Honolulu has a north shore too: A (belated) road trip recap


It feels like ages now, but it wasn’t too long ago that I was vacationing in sunny Hawaii with a close friend of mine. I was going through some photos the other day and found a bunch from a road trip we’d taken from Waikiki to Honolulu’s North Shore. And then it hit me— since I was just talking about some of Sydney’s northern beaches, this is the perfect time to give a little recap of that road trip (that I’d meant to do forever ago). Hello, segue!

So without further ado, here’s my “oh hey, Honolulu has a North Shore too” recap.


First thing in the morning we made a beeline to Honolulu’s North Shore via the highway straight up the middle of the island… and found ourselves in Haleiwa. Haleiwa is home to a beautiful beach park and a really popular shave ice shop (it’s called Matsumoto’s. If you end up going, let me know how it is!), but it was way too early for this girl, and surprisingly there was still quite a queue at nine-thirty in the morning. So we took a chance and decided to skip it in favour of enjoying the park sans-sugary snacks and then heading on to our next destination.

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Not far from Haleiwa is Pupukea, an area with a long stretch of beaches that are really popular with surfers in the wintertime, and a large cove that’s popular with divers and snorkelers in the summer. We stopped for lunch at one of the many food trucks along the road before splashing around in the tide pools at Shark’s Cove.

119-northshore-foodtrucks119-northshore-foodtrucks-pineapple-sign 119-northshore-lizardHello, tiny, colourful lizard trying to sneak into the rubbish bin. I see you.119-pupukea-northshore119-sharks-cove-pools-northshore119-sharkscove-water-northshore


Laniakea, more widely known as “Turtle Beach” for the number of sea turtles that come to hang out on the shore or swim around in the shallows, as turtles tend to do. I think it’s pretty obvious why we were here. TURTLES!

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Ok, so we did try some shave ice

So we ended up changing our minds about shave ice, though by the time we did we were too far from Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa. Instead we came across a place called Wili Willi’s in Kahuku. It was delicious! They had about a billion different flavour combinations with an option to add condensed milk on top. More sugar on top of my sugar? Yes please. Exactly what you need after a long day of exploring… and to help you get through the long drive back to your hotel.

119-northshore-roadtrip-wiliwili-building119-northshore-roadtrip-wiliwili-shaveice 119-northshore-roadtrip-wiliwili-chickens119-northshore-wiliwili-kitty2Lots of furry and feathered friends to be found at Wili Wili’s. They too may be in a sugar coma.

Kahana Bay

By late afternoon, the weather was turning against us (and the shave ice sugar high was already wearing off) so we decided to head back. We actually stumbled upon Kahana Bay after making a wrong turn, but no one complained! Surrounded on three sides by mountains, this place was straight out of a scene in a postcard in spite of the cloudy skies, and compared to the other beach parks we’d visited earlier it was almost empty save for a few locals. Definitely a hidden gem.

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And there you have it. My Honolulu road trip round the North Shore summarized in one neat (albeit long overdue, and maybe just a tad rambling) package. Makes me want to go on another one, and soon! Time to start planning another trip.