Colorful Beaches

A view of Green sand beach (Papakōlea) on the Big Island, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Beautiful Beaches.’ See more responses here. Obviously, this was a tricky challenge for me, but I have managed to come up with a few photos!

The top photo shows Green Sand Beach. It’s official name is Papakōlea Beach and the color of the beach is due to an abundance of olivine from the old volcanic cinder cone that borders the beach.

Next we have two black sand beaches. The best known black sand beach on the island is Punaluʻu Beach, which is often referred to simply as Black Sand Beach. However, there are several others. The first of these is Pololu Beach here in North Kohala. The black sand is a result of the breakdown of black lava into smaller pieces. Over time, the grains become as fine as those on white sand beaches.

A view of the black sand beach at Pololu on the Big Island, Hawaii

Pohoiki Beach is the newest such beach on the island, formed by the eruption of 2018. The grains are still a bit coarse, but it’s mind boggling to think that before that eruption, there was basically no beach here at all. Now, as the photo shows, it’s extensive.

A view of the black sand beach at Pohoiki on the Big Island, Hawaii

Finally, some white sand beaches. Anaeho’omalu Bay Beach, at the south end of Waikoloa Beach Resort, is a curve of sand dotted with palms, a quintessential tropical beach.

A view of Anaeho’omalu Bay on the South Kohala coast

Hapuna Beach, farther north, is a regular on lists of best beaches in the U.S.A..

A view of Hapuna beach on the Big Island, Hawaii

The beach at Spencer Beach Park is a current favorite of mine, a place I like to walk in the early morning before going to work. The sheltered waters, shade trees, and picnic areas make it a favorite with families.

A view of the beach at Spencer Beach Park on the Big Island, Hawaii

20 thoughts on “Colorful Beaches

      1. Sandy

        Interesting! Thanks for the link.
        Until this year, I never knew that lava moved so slowly and steadily. Previously my ‘education’ came from old time Hollywood movies where everything was over in 5 minutes !

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        1. Graham Post author

          Well, don’t get too complacent! Lava can move very quickly indeed. Every eruption is different and different volcanoes have different tendencies. I do agree though that Hollywood can’t always be relied on for accurate information about how things work!

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  1. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Tricky indeed, Graham….since you have endless beaches from which to choose! We visited the black sand beaches last time, but it really is mind boggling to think that a new beach has formed so quickly due to the eruption. That green sand beach is beautiful but we were unable to visit last time. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous BI beaches!

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    1. Graham Post author

      Pohoiki is really kind of amazing. I was blown away by it when I first saw it. I need to go back and see how it’s changing. There’s also a plan to reopen the boat launch by dredging a channel through the sand so that will make a huge difference, if and when it happens.

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