I love exploring the north and west shores leading up to Kaena Point, primarily because I think it is the last stretch of wild coastline on Oahu. Once you step beyond where the paved roads end in both Mokuleia and Waianae, you are instantly surrounded by beautiful coastal terrain, cultural sites, and remnants of a historical past once dominated by plantations and the military.
A fellow adventurer built this bench in a tree a few years ago. I won’t say who, though. I’ll leave that as part of the mystique…along with the location.
Somewhere along the North Shore is a neat little concrete bunker that was used during World War II. There are many of these bunkers scattered throughout the island, both mauka and makai. It’s always a treat whenever you stumble upon one of these on random occasions.
Tucked behind the million-dollar homes near the posh Portlock is Spitting Caves, know for its naturally manicured sea cliffs and ocean spewing cave. Daredevils have been known to jump off the 65-foot cliff. Beware though, many deaths have occurred here, as the many memorial placards indicate. You’ve got to be a strong swimmer to get your feet back on dry land. It’s probably best to not even get them wet.
The Kapalua Coastal Trail is the perfect reason to leave the posh suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, for a quick outdoor adventure. The Dragon’s Teeth are located just beyond the Ritz-Carlton chapel. If coming from the Ritz-Carlton, you’ll follow the pathway that runs parallel to the hedges that mark the boundary for the Honokahua Burial Site. This ancient Hawaiian burial site is home to hundreds of ancient Hawaiian remains and is the primary reason why The Ritz-Carlton is located so far from the shoreline.
I guess that if you do one thing enough times, it becomes a tradition. It has become a tradition for Exploration: Hawaii to capture the first Hawaiian sunset of every new year. In 2012, we said hello to the new year at Waimea Bay. In 2013, we found ourselves on an empty beach in Maile. In 2014, we caught a beautiful sunset at Ko Olina. And in 2015, we ushered in the new year by driving the farthest west that we could, to Keawaula Beach on the Waianae Coast.
Puu Pehe, also referred to by locals as The Sweetheart Rock, is one of Lanai’s most iconic landmarks. Located just off of the southern coastline, Puu Pehe is situated between Manele Bay and Hulupoe Bay. The 80-feet islet is roughly a 45 minute walk from the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay.
It was one of those, “hey, let’s go shoot the sunset” kind of days. Of course, there’s no better place to catch the sunset on Oahu than the west side. You’re guaranteed a show from any beach along Oahu’s Leeward Coast, really. We chose Pokai Bay, with the hope that we would get to see one of those purple and pink cotton candy sunsets. It wasn’t meant to be. No complaints, though, as the sunset was spectacular nonetheless.
A few weekends ago, I took my friend, Sheryl, to Maui. It was actually her first time visiting Maui and the two main things she really wanted to see were the “heart-shaped rock” and bamboo forest. I had been to Maui several times, but had never seen the heart-shaped rock. Thank goodness for the internet. Upon searching for the heart-shaped rock on Maui, our quest led us to the Nakalele Blowhole.