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The Best Beach Camping Spots on Big Island of Hawaii

Updated: Jan 29

When camping on the Big Island there are a ton of awesome camping spots. But nothing compares to being able to camp right on the water.


Whether you're tent camping or traveling Hawaii in a Campervan rental, these are five of the best spots for beach camping on the Big Island of Hawaii with stunning views to wake up to.


Big Island Beach Camping at Kohanaiki (Pine Trees) Park


Inside of a Sun + Salt Campervan with the back doors open to a beach. There is a woman in the bed of the campervan looking out over the view.
Camping at Kohanaiki in a Sun+ Salt Campervan

Kohanaiki (or Pine Trees) is hands down our favorite place to camp by the water - also because it's one of our favorite surf spots on the island as well.


It's very difficult to obtain permits, so check well in advance. They are very strict at this campground and you must obtain a permit beforehand.



Kohanaiki camping spot has:

🚿 Outdoor Showers

🚽 Toilets

💦 Drinking Water


Camping at Hookena Beach Park

Just south from Kohanaiki down in Captain Cook is the Hookena Beach Park - a fabulous spot right on the water with easy entrance for a nice swim or snorkel along the beautiful reef. This spot is right down the road from Kealakekua Bay and it's a great overnight spot if you plan to rent kayaks and snorkel Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cook Monument) the next day.


Hookena Beach Park has:

🚿 Outdoor Showers

🚽 Toilets


Camping at Laupahoehoe Beach Park


A Sun + Salt white Ram Promaster campervan set up with beach chairs in front of the bay at Laupahoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Camping in Bertha at Laupahoehoe

Pronounced: lau (like "loud") - pa - hoy - hoy

Laupahoehoe is one of my favorite spots to park on the island and it's normally not busy. Locals will confirm it's mildly haunted, but one night here is lovely. Make sure you take the walk north along the rocks to see the beautiful forest. I love camping at Laupahoehoe because it's one of the few spots on the Hamakua coast you can park right on the water and still get the glorious views of the cliffs on either side. It's especially good to camp in a van (like one of our Campervans!) in case it's rainy (it is on the wet side, after all!). Book permits for Laupahoehoe online.


Laupahoehoe has:

🚿 Outdoor Showers

🚽 Toilets

💦 Drinking Water



Camping at Spencer Beach Park


A sunset over a calm ocean at Mau'umae Beach a short walk from Spencer
Sunset at Mau'umae Beach a short walk from Spencer

Spencer beach park is a guest favorite for parking our Sun + Salt Campervans. With easy access to right into the water and a short walk from the beautiful and slightly more secluded Mau'umae Beach, this spot has it all. This spot sits at the base of Kohala (a once active volcano) and just south of Kawaihae. This area is known for the highest chance of sun all year round, which makes it a great bet for camping! Obtain permits ahead of time for Spencer Beach Park online.


Spencer Park has:

🚿 Outdoor Showers

🚽 Toilets

💦 Drinking Water



Camping at Punalu’u Beach Park


A woman walking on the black sand beach in between palm trees at Punalu'u Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The black sand beach at Punalu'u

And finally, a guest favorite if you're making your way around the island in a Campervan - Punalu'u Beach Park on the south side of the island. This is a beautiful spot to admire a black sand beach and you might get lucky and see some honu (turtles)! Obtain permits for Punalu'u ahead of time online.


Spencer Park has:

🚿 Outdoor Showers

🚽 Toilets

💦 Drinking Water

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