The black sand beach on Maui attracts visitors from across the world. Obviously, the beach’s black sand makes it exceptional in contrast to many of the regular tan colored sand beaches seen around the world. Interestingly, Hawaii’s black sand beaches are composed of the most common types of black sands on the planet.
The black sand is created by volcanic materials and lava fragments. This explains why the three most usual materials you will see on black sand beaches are volcanic glass, basalt, and andesite.
However, iron is the principal mineral in all three volcanic materials that transforms the sand into a precious black color. Similar to the black sand beach on Maui, Iceland and the Canary Islands are two other volcanic islands where you can find black sand beaches across the world.
Where can you find black sand beaches on Maui?
You can find black sand beaches on two major places on Maui. These are:
Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach
Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach is a beautiful black sand beach located in Wai’anapanapa State Park at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana. This black sand beach on Maui is rated as the best black sand beach on the entire island. Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach is also known as Pa’iloa Beach.
The clear contrast between the bright blue water and the dark sand of this beautiful beach will leave you in admiration of nature. However, you should be cautious about swimming in this water. It quickly drops off from the beach into deep water and it is known for having a lot of rip current.
One’uli Black Sand Beach
One’uli Black Sand Beach is a beautiful black sand beach in Maui and a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers. You can rent snorkeling gears, an umbrella, and a chair so you can relax under a shade anytime you take a swim break on this beach. One’uli Black Sand Beach is located near resort areas (close to Wailea and Kihei) on Maui.
However, this beach isn’t as famous as the Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach. Unlike Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach, the sand at the One’uli Black Sand Beach often quickly fade off to show hard lava rock at the shoreline. This beach has a coral reef located near the shore so you can watch a range of marine animals up close and these include Green Sea Turtles.
Can you take some of the black sands while leaving?
Because black sands aren’t so common, the thought of taking some along as a souvenir may seem like a great idea. However, it is illegal in Hawaii to take sand and lava rocks on all the beaches on any of the islands in the state – including black sand beaches!
Black sand isn’t a common resource and it has the tendency to decompose very fast unlike other types of sands. More so, black sands break down all too easily because it is very susceptible to weathering which makes it compositionally immature.
This means while you’re at the beach, you can have fun and take as many pictures or videos as you can. More so, always wear shoes whenever you’re visiting black sand beaches. The sands on these beaches are known to be hotter than typical white sand beaches.