The Beach Guide

Big Beach (Makena Beach, Oneloa Beach)

As the name suggests, Big Beach is in fact the largest beach on the south coast of Maui. There is nearly a mile of golden sand along this section of Makena Beach State Park which unlike neighboring beaches is largely undeveloped.

Backed by lush tropical forest this Big beach feels a lot more remote than it actually is; in fact it is right next door to the resort of Wailea and has plenty of amenities too. These include a lifeguard service with several towers along the beach, and for good reason - the shorebreak waves here are notoriously powerful. Whilst often looking deceptively calm these waves, which slam into the shoreline, have caused numerous serious injuries over the years.

Most of the time Big beach is a safe spot for swimming and snorkeling in the beautiful turquoise waters of the bay. When there are waves Big beach is great for skim-boarding, body boarding and body surfing.

To the northern end of Big beach is the volcanic cinder cone of Pu’u Ola’i. This separates it from the neighboring beach which is called, you guessed it, Little Beach! Equally beautiful, but a little tricky to get down to this is an unofficial nudist beach (although still against the law).

At the opposite end of Big beach is the tiny Secret Cove, or Paako Beach to give it its correct name. The charms of this pretty little beach aren’t much of a secret anymore but it is a real gem.

Nearest city

Kēōkea

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Current weather (Sun May 31st 20:00)

Partly cloudy

(Partly cloudy)
23°C / 73°F

Sea temperature
25.5°C
77.9°F

Big BeachFull weather & tide times info »

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