Hale’iwa, about a one hour drive from Honolulu, is the biggest little town on the North Shore of Oahu. The minute you drive into Hale’iwa, you know you’ve entered serious surfing territory. Everything, from mail boxes to address signs, is themed with brightly colored surf boards.
The community of Hale’iwa is known as the “Gateway to the North Shore.” After traveling through this artsy, laid-back surf town you’ll cross over the Rainbow Bridge, which spans the Anahulu River. The Anahulu River has beach parks on both sides of its banks. Hale’iwa Beach Park, located just over the bridge, has a very large grassy area on the shore side of Kamehameha Highway. The North Shore views from this beach are picture perfect.
We’ve never seen anyone swimming here, though it isn’t against the rules. The water can be a bit cloudy, and the ocean bottom is quite rocky, and (especially in winter) the surf can be treacherous. Hale’iwa Beach Park does have a narrow strip of golden sand, and with shore shoes on, it’s an excellent beach for beachcombing. Here you might find snakehead cowry snail seashells (the most common cowry snail of the Hawaiian Islands), cone snail seashells, pieces of coral, assorted surf-tumbled shell bits and multicolored sea glass jewels. Beachcombing at Hale’iwa Beach Parkwill reward you with a striking combination of colorful beach treasures!
Hale’iwa Beach Park is also a very good place for green sea turtle spotting. You may want to bring along your binoculars to get a better view of the honu, as they are known in Hawaii. We’ve sighted sea turtles swimming near the shore every time we’ve visited this area of Oahu’s North Shore. It’s been quite exciting each time!
Please keep in mind that, in Hawaii, the green sea turtle is listed as a threatened species under federal and Hawaii state law. Remember to always observe sea turtles from a distance and never attempt to touch, ride, or feed sea turtles.
Just a note: You will definitely want to treat yourself to a world-famous Hawaiian Shave Ice while you’re in Hale’iwa!
Have a great day at the beach! Aloha!