We explored 2 black sand and 2 green sand beaches in the afternoon of day 2. The first 2 beaches we went to were a bit deserted down "the road to the sea". The first one was a few miles down a lava gravel road. Only one area required 4 wheel drive to get thru. It was a black sand beach, which is created when new lava enters the ocean and is beaten to sandy pieces and washed ashore. It is beautiful, it is soft and so sparkly. The sand is finite and is only there until a storm brews to wash it away back into the ocean. We had this first beach to ourselves to explore and enjoy. The ocean was not swimmable, but it was beautiful to watch the waves wash up and stir the black sand. Next to this beach were 2 tide pools with coral in them, which is unusual for tide pools. The waves would crash up and splash over the rocks and into the tide pools. It was fun to watch.
the 2nd beach was nearby, but for me a nervous 10 minute 4-wheel drive away. But this is exactly the kind of adventure we rented the jeep for. David loved maneuvering over the lava rock. This beach was located in a reserve area and while quite empty of people, we passed a few that either had made it to the beach or were attempting to. Although David has a fair amount of experience 4 wheel driving I am not fond of it, but I endured to enjoy the beauty of the beach. This beach was a mixture of green and black sand. The green sand is formed from a gemstone called Olivine. The Volcano located of the shore of the Big Island contains a large vein of Olivine, and as the ocean waves pound away at the cone of this volcano it washes ashore this beautiful green sand.
The 3rd beach we visited was Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. It is the most easily accessible Black sand Beach on the Island and is quite busy. The down side is the water has a fresh water spring and it is COLD. But the turtles like the cold water temp, so we went to this beach in search of turtles, but there were none on the beach to be found. They may have been swimming around in the waters, but it was a little too cold and late in the day for me to swim in.
Our 4th Beach was Green Sand Beach. Also a well known tourist area, but more difficult to get to. It is a 2 mile drive through a soft grass/sand reserve in a 4 wheel vehicle, or a hike without it. Again david had a great time 4 wheeling it in the jeep. And that is only to the top of the beach. You then have to climb down to the beach. Luckily our book had details on the easiest trail down. Many were climbing down a quite steep area that did not look safe.