I’ve been wanting to camp at Bellows Field Beach Park for some time now, but never actually took the initiative to secure a campground permit. Until recently, that is. Camping permits at Bellows go quickly, and are usually gone within a day or two of becoming available. Camping is available for permitting two Fridays prior to the Friday that you want to camp (at 5pm HST). Your best shot at securing one of these permits is to sit at your computer on a late Friday afternoon, and continually refresh the City & County of Honolulu Camping Permits website until you can select the weekend that you desire. The permit will set you back $32 (a $2 administrative fee is included in this price).
We ended up driving to Bellows on a surprisingly rainy morning. Before leaving town, we stopped over at Kalihi Super Meats to pick up some marinated meats and a variety case of liquid magic from Kona (I’ll let you figure that one out). For what it’s worth, I think that Kalihi Super Meats has the best marinated meat on the island. It’s our go to place when we need meat to throw on the grill. They offer an array of chicken, pork, and beef that is marinated to tasty perfection.
It takes about 40 minutes to get to Bellows Field Beach Park from the University of Hawaii. Fortunately for us, the clouds had cleared from earlier in the morning and the rain had drifted away. Awesome, because camping in the rain would have sucked.
I’d recommend taking the scenic route to Bellows, driving from the eastern most point of the island via Kalanianaole Highway. Along the way, you’ll pass Koko Crater, Lanai Lookout, the Holona Blowhole, the Makapuu Lighthouse, and Sea Life Park. Eventually, you will reach Waimanalo town. Drive pass Waimanalo Beach Park and make a right at Tinker Road. You’ll follow Tinker Road pass the guard shack (unattended when we drove in) until you reach the campgrounds (you’ll see permit location signs).
The tricky part will be finding your permit camping location, which is numbered between 1 and 50. The numbers are located on trees in semi-visible white lettering. Unfortunately for us, when we did locate the general vicinity of our campground, we ran into a little trouble with the 4Runner. We sort of found ourselves stuck in the sand. No problem though, within a minute or two, some fellow campers came by to help push the 4Runner out of this pickle. It turns out that this particular area is a troublesome spot and throughout our stay, we would notice a few more vehicles get stuck in the same spot.
We of course had a great time. I had fun playing around with the film cameras that I brought along, a vintage Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera and a more current Fuji Instax 210. We learned a new Fijian word, “bula.” According to Marvin, bula is the Fiji equivalent of Hawaii’s aloha. It means anything from hello, goodbye, welcome, and love. We shot photos of the stars. Marvin roamed the camp grounds at beyond at an ungodly hour in the early morning. We shot photos of the sunrise. We grilled to perfection. We enjoyed the crisp blue Pacific Ocean. Most fun for me, though, was just hanging out and talking story with good friends.
For more information of camping at Bellows, please see the information bellow:
Park keeper has the authority to deal with campers; to act in cases of breach of rules, regulations and/or laws of the City and County, State and Federal governments.
All permits are subject to cancellation or termination by the City and County of Honolulu. All terms are final. Charging admission, taking a collection or the sale of goods and services is prohibited. Damages: All permits issued by the City and County of Honolulu shall be subject to the regulations of the city Ordinances; Persons or organizations to whom such permits are issued shall be bound by such regulations and ordinances as fully as though the same were inserted in such permits. Persons or organizations to whom such permits are issued shall be liable for loss, damage or injury to persons or property resulting from the use of the public facilities under such permits, as well as any breach of regulations or ordinances, to the person or persons suffering such loss, damage or injury, and to the City and County of Honolulu in case the City shall become liable for such loss, damage or injury.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed. Drinking or displaying of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all parks. Rev. Ord. of Honolulu.
- This permit is valid only for the stated period.
- Tents are to be erected where designated by parkkeeper or at least 50 feet from adjoining property.
- Campers must keep their campsites clean at all times and deposit rubbish in containers provided.
- Fire must be built only in stoves, firepits, or campfire rings where provided. (Ashes and charcoal shall not be deposited near trees, shrubs or vines but shall be left or deposited in areas designated.)
- No generators of any type shall be operated at any campsite.
- Vehicle camping is prohibited.
- Maximum of 10 people, 2 tents, maximum tent size is 15×11 feet, 3 cars.
- Animals are prohibited in all city campgrounds.
- Utility hookup is prohibited.
- Do not wash dishes or equipment in shower rooms or open shower areas.
- Obscene or objectionable language, rowdyism, or unbecoming conduct will not be tolerated.
- Only charcoal may be used for cooking fires which must be placed in barbecue stoves where provided. If private barbecue stove are used, they must be lifted at least 12 inches above the grass and kept well away from tree trunks and other plants.
- Permittee must have permit readily available at all times.
- No driving or parking on the grass.
- Open fires, guns, cutting of trees, & disturbing noise is prohibited.
- Picnics are not allowed in camping sites.
- No camping Wednesday after 8 A.M. until FRIDAY at 8 A.M. All campers and their equipment and vehicles must be out of the campgrounds by Wednesday 8 A.M. or as noted on permit.
- Refer to Camping Rules and Regulations. Applicant’s receipt and use of camping permit constitutes his/her agreement to the City and County of Honolulu camping rules.
- Camping information website: http://www1.honolulu.gov/parks/camping.htm
Penalty: Immediate revocation of permit.