Black sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii
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Black sands in a tropical paradise. Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii
Why do black sand beaches capture our attention and lure intrigued travellers? Maybe it's because they somehow seem more serious than lighter-coloured beaches. These striking sands are created by two distinct methods. In the first, dark, heavy minerals are left behind while less dense sediment is washed away by the waves. The second process is seen here at Wai'anapanapa State Park, when basalt, a dark volcanic rock, is eroded by waves into fine grains, creating a stunning shoreline. You'll find this beach on Maui's east side, towards the end of the legendary Road to Hana. You can also find black sand beaches peppered around the world, including Alaska, California, Greece, Costa Rica, Italy, Iceland, Indonesia and New Zealand.