Considering a visit to the Big Island of Hawaii? As you plan your island itinerary, be sure to include one of the most popular attractions, the South Point cliff jump.
Locals and travelers have been jumping from this spot for decades; it is a thrilling experience that you don’t want to miss.
But, to assure your safety and to make the trip easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 9 most important things to know about Hawaii’s South Point cliff jump.
9 Things You Need To Know About Hawaii’s South Point Cliff Jump
Before you start planning your trip to South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll want to be fully prepared. Because let’s face it.. cliff jumping in any scenario can be dangerous.
So, let’s make sure that you’re ready for what’s to come. Here are the 9 things you need to know about Hawaii’s South Point cliff jump:
1. Where Is The South Point Cliff Jump Located?
When we arrived at the parking lot in South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii, we didn’t know where to go to find the cliff jumping location. The entire coast was cliffs, so could we just jump off of any ledge?
No, you cannot just jump off of any ledge at South Point.
There is a specific location where you must jump. Jumping from any other cliff could lead to serious injury or death.
At the right jumping location, the cliff actually protrudes out over the ocean thanks to the the carved-out cave below. This ensures that the water is deep enough and that you won’t land on any rocks.
There is also a ladder at this location, so you can climb back up when you finish your jump.
You’ll know you’ve reached the right location when you see a wooden stand like the one in the picture below.
South Point Cliff Jump Map
I went into Google maps and found the exact GPS coordinates for the South Point cliff jump. You can find the map below and use it to guide you in the right direction.
Note: The cliff jumping spot is very close (approximately 30 meters away) to a small parking lot where you can leave your car. Even though you’ll be close by, be sure to lock your car and hide any valuables so that they aren’t in plain sight.
2. How Do You Get To South Point On The Big Island of Hawaii?
But let’s back up a bit here because first, you’ll need to actually get to South Point, right?
How do you get to South Point on the Big Island? Well, you’ll need a vehicle of some sort.
Unfortunately, the Big Island (and any island in Hawaii for that matter) doesn’t have good public transportation. In order to see the things you want to see, you’ll need to rent a car or hire a driver.
Rent A Car
The cheapest option is to rent a car and drive down the Kona coast to South Point. But keep in mind that although it’s the “cheapest” option, renting a car on the Big Island will not be cheap.
We rented our car from a small business in Hilo and we were happy with their service. You can check them out here: Automotive Solutions Hawaii.
If you’re staying in Kona, I would look into Turo. Turo is similar to Airbnb, except you’ll be renting someone’s car, not their home.
Hire A Driver
If you aren’t comfortable driving down to South Point, you can also hire a taxi. But, since taxis on the Big Island are pretty few and far between, I would book your driver as soon as you can.
A highly rated taxi company on the Big Island is Jun’s Taxi Service. Their website allows you to book your appointment online, which is really convenient.
Kona To South Point
The drive from Kona to South Point is relatively easy. South Point is located just an hour and a half south of Kona and you’ll get there by following Hawaii Belt Road (the road that wraps around the entire island).
Follow Hawaii Belt Road until you reach South Point Road. Here, you will take a right and continue until you see the coast and a plethora of fishermen. Use this Google Maps link to get you to the exact location.
Hilo To South Point
If you’re staying on the eastern side of the Big Island, then you’ll likely be coming to South Point from Hilo.
From Hilo, stay on Hawaii Belt Road until you approach South Point. You’ll turn left on Kamaoa Road and left again on South Point Road. Follow South Point Road until you reach the parking lot.
Use this Google Maps link to get you from Hilo to South Point.
3. This Is The Southernmost Point of The United States
Believe it or not, the coolest part about South Point isn’t actually the cliff jump.
Did you know that South Point on the Big Island is the southernmost point of the United States? It’s true!
You can’t go any further south in the United States than South Point, which makes jumping off the end of it that much cooler.
4. How High Is The South Point Cliff Jump?
Before we arrived at South Point, we were told that the jump is only 30 feet. Let’s just say that whoever told us that was either uninformed or lying to make it seem less frightening.
The truth is, the cliff jump at South Point is at least 40 feet high, if not higher. No one could tell us exactly how high it was because I don’t think anyone truly knows.
Some say 35 feet; others say 60 feet.
But what I can tell you is that the jump at South Point is HIGH. I’ve done my fair share of adventuring (canyoning in Switzerland, climbing 14ers in Colorado, etc.) and cliff jumping, but jumping off at South Point was terrifying, to say the least.
If you aren’t thrilled with heights, this might not be the experience for you.
5. Is It Safe To Do The South Point Cliff Jump?
Based on the information I gave you above about the height of South Point, you might be wondering, is it safe to jump?
And the answer is.. maybe!
As with any extreme sport, there are several dangers and you should take precautions to keep yourself safe. Here are the things you’ll want to pay attention to:
If you notice that the weather is a bit rough and the wind a bit strong, I wouldn’t make the jump. Not only will the ocean be treacherous, but you could easily get swept away while attempting to swim to the ladder.
Use good judgment and decide if you’ve picked the right time to cliff jump. Personally, I wouldn’t jump if others weren’t jumping, too. That’s usually a good indication.
That brings me to my next point. If the waves in the ocean are turbulent, I would not jump. Instead, go to a nearby attraction and come back a few hours later. The waves may have subsided by then.
Remember, you cannot jump from the cliffs anywhere other than the marked jumping spot.
The jumping location is situated above a large carved-out ocean cave. Jumping into the ocean from here is the safest option because you won’t land in shallow waters.
