Shipwreck Beach on Kauai

On the surface, Shipwreck Beach is just another Kauai beach. It is absolutely lovely, but what does it offer that other beaches don’t? You have epic and clear sands, stunning ocean views, and a rewarding view of the land.

But explore Shipwreck Beach for any length of time, and you may uncover its many hidden secrets. Shipwreck Beach could be one of the best beaches on Kauai, and it is fascinating to hear how many Kauai visitors completely miss out on it.

At risk of exposing one of Kauai’s best-kept secrets, we uncover the magic and wander of Shipwreck Beach and what it has in store for you.

Where is It?

Shipwreck Beach is located right near the southernmost tip of Kauai. It borders the Keoniloa Bay and is snug between Poipu Point from the west and Makawehi Bluff from the east.

You can use the address at Shipwreck Beach, Hawaii 96756 to find it on your GPS.

Beach Access Parking

Parking is not the most convenient, but that plays to the strength of the beach. There are two main parking areas. The first is right along the road. The parking here is free, but not widely available. Most of this street side parking is in and around the Pointe at Poipu.

The most accessible parking is at the Mahaulepu Trail Head. The lot has some space for you to park for the whole day. You can use the address of parking for Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, Unnamed Road, Koloa, HI 96756 to find it with any Google Maps GPS.

We advise you to be respectful of people in the area. You will also walk to the beach from this location a good distance, so be aware of any travel conditions. The walk is mostly smooth, but still rocky.

The pathway to the beach is called Mahaulepu Trail. The trail slides right along Shipwreck Beach. At points level to the beach, you can walk on down and explore.

The trail continues for about seven miles up along the bluffs and cliff sides. The trail will eventually dead end, so you only need to go as far as you feel comfortable. Shipwreck Beach precedes the end of the trail by many miles, so beach visitors don’t have to go far to see the sands.

The walk from the Mahaulepu Trail Head parking area to the beginning of Shipwreck Beach on the west is only about a half mile.

Shipwreck Beach is Known For

Shipwreck Beach is known for some incredible features. Despite the parking situation, people still come far and wide to see what this essential beach stop has to offer.

It is nothing short of stunning. Shipwreck Beach is perhaps most well-known to adventurers for its cliff diving. The jump in most areas is about 40 feet. Shipwreck Beach has earned a reputation for having one of the only high (but still realistic) cliff jumps on Kauai. Most areas boast too shallow of waters or too high of cliffs to be safe. Regardless, we strongly encourage caution. Review tide patterns and spot for debris from above. Snorkeling is not recommended here due to safety concerns, but there are other nearby beaches famous for their jaw dropping snorkeling adventures.

For anyone more hesitant to jump 40 feet off a cliff, us included, Shipwreck Beach has another incredible feature. The beachside boasts some of the best whale watching in Hawaii. Thousands of visitors have reported whale sightings, and many whale photographs from Hawaii derive from this epic beach.

Closest Place To Stay

The closest place to stay to the South Shore beaches are the Poipu Kai Villas.
Only 250 to 350 yards to the area’s 3 most popular beaches of Brenneckes, Poipu, and Shipwreck Beaches!  There’s also a swimming pool, hot tub, and fabulous tennis complex onsite!

The Pili Mai Resort is central to south shore shopping, top Kauai restaurants, and this is one of the newest condo rentals on the island! So guests are treated to the most modern amenities and interior design.

We have some other incredible places to stay in Kauai, including our condo rentals at the Kapaa Shore Resort rentals on the east side and the 5-Star Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa outside the acclaimed village of Waipouli.

Contact us for more information.

Website Managed by RealTech Webmasters