We’re heading to Hawaii and the glass beach of Kauai, a destination that’s sure to please photographers while also sending a strong message about the environmental impact of human activity.
The US archipelago of Hawaii both enthralls and surprises visitors with the diversity of its stunning sights. Among the hundred or so islands, Kauai perfectly sums up this contrasting nature. Nicknamed “the garden island,” Kauai has been shaped by centuries of erosion and is known for being the most humid place on earth.
Its landscape is sculpted by waterfalls and cliffs, and the island’s beaches are exceptional in their beauty. However, one curious feature of this Hawaiian island can be found in the Hanapepe industrial zone....
This green island is a prime destination for nature lovers. And yet, one of its curiosities -- that certain guidebooks refrain from mentioning -- is a beach made up of glass pieces and black sand. Here, the shoreline is covered in small chunks of brown, aqua, clear and blue glass, smoothed by the ocean waves to form sea glass pebbles.
While this singular sight is sure to appeal to photographers, keen to capture the colors and reflections from the glass, the origin of this unusual beach is far from glorious. Situated next to a garbage dump, the glass beach was formed as a result of several decades worth of waste being discarded nearby. The glass beach of Kauai isn’t the only beach of its kind. Two similar beaches can be found in California, for example.
The glass beach of Kauai is, however, particularly intriguing, since its origins stand in stark contrast with the island’s wild, natural landscapes. Ironically, this beach, initially created due to human carelessness, could soon disappear for the exact same reason, as tourists are proving a little too keen on taking sea glass pebbles home as souvenirs.
How to get there
The glass beach of Kauai is located to the south of the island, east of Port Allen airport. It can be reached by following the road to the Hanapepe industrial park.
Best beach activity
The story behind the beach will no doubt inspire visitors to reflect on the environmental impact of their own daily activities. Nevertheless, it’s still an impressive and unusual sight that’s worth visiting. Just make sure you only leave with a photo or two.