HAWAII — Wai´anae Coast

This is an area that is out of the usual tourist spot and covers the Farrington Highway which runs the length of the coast. The beaches here are unspoilt but the conditions can be rough for swimmers and provide a challenge for surfers especially in the winter. The largest town found on this coat is Nanakuli which has one of the largest Hawaiian populations on O´ahu. There are a few scenic spots including Ka´ena Point.

The sights found here are:
Hawaiian Electric Beach Park
Nanakuli
Ma´ili Beach
Poka´i Bay Beach Park
Makaha Beach Park
Makaha Valley
Kaneana Cave
Ka´ena Point State Park
Yokohama Bay

Hawaiian Electric Beach Park

Hawaiian Electric Beach Park
This sandy beach is found north of Kahe Point. This beach is opposite a power plant which discharges heated water that attracts lots of fish making this a good snorkelling beach. In summer it is also a calm swimming beach but it does tend to get rough in winter.

Nanakuli

Nanakuli
Nanakuli is the largest town on the Wai´anae Coast and has the largest native Hawaiian population in O´ahu. The beach is long and wide and in summer it is a good swimming place but conditions in winter can be quite rough. There are lots of facilities here including campsites.

Ma´ili Beach

Ma´ili Beach
This beach is named for the numerous pebbles or ili´ili found nearby. In ancient times these stones had many uses as fish sinkers, game pieces, and musical instruments. Today this beach is a popular site for surfers. There is good swimming during the summer months when the surf is calm but in the winter the sand is eroded away and conditions can be dangerous.

Poka´i Bay Beach Park

Poka´i Bay Beach Park
This beach is found in the second largest town on the Wai´anae Coast and has calm waters year round. A breakwater offshore blocks high surf making it a good swimming beach summer and winter. There is a wide reef in the middle of the bay and the waves that break on it are usually small which makes it a good spot for beginner surfers. Poka´i Bay is named after the Hawaiian chief Poka´i, who supposedly brought the first coconut palm tree to Hawaii. Ku´ilioloa Heiau which is an ancient Hawaiian temple site is found at Ku´ilioloa Point which is along the south side of the bay.

Makaha Beach Park

Makaha Beach Park
Makaha Beach Park is a good swimming beach in the summer. This beach has hosted a lot of surfing competitions because of the huge waves that are found here in the winter. Offshore are the Makaha Caverns which have underwater arches and tunnels and are popular with snorkelers and divers.

Makaha Valley

Makaha Valley
Makaha Valley was once home to the Makaha Valley Ranch and was a favourite place for Hawaii’s royalty. Today you will find the Makaha Resort and Golf Club here. In the valley there are around 3000 wild peacocks which can be heard all over. The Kane´aki Heiau which was a temple dedicated to the Hawaiian god of harvest and fertility, Lono is found on the Mauna Olu Estates which is a private housing estate. The public are allowed to visit the temple on Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The temple is over 300 years old but has been restored over time using traditional methods.

Traveller's Tip

The road to the temple can be a bit rough after rain and may be closed so it is best to call the estates if this is the case.
For information about Mauna Olu Estates visit the website at: http://www.moestates.com
Kaneana Cave

Kaneana Cave
This cave is found on the right hand side of the road a few kilometres north of Kea´au Beach Park. It is a huge cave that was once underwater and its size is due to the wave action as the ocean receded. This is a sacred site and in ancient times it was used for rituals performed by the Hawaiian Kahuna or priests. Some people believe it is haunted and will not enter.

Ka´ena Point State Park

Ka´ena Point State Park
This State Park is very remote and has been designated a natural area reserve because of the rare native plants found in the dunes around here. It is also home to many seabirds including albatrosses. Ka´ena Point has a rocky shore and because of the high waves and dangerous rips often found here this is not a good place to swim. People come here mostly for the hiking and fishing. If you want to find out about the hiking trails found in this area you can look up the State Parks website (website link found below). Sometimes in the winter you can see whales and dolphins are found all year round. Before you go in the gate that leads to the park you will see a road up to Ka´ena Point satellite Tracking Station which is run by the US Air Force.

For information about the hiking trails visit the following website at: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/hiking/oahu/index.cfm?hike_id=21

Traveller's Tip

There are lots of legends attached to this area such as the one about the rock that is found just off the point. The rock is supposed to have dropped into the ocean after a god threw his magic hook from here to Kauai and tried to join the two islands but all he caught was the rock known today as Pohaku o Kauai which means ‘rock of Kaua´i.
Yokohama Bay

Yokohama Bay
This bay is named for the large numbers of Japanese fishermen who came here in the past. Because it is one of the most remote beaches on O´ahu it never gets crowded but you will need to drive here as the bus doesn’t run this far. In the winter months the beach gets pounded by high surf which makes it popular with both local and visiting surfers but it isn’t the place for novices. Yokohama Bay is considered to be one of Oahu’s sacred locations and is described in many legends.