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Places On Oahu: Laniakea Beach

Basic Information

  • Name: Laniakea Beach
  • Where: North Shore, Oahu
  • Cost: Free
  • More Information: Oahu Revealed

Picture from Laniakea Beach

Narrative

Pictures of sea turtles is something often linked to Hawaii.  However, on the island of Oahu where most people live and visit Hawaii it is actually not very common to see sea turtles.  However, there is one location on Oahu that for whatever reason sea turtles love to call home and that is Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore:

Laniakea Beach is not marked and the best way to find it is to travel east on the Kamehameha Highway (Highway 83) out of Haleiwa and look for a large amount of cars parked on the right side of the road about 5-10 minutes outside of town.  After parking on the side of the road be very careful crossing the Kamehameha Highway to get to the beach.  My kids and I had to carefully descend down some rocks to the beach and then walk across some slippery rocks on the shoreline to get to the section of the beach where the turtles are at:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

While we walked over to where the turtles were at we could see various people surfing and paddle boarding in the ocean:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

Finding where the turtles were at was easy because we just walked towards where the crowds were:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

There was a lot of people at the beach, but fortunately the crowds were not so overwhelming that it completely ruined the experience.  Additionally the crowds are very well managed by volunteers from the Malama No Honu organization:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

If it wasn’t for these volunteers these turtles probably would have left this beach long ago because it would be absolute chaos with tourists constantly bothering the turtles.  The volunteers we saw the day we visited were thankfully very strict at keeping people from passing the roped borders they put around the turtles.  It did not matter who it was anyone that passed the roped boundary had a volunteer zoom towards them and sternly tell them to get to the other side:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

I can’t say enough what a great job they did managing the tourist chaos at Laniakea Beach.  My family and I patiently waited our turn to get some great close up views of the two sea turtles resting on the beach that day:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

Here is a closer look at one of the turtles:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

He appeared to be taking a well deserved nap after all the swimming he likely did at sea before arriving at the beach:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

Since turtles are mammals they do need to come ashore from time to time to warm up their bodies after being in the water for long periods of time  Here is a picture of the other sea turtle who was also resting at the beach the day we visited:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

The volunteers at the beach actually put up signs with the names of each of the turtles and information about them.  It is pretty amazing how the same turtles keep returning to Laniakea Beach.  It makes me wonder why they don’t go to a beach not as accessible to tourists?  The turtles at Laniakea Beach are best spotted during the summer months when the surf is much smaller than the large waves that pound the North Shore in the winter:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

My family and I spent about an hour at the beach seeing the turtles and letting my kids splash in the water before hitting the road again to go get lunch in Hale’iwa:

Picture from Laniakea Beach

Conclusion

Laniakea Beach is a great free activity to check out on Oahu.  However, the North Shore traffic, parking challenges and crowds viewing the turtles may turn some people off from visiting this beach.  For those who have the patience to put up with these challenges that are typical of popular locations on Oahu, seeing the sea turtles in their natural habitat is a great reward.

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