Most of the things you will hear about South Point (Ka Lae), on the Big Island of Hawai’i, have to do with Cliff Diving. However, that isn’t all there is to do in the South Point area. There are so many things you can do down in the South Point area that you could spend a few days exploring the different spots. Plus, who wouldn’t want to officially visit the southernmost point of the United States? That’s right, it isn’t located in the Florida Keys (Key West), you have to visit the Big Island of Hawai’i for that.
There are not only places to bring your canoe for exploring the cliff and reef area, but you can also cliff dive, bring your boat to the boat launch, swim in protected areas, hike to Green Sand Beach, and even check out some really neat historical locations.
It is no secret that one of the better-known things to do at South Point is to head right to the cliff dive area. If you are a thrill-seeker than you’ll not want to miss the chance to take the dive off the side of the cliff. If you are looking to do this jump, remember that it is a 40-foot drop into the ocean. The water is deep enough to jump into, roughly 25 feet right off the shore. Don’t worry there is a metal ladder to climb back up. Just keep in mind, cliff jumping can be very dangerous. Unless you are a good swimmer you shouldn’t attempt the jump.
Here is a video of myself and my oldest son taking the plunge and jumping.
My first jump and my son’s second jump!
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This was originally an area for the fishing boats to come for service. However, the rough surf washed the road away. You can park and hike down to the water. We’ve seen people hiking their canoes down and entering the water. It is said to have some decent snorkeling, however, better in other locations.
South Point Historical Lighthouse
The original lighthouse was a lens-lantern on a thirty-four-foot wooden mast and ready to shine on March 5, 1906. In 1928, a forty-five-foot, steel tower was installed that was connected to storage batteries that were charged by a wind-driven electric generator. Making it the second wind-powered lighthouse in the US Lighthouse Service. In 1972, the lighthouse was replaced again. This time with the present thirty-two-foot concrete pole and the light is charged by solar panels.
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
There are a 175-mile corridor and trail network along the island of Hawai’i. Although it is not entirely connected, you can hike part of it in the South Point area. The trail follows the coastline over ancient fishermen’s trails.
Papakoleo Green Sand Beach
Green Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawai’i is just one of four green sand beaches in the world.
If you drive along the South Point area, you are sure to find other little beach spots where you can enter the water. Although the water isn’t always calm enough for swimming, there are many places where the water will splash up and create little water holes. You will even find some sandy areas to enjoy.