This picture was taken from Moku Nui island, looking towards its sister island Moku Iki. To Kayak out to the islands take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your starting point, and how strong of a paddler you are.
On a good day there can be nice rolling swells between the two islands that are perfect for kayak surfing.
Lanikai beach was actually chosen as the best beach in the world a few years back. This picture is of Nadine, with Waimanalo in the distance.
The beach is less crowded then most of Oahu's beaches, and the farther down the beach you walk, the less people you will find.
Lanikai beach, just off Kailua beach is definitly a off the beaten path, since most tourist dont often head out that way. Tucked behind the homes of Lanikai, and around the rocks of Kailua, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the World. Perfect for tanning, swimming, snorkling, sailing, kayaking, or digging holes in the sand.
To arrive at Lanikai beach, simply head pass Kailua beach park on Kawailoa Rd, and take a left when u get to Mokulua Dr. Follow it all the way around since its turns into a one way until you see signs for beach access. Follow one of the beach access paths and, boom! you are there...
Here's another show of Kualoa Beach, and its backdrop, Kaneohe Bay. On a sunny day the ocean is an amazing blue and green that words can not explain. The Koolau mountains are absolutely breath taking, and you can definitly come away with pictures that most other tourist dont have.
Kualoa Beach is located off Kamehameha Highway on the windward side of Oahu. The beach is most famous for its off shore island "China Mans Hat". The beach and island have been the back drop for many hollywood movies.
What most people dont know is that if you follow the beach shoreline east around towards Kaneohe Bay, you will come to a secluded stretch of shoreline, that not even most island locals visit.
From there you can get some great pictures of the windward side of Oahu, and Kaneohe Bay. The beach is perfect for swimming, and private tanning.
Flat island is also a great place to take your kayak surfing. Around the the North/East side of the island are small rolling waves that after a little pratice can be a lot of fun to catch.
On a busy day you will find a lot of the locals out on the surf, making it look easy. People of Kailua are friendly, so dont worry about any of that talk about the locals beating you up if you get on their wave.
*** In this picture, myself and cousin Nick take the two man kayak out for a little surfing. This is before we flipped it. We are still amateurs when it comes to tandem kayak surfing.
A question posed by another VT'er with regards to "the best place to snorkel on O'ahu" identified Shark's Cove (at Pupukea Beach Park) as the place to go. There aren't any sharks here, but the tropical fish/turtles you can see and the lava-edged pool protected from the ocean makes this a "must see" location.
Waves splash over the natural lava grotto and cascade like waterfalls into the pool. There is a store across the street from the beach where you can rent equipment at a reasonable price (Beach Boutique...more info contained in the Shopping Tips Section).
But one thing I must warn you about snorkeling at Shark's Cove...lava rocks make up a majority of the ocean floor in this area, and it is very sharp, so I would highly recommend that you wear water shoes/sandals into the water until you can get your fins on.
Having been to Oahu about ten times, I didn't think there was much left for me to discover. The only place i hadn't been was west of Haliewa, so in January 2004 I took a drive out that way. As I neared an equestrian training area and polo field, I noticed a beach access and a couple of parked cars. Having nothing but time on my hands, I pulled over and followed the path to an almost vacant horseshoe of sand, calm blue water and ironwoods. The only person I noticed was a woman meditating, so I spread out a towel and read for a while. Because of an off shore reef, the water was clear and calm, and I forgot I was on Hawaii's most populated island.
This year I returned on a weekend day and noticed a couple of changes. First, there was a wrecked airplane on the beach (strange). Secondly, far from the entrance there were women sunbathing topless and even a nude couple. I don't know if this is legal, but it may be the only place on Oahu that wearing less than a normal bathing suit is tolerated.
Thursday, February 6, 2003
On our flight to Maui, we saw some spectacular scenery from the air, including this one taken by Hans, of Hanauma Bay and Koko Head Crater. You can recognize the Bay because of its horseshoe-like form.
This is a great white sandy beach near the Sea Life Park on the southern tip of the Koolau Mountain Range, you will have to take a bus from Wakiki. While not exactly off the beaten path , it was nice and quiet
and the you can get away from the crowd at Wakiki.
If you really want to enjoy the natural beauty of Oahu's shoreline, head well further north from the city center. Take Route 83 all the way upto the North Shores where there are very few crowds. The beaches are not as shallow and tame like the ones near the city and so a bit of caution is absolutely required. As these places are far off and less traveled, if you are staying late, resist the temptation to swim after sunset since the currents are stronger and there will be hardly anyone to hear your pleas for help if one is required.
To reach Barber's Point Lighthouse take H-1 west from Honolulu, 30-45 minutes, to exit #1. This Is Kalaeloa Blvd. Follow it to the end, then turn right onto Olai St. which ends in Germaine's Luau Parking Lot. You will see the lighthouse to your right.
The 71 ft. automated lighthouse as named for Capt. Henry Barber whose brig, "Arthur," wrecked on a coral shoal off this point in 1796. It is not open to the public but may be photographed from the beach..
If you are at all the independent traveler type, rent a car one day and check out the rest of the island...you know, the parts where people actually live. Just don't gawk or embarrass us mainlanders in any other way :) Some really nice, uncrowded beaches away from Honolulu...
Hanaumu Bay is a wide and sheltered bay is set in a rugged volcanic ring on the south eastern side of Oahu. The water is the most gorgeous sapphire and turquoise colour. A great area for snorkelling amongst the coral and marine life.
Laie Point also offers a great view of Windward Oahu, not often seen by visitors to the island. Here Margaret and Nadine try to compete with the view.