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Oahu: The Path Less Travelled

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.

Published February 7, 2017 | Featured in

Location: Hawai'i, Country: United States Of America

Tags: , , ,

Words and Photography by Megan Costello

Man on a surfboard ripping down a gigantic wave in Hawai'i
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.
Man on a board surfing down an almost double wave with huge spray curling off the waves
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.
A very lush green valley with a road visible through it, Hawai'i, USA
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).
Aerial view some houses, streets, windswept palms and out to the ocean at Hawai'i
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.
A bay with buildings and a coastal road with a mountain as a backdrop
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.
Looking down onto a couple of roads cutting through a valley towards the sea
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.
Dim underwater scene with light rays coming through in Hawaii
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.
Flat rocky point looking out onto a very calm sea in the evening
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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