Oahu Island is a haven of exceptional views that showcases the natural wonders of Hawaii. The Laniakea Beach, located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, is also known as the Turtle Beach of Hawaii.
It is a tropical paradise that has earned its reputation as an ideal place for sea turtles, surfers, and beachgoers seeking a serene escape.
With its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and the chance to witness majestic sea turtles in their natural habitat, Laniakea Beach stands out as a must-visit destination for those who love nature lovers and those yearning for a peaceful retreat.
No doubt, it is one of the favorite destinations for tourists!
When Can You Visit The Beach?
If you are planning a trip to Oahu just to see the unique sea turtles, just know that you can plan it anytime. The simple reason is that turtles don’t have a specific season as they don’t migrate like the whales.
However, these Hawaiian green sea turtles (called “Honu” by locals) are less likely to be seen during winters when the waves are high, especially on the west side of the beach. So, spotting them at that time could be quite a task.
You might see them on the shore during summer, and sunset is the best time to spot them. But it’s also easier to see them when they get lifted by a small wave rather than in the flat parts of the water.
Tip: Schedule a visit to this beach during sunset time during summer.
How To Reach Laniakea Beach?
There are several options to reach Laniakea Beach. You can take the bus according to the route. You need to get off at the Kamehameha Highway and Papailoa Road stop for this option. It’s just a short five-minute walk from there to the beach.
If you have rented a scooter or a car, you can just use apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps. The beach has a dedicated parking lot, making it easier to bring and park your vehicles conveniently and safely.
However, you can only reach this parking area when driving east and away from Haleiwa. If you’re coming from the opposite direction, you may come across barriers preventing you from entering the area. If this happens, you’ll possibly have to take a U-turn.
What To See Here?
Oahu’s Turtle Beach is a beautiful beach on Oahu’s North Shore, where you’ll see huge green sea turtles sunbathing. Though it’s a small beach, there’s a lot to explore here!
Standing in the middle of the beach, you’ll see a beautiful view of the tall palm trees and rocky cove when you turn right. Here, you can snorkel and attempt to spot a few swimming in the water. Apart from that, this is also the perfect spot for some of your photo sessions.
If you have some time left, stroll around to the left side of the beach, which has a good 300-yard sand stretch, making it perfect for a leisurely walking session.
Although it may look very tempting to go inside the water to get a chance to swim along with the turtles, make sure you are careful.
Since the beach has a rocky shelf, there are huge rocks under the water, especially during winter. There are rough tides as well during this time, so we suggest you don’t go inside. However, if you wish to take a chance, find a safe entry point to enter the water.
Head to Chun’s Reef near Laniakea Beach for more exploration and other attractions. You’ll enjoy swimming and taking long walks here. You won’t even realize how quickly you’ve passed your day.
More About The Turtles
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles’ love is what attracts people the most to this beach. While there are several beaches in Oahu where you can witness the turtles, seeing them here resting with their group is just another kind of experience you’ll get.
These turtles have made this beach a resting place for them for many years, which is why Laniakea Beach got its nickname “Turtle Beach.”
The sea turtles you’ll see now were once about to get extinct and even made it to the list of endangered species. However, due to the strict rules under the Federal Endangered Species Act, these can be seen in great numbers swimming across the Hawaiian waters.
Now, for those wondering why this is the only beach that has become a hangout spot for them, The answer is the green algae or moss seagrass and kelp that grows both under the waterline and the rocks and serves as a perfect feeding ground for them.
So, make sure you don’t step on them because you’ll be messing with their food. And if you are not careful enough, you might even slip and hurt yourself.
For their safety, volunteers come together, spending their time daily maintaining safe distances between the unique creatures, visitors, and tourists. They use a small red rope around each turtle to show how much space you should keep. And if you have any questions, they’ll be happy to help!
The most common question we heard was, “Can we touch the turtles?” While it may be fascinating, touching them is prohibited for obvious reasons.
You’ll usually find turtles sunbathing or resting on the beach under the sun. If you are lucky enough, you can even see some surfacing from the ocean or making their way back.
What Should I Know Before Going to Laniakea Beach?
Green sea turtles are endangered, so please be mindful of that! To support the well-being of the turtles, make sure to follow these rules according to the federal law:
Don’t Touch Them
Since they are endangered, you’ll want them to have enough place. Therefore, keep a distance of five to ten feet from them. Even a slight strong current could push the turtle towards you and might hurt them.
Not every creature is meant to be played with. These sea turtles are one of the. So, don’t chase them or stress them out.
Don’t Give Food
Turtles have their own food according to their digestive system. Giving them foods that are not part of their usual diet could be problematic for them.
They may even start relying on humans for food, which could be problematic when people stop feeding them. Eventually, they would struggle to find themselves food in the ocean.
Don’t Ride Them
Yes, I know this sounds very weird, but we’ve seen people do this! It’s hurtful to see that people don’t respect their space and treat them just like any other animal, which they are not.
Even though there are signs asking everyone to keep their distance, people still tend to do it. We suggest you to please follow the rules and see these turtles from a distance.
Parking On The Beach
We already talked about the beach having its designated parking area. However, this wasn’t always the case.
It wasn’t till 2022 that Laniakea Beach finally got its dedicated parking. Before, visitors had to park in an improvised area and cross the street on foot, which was less than ideal.
Now, you can find an unpaved parking lot that’s much larger than the old makeshift one, making it easier for everyone to find a spot. The beach is pretty crowded, and many cars are parked in the parking space, yet you’ll find a spot for your vehicle.
Just imagine how big it would be!
You can also come across two crosswalks at either end of the parking, so forget the hassle of crossing the streets unsafely.
When is the best time to visit Laniakea Beach to see green sea turtles?
While you can see sea turtles throughout the year, visiting during the summer, especially during sunset, increases the chances of seeing them on the shore.
Can visitors touch the sea turtles at Laniakea Beach?
No, touching sea turtles is not recommended to ensure their safety and conservation.
How can I reach Laniakea Beach?
You can reach Laniakea Beach by taking a bus to the Kamehameha Hwy and Papailoa Road stop or by renting a scooter or car.
Have Fun On The Beach And Treat Your Eyes With The Sea Turtles!
Laniakea Beach offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors. With its scenic beauty, endangered green sea turtles, and recent improvements, the beach has become even more accessible and enjoyable. It also reminds people of the importance of respecting nature and following the rules to protect these remarkable creatures.