La Perouse Bay is at the end of the paved road through the Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve. That road traverses 827 hectares of barren black aa lava like this, from the last eruption of the Haleakala volcano in 1790.
The parking area for the bay is the only practical place to stop and explore the lava field. The very narrow road from Makena to the bay has “no stopping” signs throughout its length. But that didn’t keep the extremely inconsiderate driver of a minivan from blocking the road so his bratty brood could play on the lava rocks when I was heading back. It took the honking horns of at least six cars blocked in both directions— using the horn is quite unusual in Hawaii, as it’s considered very rude— to convince the clueless driver that he needed to hustle his kids back into the van. I hope someone took down the minivan’s license plate number so the Maui County Police could teach the driver a badly-needed lesson.