There’s really no such thing as a bad beach in Hawaii. We’ve been to long strips of sand, pounded by crashing waves and watched the surfers tumble into the sea. We’ve walked along dramatic, jagged coastline created by black lava, very beautiful but would cut you to ribbons if you swam. We’ve swum at beaches with off-shore reefs rivalling anything I’ve seen in an aquarium. The children have played in shallow rock pools, teeming with nudibranch, urchins, brittle stars and tiny hermit crabs, which tickle when you hold them. I’ll never forget my first turtle at The Place of Refuge, a peaceful, perfect crescent of white sand, but the beach is sacred and not a place to eat sandwiches and build sand castles.
So none of the beaches are bad, but today I think we found the best. There’s a law in Hawaii that says something along the lines of the public must always be allowed access to the coastline, even if it means crossing private property. Don’t quote me on this, I haven’t done my research and I shan’t be springing you from jail. About 15 miles north of where we’re staying there’s a Four Seasons Resort. We reckoned that they’d have picked a nice spot, and the guidebook said it was a good beach for children, so off we went. At the entrance to the resort we told the gatekeeper we were going to the beach and he waved us through. We parked in the carpark and followed the signs to the public shoreline, past the infinity pool and manicured garden.
We found a beautiful, long, sandy beach, shaded by noni trees with rocks a little offshore to temper the pounding surf. There was reasonable snorkelling (it wasn’t great, but I’m being picky here), excellent digging sand, waves big enough for the children to body board, but not so big you couldn’t swim. And turtles. Plural. At one point I counted eight. They spent the day swimming in the shallow water and basking on the rocks and the beach. We spent the day watching them.
After lunch I walked round the headland to the Four Seasons for a look at their beach. It was nice, but I didn’t see any turtles. I didn’t stay long.