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North Shore (Oahu): Wikis


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The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku Point. The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa. This area is best known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe.



The northern hemisphere winter months on the North Shore see a concentration of surfing activity, taking advantage of swells originating in the stormy North Pacific. Notable surfing spots include Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

The spot of Ehukai Beach, commonly known as the Banzai Pipeline, is the most notable surfing spot on the North Shore, and is considered a prime spot for competitions due to its close proximity to the beach, giving spectators, judges, and photographers a great view.

The North Shore is considered to be the surfing mecca of the world, and every December hosts three competitions, which make up the Triple Crown of Surfing. The three men's competitions are the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The three women's competitions are the Reef Hawaiian Pro, the Roxy Pro Sunset, and the Billabong Pro on the neighboring island of Maui.[1]

Waimea Bay plays host to the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau. This is an exclusive competition and participants must be invited. The competitions has a scheduled window of dates each winter, however the competition has a minimum requirement of 20 foot waves. Therefore, the competition is not held every year.

Learning to Surf

Although the North Shore is known for its large winter surf, there are a number of surf schools that can teach a beginner the basics of surfing in coves that are protected from the larger waves.

Television and Film

Due to its natural beauty, close proximity to Honolulu, and large waves, the North Shore is a popular area for filming.

The Fox Network TV show North Shore was filmed in the area, as were the last few seasons of Baywatch.

ABC's Lost is also filmed almost entirely on O'ahu, with much of it filmed on the North Shore. The area of Turtle Bay features rock formations and constant rolling surf, making it ideal as a backdrop for Lost.

The North Shore was also the setting for the movies North Shore, Blue Crush, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as well as being fictionalized for the animated film Surf's Up.


The North Shore only houses one large commercial hotel, the Turtle Bay Resort, which also has 2 world-class golf courses. Other accommodations are available in privately run condos, house rentals, and a youth hostel.[2]

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii is famous world-wide for its beaches and incredible surf.

  • Hale'iwa – the busiest and most popular town on the North Shore, with some of the better restaurants and shopping
  • Kahuku – pretty non-descript, but a great place to stop off for lunch, get gas, or pick up supplies
  • Laie – similar to Kahuku, with a few more facilities


The North Shore is a relaxed, laid back area, with a much slower pace than in Honolulu and Waikiki. The beaches are wonderful but very popular, especially when the surf is up! (Note: The North Shore beaches are extremely dangerous for novice swimmers and surfers in the winter when waves can reach as high as 50'. Drownings are common — obey the lifeguards!)

Get in

The North Shore is located almost diametrically opposite Waikiki. As a result, there are two ways you can get to the North Shore; one is longer but is mostly on freeways; the other is shorter but winds along the coast. Each takes about the same time (about one to one-and-a-half hours).

Route 1: Take Interstate H-1 ewa (west) to Interstate H-201 (also called state highway 78). Take H-201/78 until it re-joins H-1 near Aloha Stadium. Continue on H-1 to the interchange with Interstate H-2 (exit 8A). Stay on H-2 until it ends in Wahiawa, and continue through the Schofield Barracks area. You will be on Highway 99, Kamehameha Highway. Follow Kamehameha Highway to Haleiwa. To progress further up the North Shore, continue on Kamehameha Highway (which changes number to highway 83 at Haleiwa).

Route 2: Take Interstate H-1 ewa (west) to Likelike Highway (highway 63). Follow Likelike Highway through the Wilson Tunnel to Kaneohe; then take the exit for Kahekili Highway (highway 83). Kahekili Highway becomes Kamehameha Highway at Kahaluu and winds along the coast through the towns of Kaaawa, Punaluu, Hauula, and Laie.

Get around

Kamehameha Highway (highways 99 and 83) is the main road through the area. There is a bypass around Haleiwa called Joseph P Leong Highway which is useful in avoiding the two lane road through Haleiwa. (However, consider following the signs for Haleiwa town to take in the small-town atmosphere of the main town on the North Shore.)

  • The Waimea Valley Audubon Center [1] has a wide range of flora and fauna.
  • Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, +1 (808) 237-7321, [2]. This privately owned ranch is home to the most beautiful and sacred spot on the island. Tours by bus or atv's are available through the lush and epic tropical landscape, which just sort of has to be seen to be believed. It's a popular filming location — Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Lost, and many others have used it as a backdrop. 1 hr ATV tour, $60/person.  edit
  • Surf! It's what gave the North Shore its reputation, and still one of the main reasons to come here — Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Banzai Pipeline are some of the most well-known. Take extreme care, however, if you aren't a very talented surfer. Pipeline in particular is one of the most harrowing; on a day with big waves the super shallow reef can be deadly if you wipe out.
  • Ted's Bakery, 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy (Near Sunset Beach, a little north of Pupukea), +1 (808) 638-8207. Ted's is a North Shore institution, and if you haven't stuffed yourself with their homemade pies and delicious and filling breakfasts and lunches, you might as well have just stayed home. The mahi sandwich and fried shrimp are particularly tasty.  edit
  • Foodland, 2 locations - Pupukea and Laie. This supermarket chain has 2 branches on the North Shore, and is the likely candidate for self catering. Expect prices to be significantly higher than the mainland.  edit
  • Shrimp Trucks are spread along the Kamehameha Hwy, and are great places to stop off for lunch. The ones around Kahuku are some of the more popular.
  • Pizza Bob's, 66-145 Kamehameha Hwy. Haleiwa +1 (808) 637-5095. An American/Italian restaurant on the north shore in Haleiwa which is popular for both families on day trips and local surfers after their session. They use all locally farmed ingredients which makes their food quite special. A typical entree is around $10-$12.


Turtle Bay near Kahuku is the biggest and most well known place to stay, but there are many condos and rentals available as well.

Stay safe

Although North Shore seems like a laid back, safe place, one should always exercise caution after dusk. Native islanders can often be protective of their island, tourists should be respectful at all times.

Backpackers is across the street from Three Tables. Conveniently located few blocks from Foodland and Waimea Bay

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