For Hollywood, or call it Napaliwood, Honopu Beach is one of the most favored of movie sites in Hawaii. Six Days Seven Nights, King Kong, and Pirates of the Caribbean are just a few productions that easily come to mind. But the most memorable is The Man with the Golden Gun, with that incredible scene of James Bond in a red helicopter chasing under and through Honopu’s natural seaside archway.
Honopu Beach has been called the Valley of the Lost Tribe, recalling ancient times when this now silent, brooding valley self-supported native peoples. According to one legend 300 Hawaiians lived in this remote site, shielded by its 3000-plus foot sheer cliffs. Those who explore this now deserted valley will tell of a “chicken skin” feeling, of ghostly intangibles heard, and of that uncomfortable feeling of being watched or followed. Some say it’s ghosts from that brutal attack that wiped out those ancient inhabitants – their troubled spirits now wandering forlornly through the valley.
Despite its verdant beauty, Honopu Beach was probably not a place for easy living. It was a place of thundering landslides, flash floods, and early deep shadows. But on the plus side it could be easily defended. The stupendous cliffs allowed for only one access, as with a castle, but here from the ocean. A huge, narrow ridge of lava rock bridges the beachhead, like that of the moat fronting a castle, to guard Honopu’s entrance. Peacefully today, its west and east beaches are divided by this stunning sea arch.