Hey everyone! This article is about the famous area know as "South Point" on the Big Island of Hawaii. It attracts tons of tourist for it being the most southern point in the United States as well as an ideal cliff jumping spot with the beautiful Hawaii coast line & mountains as your scenery.
For many years the spot where you jumped was right next to the remains of a wooden crane that they used to haul in fishing nets and there was a ladder that people could use to get out of the water with relative ease. Recently though that ladder has deteriorated to the point that it’s completely unsafe to use. Someone did install a new ladder just a little to the right next to it but it is still unfortunately not reliable. If your strong & confident it is a viable way to get out still but I do not recommend. Pics of the ladders (New & Old)
Here is the problem. First the ladder doesn’t fully go into the water so you have to lift yourself out by only your arms to reach the ladders first step with your foot. Then it’s in sections that wobble around in awkward ways against the cliff face. Recently some people have felt trapped after they’ve jumped down there when they aren’t strong enough to pull themselves out of the water or they are just too short to physically be able to.
This is one of the main reasons why I decided to write this new article so I can inform people about the safer place to jump off so no one gets hurt or trapped.
Last time I was there a family had a younger daughter get stuck because she was too short and too tired from swimming that she couldn’t get up the ladder. Luckily people pointed it out the other spot. She swam over and was able to climb out. You could see the fear swelling up in the families faces for sure.
So here is my guide to the new area. Follow the pictures below.
The new spot is not very hard to find it’s just a little south of where the old wood remains are, you can’t miss it.
You will see a little cliff cove with a less steep incline into the water. When you look at it you will notice that the way the rock face is laid-out the rocks act as perfect steps. When you look all the way down the steps go into the water even, so it’s very easy to get out here as long as you time the ocean swells or if there is no surf. Not everybody jumps, some people just climbed down into the water and get in that way. This has definitely become the more safe & easy way to go.
These photos below show the exact spot to climb out of the water & how to.
When it comes to jumping off the cliffs let me give you just a few tips of advice. First ONLY JUMP WHEN THE OCEAN IS CALM. Like this photo ->->->
Second really keep track of your arms & hands as your falling. It’s very easy to not pay attention and by mistake have your arm out at an angle or have your hand face down. Once you hit the water from 35 feet that slaps has a lot of force and won’t feel good on your skin, I’ve broken a blood vessel in my hand before when I high-five'd the ocean by mistake haha.
The height of the jump is some what debated on the island. I think its around 35 feet up. Then the ocean is 20+ feet deep. So you don't need to ever worry about hitting the bottom. That I feel makes this the best jumping spot on the island for visitors.
The height of South Point is that it’s right in that sweet spot where it is high enough that its thrilling & you got some time to think about your fall, but at the end of the day it’s not high enough to mortally hurt yourself really. For sure exercise caution still. I’ve talked to locals before that have gone down with friends being stupid and drunk and accidentally fallin' in or pushing each other in. While it definitely hurt I haven’t heard of many fatalities there unless it was when the surf was dangerous. There is a cave in the cliffs by the old jumping spot that you wanna avoid when there is even a little surge because it will pin you up to the rocks. So use common sense with the ocean.
When you’re driving down to South Point you’re going to want to probably stop at the parking lot that’s right before the remains of a road ramp that goes down to where the jumping spot is. (ABOVE) photos of the safe parking, BELOW off-road parking spots.)
If you have a truck, Jeep or something that’s lifted a foot up then you can drive down there but the road has deteriorated to the point that it’s so easy to center yourself in the car. I personally have done that & after a thousand dollars that repair was a real bummer to say the least haha. So I recommend just playing it safe and parking before the ramp & walk down to the cliffs, it’s a stones throw away.
Another little tip, hit some bathrooms before you even go down South Point Road off the Highway because the bathroom situation is pretty grim at South Point. The portable toilets are virtually unusable, the doors last time I went have no locks or even a latch on them so you have to hold them closed, no toilet paper and just disgusting, unacceptable conditions.
Personally South Point is one of my favorite places to go on the island, it’s so much fun to jump off the cliffs again & again into the ocean. Let’s not forget the scenery of South Point. Incredible deep
blue water with the northern cliffs that run all the way up to Mauna Loa is a beautiful site to see. I would say this is a very picturesque big island scene that you won’t find on the other islands because you get to see the full profile of these massive mountains emerging out of the ocean that make up this giant beautiful island.
I hope you get a chance to see this when you visit the island & get to enjoy it. Have fun jumping & stay safe!
Thanks for reading my article. I really appreciate it. ALOHA!