We’re hot springs aficionados, so going to Ahalanui Beach Park in Puna on the Big Island was just a matter of time. Ahalanui Beach Park, you see, is a hot spring that is heated by the nearby volcano. It’s a “beach park” as it is flush against the sea, with the warm geothermal waters being contained in a man-made pool.
Ahalanui Beach Park is super gorgeous, what with those huge, fierce waves crashing right outside the pool, then the warmth and calm of the pool itself is kind of magical.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let me tell you about how it actually went.
We drove over from Hilo (about half an hour, no traffic around Keaau, gotta be careful about that!). We just followed google maps and it was a piece of cake.
We got there and parked, the kids changed by the car; I already had my suit on. There were no restrooms. Just porta-potties.
A large pavilion by the main path was filled with old hippie women, dancing to the beat of an old man’s drum. They were puffing away at their joints and looked so happy (and high!) – a young man was sitting down, totally spacing out. Maybe he smoked too much. The vibe was so mellow, it would have been mush had it gotten any softer.
My kids charged right by them all, completely focused on the water ahead, led by Moxie.
A public holiday – and later in the day – Ahalanui Beach Park was packed.
I mean, packed.
Chock full of hippies, tourists and a few local (mixed Hawaiian) families. I groaned as I saw all the floating paraphernalia. On one hand, I think it’s kind of gross and wrong to have plastic in a hot spring. On the other hand, the pool was big and deep and it looked like it was a blast playing with them.
I forgot all of ours!
It was okay. My kids forgave me.
I just took turns being a floating device myself, carrying the little ones around, darting between the tourists who were collecting little rock crabs and all the other throngs of pleasure seekers.
We had a fun time.
We’ll totally go back. But to avoid all the people, we’ll either go first thing in the morning on a weekend or maybe sneak in on a weekday sometime?!
Ahalanui Beach Park
Things to remember as you go:
- No bathrooms – just portable potties
- There IS an outdoor shower to hose off after
- Bring the floaties
- Plenty of room to picnic, frolic – so bring the munchies and frolic-ables (note: nothing is sold around there: no stores, shops, cafes or anything; bring what you want to consume)
- Lots of room to park – large lot and plenty of parking by the road too
- Don’t go if you have open cuts or wounds