Cliff Diving At South Point in Hawaii

One of us is a afraid of heights, the other is not. One guess who is not.

Hence, one of us decided to jump off a 50-foot cliff at the southern most point of the United States. The other one of us screamed for him.

Sitting on a platform cliff diving at south point hawaii

South Point, Hawai’i Island

South Point is, as it’s name implies, the south point of the big island of Hawai’i. It also happens to be the southernmost point of the United States, which makes it even cooler. Following some basic directions to get there, we joined a handful of other sightseers parked in a small dirt lot to see this famous spot.

One reason South Point is famous is the row of cement platforms down the cliff with metal ladders reaching into the ocean. Why are they there? For the decades of people who have chosen to conquer their fears and the Pacific by jumping into the water below. As a true thrill seeker, this was one thing we’d heard about and really wanted to do. I was a little more hesitant to jump, and wanted to check it out before I decided. Ben was more excited.

Standing on the platform cliff diving at south point hawaii

Cliff Diving at South Point Hawaii

A small group of travelers were already standing at the platforms. Some taking posed pictures, some admiring the view, other deciding if they were brave enough to jump. Ben immediately picked the jumpers from the crowd and started a conversation psyching each other up to go. Sure enough, that man convinced 4 others to jump before he did!

It was fun watching others get themselves ready and stand at position, then jump as far as they could into the 5-story drop amidst a group of onlookers. It was a pretty gutsy move, considering signs now dot the area warning people not to jump due to recent fatalities and injuries. To not only choose to jump this distance but to ignore warning signs all in front of strangers who’ve decided your moment is their moment and are filming you? Not for me. But it was for Ben.

By the time Ben was set up to jump I was one of the crowd goading him on. It only seemed fair- he’d been there encouraging everyone else! It was actually kind of fun to cat call at him and tease him for hesitating in front of these new friends. Don’t worry, I was teased right back for not being woman enough to jump myself. What can I say? I’m a rule follower (most of the time) and we had to ensure that at least one of us returns to Whit!

Ben’s jump was over in a second, and he played joyfully in the water before making the climb back up on the metal ladder. He was out of sight for most of his climb up due to the steep cliff angle, but we could see the ladder shift and move under his weight. Many reported that climbing back up the ladder was harder than getting the nerve to jump in the first place, because it moves and become slippery. At this point it’s also rusted over in places, and Ben was nervous that it may break at any point.

climbing up the ladder cliff diving at south point hawaii

Once at the top he was greeted with high-fives and congratulations from his fellow jumpers and onlookers. I think he enjoyed the attention and was on an adrenaline high, because he said, “You know, it was so fun I think I’ll go again!” and just ran off the edge a second time! This time I couldn’t control myself. I felt like  was plummeting down, too, and just started screaming. When he emerged a few seconds later I yelled down, “You just gave me a heart attack!” to which everyone around us laughed.

The Best Part

It was exhilarating watching Ben and the others do this incredible thing, but I think my favorite part was how everyone standing around became connected by adventure and empathy. Before anyone started to jump we were all just waiting our turn for a good picture spot, but then we all became one while watching people take their lives into their own hands. It was an incredible shared experience, and we even exchanged e-mail addresses with a few people.

I love how our shared experiences can bring people together!

And as for the cliff dive, I’m glad Ben survived.

Cliff Jumping Hawaii Cliff Diving in Hawaii Cliff Dive Scuba Dive Things to do in Hawaii Adventure in Hawaii


  • Ashley

    Nope Nope Nope… My hands were actually sweating watching this! Maybe the impending doom signs make it scary… he sounded like it was fun but I am certain I wouldn’t be flying off a cliff if I were there… although I likely would be an encouraging on looker lol! loved this!

  • Brittany

    Sounds like something my husband would do too haha. What a rush I bet! I’m just like you though. Total rule follower. I would just stay up there and soak up the view haha. Such a fun experience to read along to 🙂

  • Shoma

    I always face my fears head on.. Even though I would be peeing in my pants I would do this!

  • Doreen

    Gosh! I got goosebumps just watching him jump. I am afraid of heights, so I can relate lol

  • Jennifer

    What a great moment! I love it when strangers become a tribe during a shared experience. So awesome! I would not have jumped….but would cheer on my 4 kids who I know would all jump! LOL

  • Melissa

    I get nervous doing a 10 foot jump. I don’t think I could do a 50 foot jump. It looks exhilarating!!! I’m sure he’s glad he did it!

  • Amy Kennedy

    oh my goodness! my heart! I am so glad it turned out ok! But oh how scary and thrilling at the same time! Great post!

  • Holly Lasha

    that’s awesome. I don’t swim, so I’m not brave enough for this!!!

  • Lisa

    Oh no way, I would definitely not make a jump like this. Heights are not my friend. I am very glad your Ben was alright and had the chance to take his jump, Did you also take this jump Susannah?

  • Carrie Pinkard

    Beautiful pictures and cool video! I loved reading this blog and I love the entire set up you have for your blog in general. Keep going on adventures and sharing them!

  • Marta Rivera

    NOPE!! No! Nuh-uh. Not I, thank you very much! I remember standing twenty feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon while my husband acted like a freakin’ mountain goat. No, thank you!

  • Laura Newton

    Oh wow! Would love to go to Hawaii… but probably won’t do that! Haha x

  • Leigh Suznovich

    Holy cow! I am not nearly brave enough to do this. It must be such a rush though!

  • Jess

    Wow! I’ve been to Hawaii a few times but never tried cliff diving. Definitely on my list for next time! 🙂

  • Cristina

    omg nope! I’ll stand for pictures and the run away cause i’m scared haha

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