Kalae South Point Hawaii: The Southern Most Point in the USA

140831b_SouthPointKaLae892South Point was not on my original agenda but I read about it in a magazine at our condo and decided to go check it out.

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Wind farms in the distance.

South Point (Ka Lae in Hawaii) is the southernmost point of the Big Island and in the United States. The area is registered as a National Historic Landmark District under the name South Point Complex. It is known for its strong ocean currents and winds, and I guess that makes the area perfect for a wind farm.

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We pulled over and watched a group of bikers make their way to South Point. The road is narrow, and I’d rather let them drive by first.

From Highway 11, we drove down South Point Road for 12-miles. It started out like any other road but as we continued going, the road started getting narrow and soon turned into a single lane road. I followed a pick up truck and pretty much had to start driving off the road into the gravel to avoid oncoming cars. As my family was somewhat (also a little scared of the narrow road and gravel) enjoying the beautiful scenery and wind farms nearby, I was nervously making our way through South Point Road to Ka Lae. I later read (in another magazine) that we’re not supposed to take rental cars down that road (one of a few roads in Hawaii we’re not supposed to take) ooops.

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Apart from the long (it felt really long to me) drive down South Point Road, South Point is also considered some what dangerous with dangerous currents along those cliffs. Can you image? There isn’t much between you (at South Point) and Antarctica.

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Was it really that windy here and bent the sign?

We parked on some gravel, and walked across the street to the South Point cliff. The truck continued going, but I parked when I saw several cars parked. Plus there was a bent sign that said “No Off Road Driving Allowed”. The wind really was pretty strong but bearable (I don’t think it was as strong as the wind at Nu’uanu Pali Lookout in Oahu).

I wasn’t really expecting very much at South Point, but I thought it would be a good place to say “I’ve been there.” And in the end I felt as though I got a little more out of that visit.

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I think this for fishing or to dock boats? I’m not sure, but it sure does look eerie.

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Can you spot the black trash bag used for fishing?

There were people fishing, cliff jumping, and jumping into a blowhole. With such high winds in the area, it was interesting watching people fish. They somehow mounted the fishing rod at the top of the cliff and at the end of the line is a black trash bag. You can kind of see the little black dot in the picture above showing the black trash in the water. Both red snapper and ulua (not sure what kind of fish that is) are plentiful here.

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My view from the top of the ladder looking down. I’m actually not sure if I would do it. Would you?

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Although they say swimming at South Point is not advised, on calm days you will find people cliff jumping. It is a 40-ft drop into the Pacific Ocean (and another 30-ft to the ocean floor). Don’t worry, there’s a ladder for you to make your way back up to the top of the cliff.

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If 40-ft seems too high, you can head over to the nearby blow hole and jump into that, though it’s still quite a climb to make it back up.

I had fun just walking up to the edge of the blow hole and the edge of the cliff, as my Mom and Sister nervously watched. My Dad was quite excited to see the cliff jumping; I think he wanted to do it. And if I compare the cliff and the blowhole, I think I prefer the cliff even though its higher.

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We didn’t really explore the area but if you have time, there is a green sand beach nearby and of course the wind farm is just right there. Plus, I’m not sure if we really made it the actual South Point, but this spot was good enough for me.

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3 comments

  1. I am not sure if I can handle jumping down there 🙂

    Even though I am a swimmer and have jumped from all kinds of places down into pools and oceans I get each year more frightened by heights!

    1. Someone once told me that when they were single they were fearless, but when they became a parent they felt that they couldn’t be fearless anymore.

      1. Perhaps there is even something true about it. I think I started to get more and more afraid of these things after I got together with my wife 🙂

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