Mākua Beach, also called Tunnels Beach for its caves and winter waves, is one of the most gorgeous beaches in all Hawai‘i. Situated at the eastern end of the Nā Pali Coast, Mākua’s turquoise water, verdant cliffs and spectacular white sand beach was the film site for South Pacific. Tunnels Beach, Kauai is a beach you definitely don’t want to pass up.
Tunnels Beach Hawaii History
Originally an ancient Hawaiian settlement, Mākua was inhabited from roughly 1000 A.D. until the 1800s. A large, protected archaeological complex remains a short distance away at Hā‘ena Beach Park, which includes house sites, burials, and storage pits. The remains of an ancient fishpond called Loko Ke‘e can still be seen today.
Tunnels Beach, Kauai Facilities
There are no facilities at Tunnels Beach, Kaua’i. Ample parking, picnic tables, restrooms, drinking water, and showers are located at nearby Hā‘ena Beach Park, where tent camping is also allowed by permit.
Mākua Beach Swimming Conditions
Mākua’s clear waters make for great swimming and snorkeling. One of the world’s best dive spots, you’ll find a wealth of enchanting marine life on the inner reef. For surfers, great waves kick up past the outer reef. As with all Hawaiian beaches, check the current conditions and pay heed to all posted signs regarding ocean conditions and safety.
How to Get There
It’s best to park at Hā‘ena Beach Park and walk to Mākua or Tunnels Beach. From Princeville, take Highway 560 west. Before mile marker 9 you’ll see a big cave on the left and a parking lot on the right. Alternatively, you can park along one of two public access dirt roads. The first is 4/10 of a mile past mile marker 8 and the second is 6/10 of a mile past mile marker 8. There is also a small pay lot immediately across from Mākua.