if there are any nude beaches on Big Island? Either way, we’ll tell you all about it.
In this article you’ll take a virtual tour of Big Island’s unofficial nude beaches and be guided through some loopholes with which you can sidestep matters like legality and availability.
Etiquette Guidelines & Legality
Before we get into the virtual tour of these beaches, it’s important to note that nudity is illegal in Hawaii. This is why the nude beaches are always listed as ‘unofficial.’ Bathing naked on popular beaches in Hawaii means violating their indecent exposure law and will definitely result in a fine. This is why you need to do prior research, know where to go and what to do.
Indecent exposure law entails – in simple terms – facing legal repercussions for intentionally exposing genitals and causing affront to a person(s) you’re not married to. However, the loophole found in this situation is the lack of mention of bathing topless. So good news for you, ladies. Nothing new for you, gentlemen.
Not to say that it’s common to bathe nude at all, especially on the crowded beaches in Hawaii, but if you know where to look, you’ll find some hidden clothing-optional coastlines where nudity is literally old news.
If you’re visiting a nude beach note that:
- You need to respect other people’s privacy and space because some may not be comfortable with nudity.
- You must not stare or point at beach-goers.
- You must not do anything that would make other people uncomfortable.
- You must not harass anyone. Fully exposed skin isn’t an automatic green-light for any kind of non-consensual behavior.
- You need to be discreet. On these particular beaches it’s recommended not to be flashy.
- You have to keep your cameras out of the way of others.
- Familiarizing yourselves with the local culture, customs and rules is a must.
Kehena Black Sand Beach
Located at mile marker 19 on Highway 137 in the Puna district of Hilo, Kehena Black Sand Beach is an extremely popular unofficial clothing-optional beach not only on Big Island but in all of Hawaii.
After the massive earthquake of 1975, the layout of Kehena Beach changed considerably, and now it’s a cliff and tree lined black sand beach, giving beach-goers much needed shade and privacy. It’s not usually crowded but a lot of visitors still show up on Sundays for a drum party.
Kehena Beach is pretty hard to reach. It requires a moderate to hard hike on a steep, lava rock-coated hillside. In addition to its hard to reach location, Kehena Beach waters are not swimmable because of extreme rip currents and high tides. It’s precisely due to its hard and extremely inconvenient access that Kehena Beach was appropriated as one of the havens for nude sunbathers.
So at this point it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it, but remember: know your limits. There are plenty of other options on this list that you can opt for and have an equally memorable experience.
Location: Highway 137 – mile marker 19.
Situated at Waialea Bay, Beach 67 is a tiny secluded stone and sand lined queer-friendly coastline. Unlike Kehena, it’s extremely easy to access with two entrances that require a one minute hike.
Beach 67 is a bit of a complicated case. Sunbathing nude here can be considered a big risk. The only reason people test their luck is the cover that they get from the trees but if anyone from the neighboring very clothing-required Beach 69 spots you (yep, we’re confused too) they’ll most probably call the cops on you, so visit at your own discretion.
Then again, if you like to live dangerously and are willing to risk the legal consequences, go for it.
Due to its extremely small size, Beach 67 has absolutely no privacy.
If you’d like to visit the neighboring beach, definitely put your swimsuits on.
Address: Island of, Waimea, HI 96743
Honokōhau Harbor Beach
Honokohau Harbor Beach is a stunning palm tree-coated beach with crystal clear waters. Honestly, it’s quite a sight to behold. However, Honokohaus’s case is similar to Beach 67’s. It is just as risky if not more so. Located off Highway 19 in Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, this clothing-optional and LGBTQIA+-friendly nude land is designed for people who wouldn’t mind confrontation with the police. We’re guessing a lot more people like to live dangerously than we initially thought because this particular beach is patrolled by the police very often specifically to uphold the nudity ban. However, it doesn’t stop people from seeking temporary naturist refuge there when the police aren’t on duty.
Location: Off Highway 19 in Honokohau National Historical Park.
Kealakekua Bay is a gorgeous coastline located south of Kailua Village. In addition to being one of the prime snorkeling spots in all of Big Island, Kealakekua Bay is also a place where people risk stripping down to their birthday suits and relaxing nude.
Even though it’s not an official unofficial nude beach, there’s still a small secluded part of Kealakekua where you’ll find many naturist beach-goers but be careful and have a lookout anyway for the police, the boats and disgruntled visitors who might ruin your fun.
Location: 12 miles south of Kailua.
Makalawena Beach really is a majestic sight to behold. From baby blue waters to pretty tidepools to velvety white-yellow sand, you’ll find it all on Makalawena and be greeted with one of the best beaches in the entire state.
This beach isn’t the easiest to get to either. First you need to drive a pretty rough one-mile road and then it’s a 20-minute, lava rock-laden walk to the beach, but the good thing is that a lot of the times you will find the beach empty, which will give visitors (especially ones going to the southern part of the beach) the opportunity to sunbathe in their naturist form.
Address: HI-19, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
The Final Takeaway
Big Island does really boast quite a big number of unofficial nude beaches. You just need to know where to look. So as long as you respect all the rules and customs, be conscious of other people’s boundaries, your fantasy of sunbathing on Big Island’s nude beaches will become a reality real quick.
Plan, prepare, and enjoy this newfound connection with nature.
And remember, be discreet but don’t gatekeep.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about tourist destinations, sometimes life happens, weather happens, property owners happen, etc. We always recommend you go to the official web page and/or the relevant state authority page of your destination to check conditions, times and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your adventure!