The name of this rocky, remote beach—Oneuli—means “dark sand” and refers to the burnt cinder from Puu Olai cinder cone which was created by volcanic eruptions. Erosion of the cinder cone by waves created the black sand of the beach which is mixed with crushed seashells creating a salt and pepper beach. The waters of Oneuli are abundant with marine life as well as unique coral reef formations and lava tubes that make for great exploring as long as the water is calm. Oneuli is one of the three beaches that are part of Makena State Park and is right next to Makena Beach. The lava shelf offshore creates great snorkeling opportunities though it makes this beach, not the ideal swimming beach.
Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, fishing, and exploring.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are best in the northern area of the Oneuli Beach where green sea turtles and manta rays are often seen along with a variety of other sea life. The beach is at the base of the northern side of the cinder cone. A trail leads to the top, providing a close-up view of Hawaii’s geology in action.
Need To Know
This beach is subject to big waves and swift ocean currents at all times of the year so use extreme caution when entering the sea. Never go in the ocean during times of high surf or rough seas and do not swim beyond the fringing coral reef. You will want to wear shoes on Oneuli Beach because the cinder gets very hot.
Oneuli Beach is reached by following Wailea Alanui Road past the Maui Prince hotel and past La Perouse Bay and then taking the dirt road turnoff just before the paved parking lot at Makena Beach. There is a gravel parking lot near the beach.