Current conditions at Hanakaoʻo Park
Beach & Nearshore
Hanakaʻōʻō means the "digging stick bay," but the origin of the name is now unknown. The beach fronting the park was once known to Maui residents as Sand Box Beach. Sand Box was also the name of a still-popular surfing break fronting the neighboring Hyatt Regency Maui. During the early 1900s Pioneer Mill constructed a rock crusher near Hanakaʻōʻō Cemetery, now situated within the park. The rock crusher had several large storage bins to hold the crushed material, including a box
for sand. The sand box was kept filled with beach sand, which was bagged as needed for various construction projects. The rock crusher shut down operations in the 1920s, but the sand box remained on the beach for many years, giving the beach its once-popular name. Hanakaʻōʻō Beach Park is located between Wahikuli State Wayside Park and the Hyatt Regency Maui. The beach fronting the park is the beginning of the long stretch of sand that runs for a mile to Puʻu Kekaʻa or Black Rock in the center of Kāʻanapali. The park is heavily used by swimmers, snorkelers, and picnickers.
The shorebreak that forms on the beach attracts bodysurfers and bodyboarders. The nearshore waters offshore the beach also provide boaters with a popular summer anchorage. Facilities in the park include picnic pavilions, restrooms, showers, paved parking, and a canoe storage shed for the outrigger canoe clubs who use the park as a practice site.