We couldn’t visit Hawaii without hitting the southernmost tip of the United States. We had, of course, already been to Florida’s Southernmost Point (though this isn’t even accurate), but this is markedly less touristy and clearly more south. However, if you include U.S. territories, this still isn’t the southernmost point.. but perhaps we’ll save that one for another trip.
The Hawaiians call this spot Ka Lae – “the point,” and it is believed to be the location where the first Polynesians originally made landfall on the islands. You can still see remnants of old structures and a fishing shrine.
You can also look to the horizon, knowing there is nothing between you and Antarctica but 7500 miles of wild ocean.
High winds result in large waves crashing against the rocks, though we later saw even larger at Hawaii’s easternmost point of Cape Kumukahi. I also found some cairns and a puka (meaning “hole”) large enough that that people will occasionally jump into them and pop out on the other side into the open ocean.
South Point is known for wind (it is home to the southernmost wind farm), fishing, and cliff diving. The latter is actively discouraged, as strong currents can be dangerous, but that doesn’t stop visitors from leaping off the canoe launches to the dark blue water 40 feet below. The activity is such a draw that it is actually touted on tourist sites, despite signs prohibiting it. We were entertained for a while by the divers, seeing who would muster up the courage to leave the safety of the rocks behind (and who would scream without jumping for 20 minutes; slink their way down the ladder instead; then finally manage to jump, miss the smooth entry, and land hard on their butt – ouch!).
As for me, I was content to stay on dry land. While I’m not afraid of heights, I’m not particularly fond of jumping off of them. I’d much rather photograph the crazies than join their ranks!
I was a little disappointed we missed the green beach next door, but we were pretty well sunburned and hungry, especially after a few hours snorkeling at Two Step.
We had a beautiful sunset waiting for us back at our rental anyway.. another day in paradise.