While no active volcanoes exist on the island of Oahu, you can visit one of Hawaii’s natural wonders formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The location is Halona Blowhole Lookout, a 20-minute drive from Waikiki.
As with many things in life, the journey is half the fun. The drive on Kalanianaole Highway is beautiful, allowing vacationers opportunities to see many of Oahu’s stunning natural wonders. You’ll go past Koko Head Crater and Hanauma Bay, which became a marine conservation area in 1967. As you may expect, Hanauma Bay attracts thousands of visitors a year, so you may want to plan a visit here as part of your excursion to see Halona Blowhole. Speaking of which, let’s refocus on your visit to the natural wonder.
The Halona Blowhole Lookout formed when the volcano eruption created molten lava tubes. When the eruption ceased, the tubes became empty of lava, cooled, and today are a conduit into the ocean. When the ocean conditions are right, seawater rushes in and shoots skyward like a whale spouting.
Halona in Hawaiian means “lookout,” and when you visit, you’ll understand why it earned its name. You’ll be perched high above the ocean with a bird’s eye view of the coastline in either direction. On clear days, you’ll spot the islands of Molokai and Lanai on the distant horizon.
Once parked, you have two options for viewing the Halona Blowhole. The first and easiest option is standing beside the parking lot and highway guardrail. From this vantage point, you won’t need to traverse the lava field out to the geyser, which makes coming and going from your visit quicker. However, some visitors reported that it was difficult to see the spout because they were a reasonable distance away.
To truly experience the waterspout, you must venture away from the parking lot and out to the geyser. You’ll need lightweight hikers or trail shoes to navigate over the rough lava. Be sure to lock your car, as some tourists reported their vehicles were broken into while exploring. Lastly, it will be windy, especially during winter, so dress accordingly.
The best time of year to visit the Halona Blowhole is during the winter season, when waves are massive, and the winds are strong. On such days, visitors report the waterspout shooting 30 feet into the air and feeling the rumble of the ocean beneath their feet as it rushes through the lava tube! During whale season, December through April, you may be fortunate enough to spot one of these behemoths breaching or spouting.
We also recommend exploring Halona Beach Cove, which lies directly below the Halona Blowhole Lookout parking area. The hike down can be rigorous, but with proper footwear and a backpack with snacks, water, and a beach towel, you can explore the beach made famous by the 1953 movie, “From Here to Eternity.” Perhaps you’ll try recreating the iconic scene featuring Burt Reynolds and Deborah Kerr as the surf rolled over them while kissing!
Summer months and low tide are the best times to visit Halona Beach Cove because the waves and winds are milder. However, even when the ocean is calmer, many advise not swimming due to the strong current and undertow.
We strongly recommend adding Halona Blowhole Lookout and Beach Cove to your Oahu “must-do” list. These natural wonders will not disappoint and offer various sightseeing options for young and old alike.
-When planning your visit to Halona Blowhole, ensure you time your arrival when it’s high tide. It gives you the best opportunity to see the geyser firsthand.
-Parking is limited, so you may need to wait your turn on busy days.