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Oahu: The Path Less Travelled

Words and Photography by Megan Costello

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Oahu is a Hawaiian island of many flavours. Spend a day circumnavigating the island and you will have experienced several different environments and ecosystems. Most travellers spend their time in Honolulu in the southern part of the island, so now I’m going to take you on a journey along the path less travelled. We’ll be starting our day on the North Shore, the surfing capital of the world.

The North Shore is a relatively undeveloped part of the island, known for its famous surf breaks: Pipeline, Waimea and Sunset. The reef break Pipeline (pictured) is home to the world-famous Pipe Masters, the concluding event of the World Surf tour.
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The North Shore is a relatively undeveloped part of the island, known for its famous surf breaks: Pipeline, Waimea and Sunset. The reef break Pipeline (pictured) is home to the world-famous Pipe Masters, the concluding event of the World Surf tour.

Sunset Beach (pictured) is another favorite local break, and the location of the Vans World Cup. Just five kilometres west is Waimea, home to one of the most famous big-wave competitions in the world: The Eddie. You’ll want to grab an acai bowl from Pipeline’s Crispy Grindz before we continue onto the next stretch of our adventure.
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Sunset Beach (pictured) is another favorite local break, and the location of the Vans World Cup. Just five kilometres west is Waimea, home to one of the most famous big-wave competitions in the world: The Eddie. You’ll want to grab an acai bowl from Pipeline’s Crispy Grindz before we continue onto the next stretch of our adventure.

We are heading to the east side of the island, to the lush, mountainous region where Jurassic Park was filmed. The first stop is Pali Lookout (pictured).
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We are heading to the east side of the island, to the lush, mountainous region where Jurassic Park was filmed. The first stop is Pali Lookout (pictured).

We now set off on a one-hour scenic hike along the Lanikai Pillbox trail, bypassing World War Two ‘pillboxes’ or concrete dugouts. The view from the top overlooks the Lanikai neighbourhood and the Mokulua Islands.
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We now set off on a one-hour scenic hike along the Lanikai Pillbox trail, bypassing World War Two ‘pillboxes’ or concrete dugouts. The view from the top overlooks the Lanikai neighbourhood and the Mokulua Islands.

From here, we travel southeast to hike to the Makapu’u Lighthouse. This trail is great for beginners and offers some of the best whale watching on the east side of the island.
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From here, we travel southeast to hike to the Makapu’u Lighthouse. This trail is great for beginners and offers some of the best whale watching on the east side of the island.

The Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail stretches for 2.5 kilometres, taking us past giant tide pools, a hidden blowhole and incredible coastal scenery. Reapply that sunscreen because we will soon be heading to the west side of the island, the least visited region of Oahu.
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The Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail stretches for 2.5 kilometres, taking us past giant tide pools, a hidden blowhole and incredible coastal scenery. Reapply that sunscreen because we will soon be heading to the west side of the island, the least visited region of Oahu.

Electric Beach, our first stop, provides some of the best snorkeling on the island, as large schools of fish are drawn to pipes releasing warm water into the ocean. On an average day you will see sea turtles, sting rays, dolphins and the occasional shark.
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Electric Beach, our first stop, provides some of the best snorkeling on the island, as large schools of fish are drawn to pipes releasing warm water into the ocean. On an average day you will see sea turtles, sting rays, dolphins and the occasional shark.

After our snorkel we finish our day at Ka’ena Point, at the western tip of the island. The perfect place to watch the sun set and reflect on the day gone by.
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After our snorkel we finish our day at Ka’ena Point, at the western tip of the island. The perfect place to watch the sun set and reflect on the day gone by.

Published on February 7, 2017
Location: Hawai'i
Country: United States Of America ›
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