The ladder that you will climb to get back up the cliff isn’t secured to anything. It’s simply steel ladders connected by heavy metal chains that are dangling in the air. It will sway and move as you climb.
This makes climbing that much more difficult. I would only recommend jumping if you are strong enough to climb the ladder out of the ocean.
Remember, it’s about a 40-50 foot ladder.
Definitely don’t make the leap if you cannot swim.
Swimming is a must because you will need to swim from your landing spot to the ladder. It’s a short swim, but the ocean isn’t the place to test your skills.
Can You Die From Cliff Jumping?
Yes. Without taking the proper precautions, it is absolutely possible to die from cliff jumping.
In fact, according to Hawaii News Now, a young man died after jumping from the cliff at South Point and drowning.
Note: When you reach South Point, there are signs that say it is illegal to jump from the cliffs. Jump at your own risk.
6. How Do You Get Out of The Ocean After You Jump?
Once you finally make the daring jump into the ocean, how will you get out of the ocean?
Well, I hope you’ve done some upper body workouts lately because you’ll need to climb a vertical ladder up 40-50 feet.
There are no other places to get out of the ocean near the cliff jumping location, so don’t swim too far away from it.
7. Can I Swim At South Point?
Unfortunately, you cannot “swim” at South Point. Although it’s possible to cliff jump, I wouldn’t recommend spending more time than necessary in the ocean.
If you are interested in swimming, there are several beaches nearby. I recommend Green Sand Beach since it is just down the road. You’ll also get to check out the impressive green-colored sand.
8. Best Things To Do Near South Point
South Point is located at the very southern tip of the Big Island, approximately an hour and a half from both Hilo and Kona.
There aren’t too many major attractions on this end of the island, so here are some of the best things to do near South Point. Add these to your itinerary for the same day you go cliff jumping.
Green Sand Beach
Just five minutes down the road from South Point is a unique stop called Green Sand Beach.
Due to the volcanic activity on the island, you can find the mineral olivine. This mineral is green and there’s an abundance of it at this beach, giving the sand a distinctly green hue.
To get to Green Sand Beach, you’ll need to hike 3 miles along the coast. It’s a lot easier than it sounds but don’t forget to take into account the heat.
You can also pay someone to drive you with a 4WD vehicle, but they charge ridiculous prices, so I don’t recommend it.
One of our favorite stops near South Point is Taco Tita. Located in Na’alehu, Hawaii, Taco Tita is a quaint and hip taco order-up restaurant.
We ordered tacos and ice-cold water after making the leap of faith at South Point’s cliff jump. Relaxing on Taco Tita’s patio was really nice and we would go back in a heartbeat.
Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
If you’re making your way to South Point from Kona, make a short stop at Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
This national park holds so much cultural significance; we loved learning more about the island and the island way of life.
Note: Bring your national park pass if you have one. Otherwise you must pay to enter.
Bring your snorkeling gear and stop at Two Step for some incredible underwater exploration. Two Step is one of the best places on the Big Island to go snorkeling and it would be the perfect addition to your South Point day trip.
You can find Two Step by using this Google Maps link. It is also along Hawaii Belt Road, so you won’t have to go out of your way to stop here.
And for even more ideas on what to do, check out our post where we share the best things to do on the Big Island.
9. What To Bring On Your Big Island Day Trip
Traveling on the Big Island is unlike any other place I’ve been. I have never seen such a drastic shift in weather patterns.
Whether you’re at the top of Mauna Kea building a snowman or sitting on the beaches in Kona with the sun beating down on you at 95 degrees, the Big Island of Hawaii is unique.
And because of its strange weather, it can be difficult to know what to pack.
If you plan on visiting South Point and leaping off the edge of the cliff, here are a few things you should pack:
Mike and I both brought large water bottles with us. We figured these would suffice for our hike out to Green Sand Beach and back.
It was not enough. We recommend bringing at least two liters of water per person if you decide to hike out to the beach before doing the South Point cliff jump.
The sun is intense on this side of the island. Pair that with salty water and humidity and you’ll be dehydrated before you know it.
Note: Being dehydrated makes it extra hard to climb the ladder back up to the top of the cliff.
Fueling your body is just as important as staying hydrated. If you plan to spend time out at South Point, bring a packed lunch with you. The nearest restaurant is at least 15-20 minutes away.
Note: Do your part to keep the island clean. Pack out everything that you take in.
As I’ve mentioned before, the sun can be very intense at South Point. In fact, when we were there, I saw a girl that was as red as a lobster. I was so concerned that I even went up to her and asked if she needed any sunscreen.
Don’t let that happen to you. It won’t feel good the next day.
Of course, you’ll want to bring your swimsuit with you to South Point. Not only will you likely cliff jump at South Point, but we highly suggest visiting Green Sand Beach while you’re in the area.
Be sure to change into your swimsuit in your vehicle if you don’t want anyone to see you. They don’t have any changing facilities or bathrooms.
If you don’t plan on visiting Green Sand Beach, you can ignore this suggestion. But, I highly suggest packing walking shoes for your day trip to South Point.
The walk to the beach isn’t too treacherous, but it is 6 miles in total. Walking that far in flip-flops would not be pleasant.
Watch Our South Point Cliff Jump Video
Check out our experience as we cliff jump at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii. Give us a like and subscribe if you enjoy it!
The Wrap Up: South Point Cliff Jump
As you plan your Hawaii vacation to the Big Island, don’t miss out on adding the South Point cliff jump to your itinerary.
It is by far the most exhilarating thing to do on the island, and with plenty of competition, that’s not something to take lightly.
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