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Ka Lae Light, Naalehu

4.4
#5 of 9 in Things to do in Naalehu
Ka Lae, also known as South Point, is the southernmost point of the Big Island of Hawaii and of the 50 United States. The Ka Lae area is registered as a National Historic Landmark District under the name South Point Complex. The area is also known for its strong ocean currents and winds and is the home of a wind farm.GeographyThe name for the southern tip of the island of Hawaii comes from Ka Lae in the Hawaiian language which means "the point". It is often spelled as one word, Kalae, or called South Point or South Cape. A confluence of ocean currents just offshore makes this spot one of Hawaii's most popular fishing spots. Both red snapper and ulua are plentiful here. Locals fish from the cliffs, some dangling perilously over the edge of steep lava ledges. Swimming here, however, is not recommended, due to the current. In fact, it is called the "Halaea Current", named after a chief who was carried off to his death.The confluence of currents also means the area is prone to accumulation of marine debris. Most of this coastline is very remote and difficult to access, and is probably the most debris-littered coast in the state, primarily due to its difficult access for debris removal. This debris poses an entanglement threat to wildlife and may refloat during storms. The shoreline is used by Hawaiian monk seals and hatchling hawksbill turtles, both endangered species. Efforts to clean the coastline are organized by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund in conjunction with the NOAA.
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Ka Lae Light Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
18 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Consider taking the time to visit South Point as you make the southern circle tour of the Big Island. Walk all the way out to the light. Enjoy the incredible views of the open Pacific on clear days an...  more »
  • Big Island Pilgrimage #1 The Southernmost City of America I came to Kalae at the southernmost point- Windy wind turbines and a sea of spectacular views, this point would be a great fishing point, many local anglers came by 4WD car and Coco was challenged only by the brave." Jumping Point' Location! It's the southernmost sea-wide dive in america, and on this day, i couldn't see the brave people who dive. I think it's going to have to be a car that can run, and there's no lighthouse-like thing.
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