Pine Trees Beach is not too far from Kona, but it feels like a world away. It’s difficult to get to this beach. You’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. But, if you’ve spent the extra money on a Jeep at the rental office, you just might have this expansive beach all to yourself on a weekday.
The first thing you’ll notice at Pine Trees Beach is that there are no pine trees. Someone mistook the mangrove trees at this beach for pine trees, and the name just stuck. That’s the island way.
Getting to Pine Trees is half the battle. You’ll need to drive you 4x4 vehicle north of Kona on Highway 19 about 4.5 miles before turning left at mile marker 94 towards the Natural Energy Lab. This paved road will first take you to a beautiful little tide pools area, but you’ll be turning left when the road becomes a T. Turn left here onto a dirt road.
The road starts out nice enough, but you’ll soon have to kick the truck into four-wheel-drive when the road’s condition deteriorates. You’ll also have to use a bit of judgement. The road will split into many different roads, and each concludes at the same place, but you’ll need to pick the road of least resistance.
Eventually, you’ll emerge out onto the beach, and you’ll pass a few people waiting in a tent. These are the caretakers of the beach. Feel free to wave or throw a shaka as you pass, or you can stop to chat a bit. These are the people you’ll ask about beach camping if you’re looking to pitch a tent for the night. They’ll be happy to fill you in about camping permits, the weather or water conditions.
You can drive you 4x4 vehicle to your favorite spot on the beach, and this is a great beach for a barbeque. Open fires are not allowed at Pine Trees Beach, but you can take a portable gas grill with you, and barbequing as sunset is incredibly satisfying.
Show up on this rocky beach during a weekday, and you’ll likely have the entire place to yourself. The locals begin to arrive at sunset for a hearty surfing session, and the locals show up in drove for party for the weekends.
The water here is quite choppy, and the bottom is mostly rocky. It makes for a dangerous swim, but the conditions couldn’t be better for surfing. So, unless you’re an avid surfer with plenty of experience, it’s best to stay out of the water. There are plenty of friends to make here at sunset and on the weekends, and you can always enjoy the “Pine Tree” scenery and a sunset.
There are no lifeguards on duty, and you won’t find any amenities out here at Pine Trees Beach. It’s your responsibility to pack out everything that you’ve packed in to the beach. Otherwise, the caretakers in the tent at the off-road entrance won’t be so happy with you.