Shark's Cove


Shark's Cove on the North Shore of Oahu is not really a beach, but rather a snorkel and diving spot; and what a snorkel spot it is! This small cove is ringed in rocks and coral providing very little in the way of sand to lay out on, but if you are looking for a great place to snorkel, Shark's Cove is, at many times of the year, an excellent option.

Shark's Cove Aerial View

Shark's Cove Aerial View

During the winter months however you should definitely consider snorkeling elsewhere. Shark's Cove is located "spot on" between two locations that provide some of the biggest and most powerful waves on the planet, Waimea Bay and the Bonzai Pipeline. The rugged and rocky natural barriers that protect this cove in the summer time are all but blasted in a fury of whitewater and churning current. Summer is the reverse however, and the mostly calm and gentle waters provide an incredibly clear environment in which to observe fish of all varieties. Shark's Cove is in fact, a protected marine reserve and an ideal spot for primarily "advanced" snorkelers to enjoy a day's outing.

Climbing the jagged rocks at Shark's Cove

Climbing the jagged rocks at Shark's Cove

Unfortunately Shark's Cove does not have lifeguards present and it can provide some dangers even during the calmer times of year. The rock areas you will need to work your way over to enter the water are very sharp and brittle and will require the use of some water shoes. Once buoyant you can drift out into the center of the cove and with each swim stroke you will be moving into deeper water. The water at its deepest parts may be as much as thirty-five feet and the subterranean landscape becomes an intriguing labyrinth of caves, lava tubes, large rocks and curiously twisted volcanic formations. The real prizes here however are the various types of fish you will find which will include trigger fish, mullet, needle fish, turtles, parrot fish, butterfly and damsel fish, tang, wrasse and occasionally a monk seal. It is no wonder that the highly touted Scuba Dive Magazine has referred to Shark's Cove in glowing superlatives ranking it among the very best of shore dives.

Protected Waters of Shark's Cove in the Summer

Protected Waters of Shark's Cove in the Summer

With regard to amenities at Shark's Cove there are restrooms and showers but the parking can become difficult when the place gets busy. The cove itself is not really large at all and so it can fill up with snorkelers. Best bet is to get there as early as possible and grab a spot in the lot while they last. If not you will be forced to park on the roadway or at one of the nearby parking areas. Another unfortunate downside is that there have been an inordinate number of car break-ins over the course of years so you need to be careful with your valuables.

Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this location. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. There are no lifeguards at this location.




Oahu Beaches

Ala Moana Beach Park is located equidistant between Honolulu and Waikiki and consists of a large park and two beaches, Ala Moana Beach and Magic Island.

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Bellows Beach is one of the best beaches to be found along Oahu's south eastern shores. It is not particularly wide but it is very long and the quality of sand, although somewhat rougher, is comparable in color and cleanliness to beaches like Lani Kai.

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There is no question that Hanauma Bay is an excellent place to snorkel. Unfortunately it, unlike any other snorkeling spot in the State of Hawaii, costs money for an admission charge and costs money for a parking fee.

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Hukilau Beach in Laie on the north-eastern coastline of Oahu is a beach that in an odd way provides a tribute to the multicultural nature of the island of Oahu.

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One of the few beaches that has the look and feel of old Oahu is Kahana Beach on Oahu's windward coastline. The fact that this beach is located in a section of the island that is normally simply a gateway for island visitors to pass by on their way to visit what are presumably more spectacular attractions is the saving grace of Kahana Beach Park.

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Without question, the most popular beach on the windward side of Oahu is Kailua Beach, and with good reason. This large expanse of white sand beach is simply "drop-dead" gorgeous and is the perfect location for water sports and beach activities.

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The Ko'Olina Resort area located on Oahu's west-facing coast boasts a total of four almost identical looking, side-by-side man-made lagoons. If you're an ocean purist and like your beaches created by the hand of nature, you're out of luck at these beaches.

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Kualoa Beach Park is both a beach and a park with perhaps a heavier emphasis on being a park. The beach itself is extremely narrow having eroded over the years but the grass portion of the park is extremely wide.

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Lanikai is a delightful and secluded "bedroom community" isolated from the windward town of Kailua by a ridge that allows access to the coastal homes only through one entry point.

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Makapu'u Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches to be found on Oahu. It is located at the very eastern tip of the island at the base of tremendous sea cliffs providing a spectacular back drop.

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You know it's a big wave when the sand you're sitting on at the beach shakes like an earthquake when the waves pound the shoreline. Welcome to the "Bonzai Pipeline" at famous Ehukai Beach on Oahu's North Shore.

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Forgive me for this but the following descriptions regarding Sandy Beach on the south shore of Oahu may to seem a bit more like a "rant" than a description of a beach.

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Sans Souci Beach is a small but beautiful beach with a big history. This lovely white sand beach is in Kapiolani Park just about a fifteen-minute walk from Waikiki.

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The most famous coastline for big wave surfing in the world is the 7 mile stretch of beaches and intermittent rocky shore known as the "North Shore" of Oahu.

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Waikiki Beach is certainly the most famous beach in all of Hawaii and is a probable contender for the most well known beach in the world. This of course, was the beach where it all started regarding tourism in Hawaii.

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Waimea Bay on Oahu's famed North Shore is home, in the winter time, to a wave that is so large that no one had successfully surfed it until the late 1950's.

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Yokohama Bay is the large stretch of beautiful white sand that extends up to the Kaena Point area of western Oahu. Yokohama Bay is truly amazingly beautiful.

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Related Information

A listing of all Oahu Beaches can be found on these pages. Check for the Oahu Beach that will be perfect for you!

It's a good thing you're going to the beach on Oahu! Not only does Oahu have some of the most beautiful beaches in the state, have some of the best snorkeling to be seen in the state, have some of the best surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddling locations in the state and some of the largest waves for you to watch in the state, but Oahu beaches have more lifeguard locations and more lifeguards all toll than any other island in the State of Hawaii.

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