One of my favorite things about living in Kailua Kona is that I have the world’s best ‘backyard pool’, aka…’the pier’ in Kailua Bay. Located on Ali’i Drive in front of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island, it’s one of the world’s most famous spots; home to the start of the Ironman World Triathlon.
Before Ironman, additional orange buoys are added to the swim area
From my house in Pualani Estates it’s a short 4 minute drive into town with accessible free parking nearby. A short walk takes me to the pier where around 8am many Kona residents of all ages and abilities meet up for their daily swim.
Morning Swim Group at the Pier in Kona
Over the years the ‘Pier Group’ has formed; an informal group of aquatic enthusiasts who love ocean swimming and sports. They meet daily in the mornings for group swims. There’s a storage box that some pier group members built for us all to store our towels, bags, and slippers while we’re swimming, as well as restroom facilities and showers nearby. Getting into the water you’ll find a nice sandy beach for safe and easy entry. It’s a perfect spot for all ages to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Easy entry into the water
Kailua Bay Buoy Distances
There’s a buoyed area that separates the ‘swimming’ area from boat and pier traffic. As you swim out parallel to the shore there are multiple buoys you can swim to. Swim out and back to the 4th buoy and you’ve swam about 300 yards. Feeling like an Ironman? You can swim out to the 1.2 mile ‘Kings’ buoy, which is a total of 2,000 meters or 1.2 miles round trip.
My son at the 1.2 mile buoy!
Along they way you can stop at the half mile, 3/4 mile, or the new 1,500 meter buoy (all of which mark the round trip distance from shore). The buoys are set on the Ironman course, attracting swimmers and triathletes year round from all over the world. If you swim inline with the buoys (which is recommended for safety), the depth ranges from about 15-20 feet around the 4th buoy and gradually gets deeper at the Kings buoy, about 50 feet.
The new 1,500 meter buoy
Marine Life in Kailua Bay
The water here at the pier is clean, warm, and offers some of the most exotic and beautiful tropical marine life to be found.
Not an unusual sight on a morning swim at the pier in Kona
I’ve encountered huge pods of dolphins, mantas, and spotted eagle rays as close as the 4th buoy! Every swim is an absolute treat and reminds me everyday of the beauty this world has to offer, even in my own ‘backyard’!
Manta Ray near the 1,500 meter buoy!
Living Near Kailua Bay
Imagine being able to do this everyday of the year! I’d love to show you some homes or condominiums that are just minutes away from this incredible swimming area. Call me and allow me to make this a reality for you too!