Waimanalo Beach

Waimanalo Beach, on the Windward side of Oahu, stretches for miles.  It has a range of moods along the way, and different populations who frequent different areas.  Access ranges from large parking lots with facilities — restrooms, showers, picnic tables, lifeguard — to narrow beach  lanes which access portions with no facilities at all, to a military base (Bellows) which doesn’t seem to be very active but shares a particularly sweet stretch with the public on weekends, to beach parks along the road where extended families of locals camp.  In some cases the people camping at the beach are homeless.  The part I visited this day has no facilities, very little parking and very few people with whom one must share the beach and beauty.
Entry path to Waimanalo Beach.

Entry path to Waimanalo Beach.

The narrow road next to McDonald’s leads directly to this beach entrance. There’s parking on the side of the road.  Stroll through nau’paka growing low in the sand on the right, and through the ironwood trees.  That’s Rabbit Island offshore.Rabbit Island off Waimanalo Beach.Rabbit Island off Waimanalo Beach.

How Tropical-Pacific-Island-Getaway is this!  Somebody who didn’t want to sit farther from the water in the shade of the ironwood trees built this little shelter with palm fronds.

A bit of shade on a a vast stretch of beach.A bit of shade on a a vast stretch of beach.

There weren’t many people on Waimanalo Beach this weekday.  Among the more interesting sights was a digging dog.  He may have been attempting to dig his proverbial way to China,  but what he reached was a long, stout piece of driftwood.  The photographer with the tripod was very serious about taking photos of his lady.  Then he moved into the picture and clicked it remotely.  When I strolled back this way 15 minutes later, they were still posed in front of the camera, smiling their heads off and occasionally kissing.  Honeymooners?

Working on the perfect photo.Working on the perfect photo.

Down a little ways, are lots of ironwood trees backing up the beach.  You can see how the prevailing on-shore Tradewinds, which have swept unimpeded over thousands of miles of ocean, relentlessly nudge the trees to bend inland. This particular section of Waimanalo Beach is known as “Sherwoods”, as in Sherwood Forest.  They say that the thieves who frequent beach parking lots like Sherwood Forest to break into cars and steal stuff laugh that, like Robin Hood, they are taking from the rich and giving to the poor (themselves).  It’s the family business in some cases, the skills handed down from father to son, uncle to nephew.Sherwood Forest.Sherwood Forest.

Most of Hawaii’s beaches don’t have lifeguards, but this one at Sherwoods does.  It looks like quite a comfortable station.  There’s no mistaking the rescue board, and at one point I caught sight of a muscular fellow heading up the steps to his lookout shack.
Lifeguard station at "Sherwood Forest".

Lifeguard station at Sherwood Forest.

The telephoto lens brings the Mokulua Islands right in; in reality, they are quite a ways from this part of Waimanalo beach.  They are off the Lanikai section of Windward Oahu’s best beach-town: Kailua.  There will be some lovely photos of the Mokuluas in a future post dedicated to Lanikai Beach.Mokulua islands off Lanikai.Mokulua islands off Lanikai.

Much further up the Windward coast, on the far side of Kailua town, distinctive Mokapu Point separates Kailua Bay from the further-north Kaneohe Bay.  Mokapu Point looks from a distance like a turtle, its neck extended, heading out to sea.  Not so much here, though.  🙂Mokapu Point in the distance.Mokapu Point in the distance.

Way back the other direction on Waimanalo Beach, Makapu’u Point is silhouetted in the distance.  Once again, the telephoto makes it appear misleadingly close.Makapu'u Point.Makapu’u Point.

Here’s a shot of Makapu’u taken from quite close.  The lighthouse is a speck on its seaward flank.  It’s a great hike to the lighthouse, with stunning sea views, at one point all the way from Diamond Head on the South Shore to the gorgeous view up the Windward coast.Makapu'u Point with jagged black rock.Makapu’u Point with its distinctive black lava rock.  I invite you to relax and enjoy.  Gaze on the sand and the sea, and imagine the sound of the waves rhythmically surging in and then being pulled back out.  🙂

Here are a few more ocean scenes to lull you; watch the waves rushing in to kiss the sand.

Faraway Mokapu Point on the left, Mokulua Islands on the right horizon.


Walking along the beach being mesmerized by the gentle incoming and outgoing waves, you forget your To Do list and just relax.
This entry was posted in Hawaii on by .

About iz

I am retired and enjoying life. My love of travel, especially in Europe, is rooted in my upbringing as an "Army Brat". Interests include family, reading, walking, hiking, writing, art, speaking French and helping others.

1 thought on “Waimanalo Beach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s