South Point (Ka Lea), the southern tip of the island of Hawaii, is also the southernmost point in the United States. It is thought that South Point is where the Polynesians first landed since the Big Island is the closest of the Hawaiian Islands to Tahiti, and South Point would be the point of first landfall. A few miles from South Point, Papakolea Beach is reknown for its rare (there are only two such beaches in the US) green sand, caused by olivine crystals found in the enclosing cinder cone. Access to Papakolea Beach is by foot or four-wheel drive vehicle. Punaluu beach is one of the most beautiful black sand beaches found on the island. The color comes from lava rock.
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