Halona Blowhole and Beach Cove

By David Dondoneau

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu

Halona Blowhole, Oahu. Photo: Hawaii.com member Heather M.

The Hālona Blowhole is one of Hawai‘i’s natural wonders, created thousands of years ago when molten lava tubes were formed from volcanic eruptions. There aren’t any active volcanoes on O‘ahu anymore, but the blowhole remains a must-see scenic stop.

Hālona, in Hawaiian, means “lookout,” and visitors can see miles of pristine coastline waters from the lookout. On clear days, the islands of Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i can also be seen in the distance.

Beware of the Sometimes Violent Waters

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu. Photo: Hawaii.com member Karen H.

The blowhole overlooks some of the most violent waters in Hawai‘i, and when the Ka‘iwi Channel is churning during the winter months, strong currents and big waves send waters rushing into the molten lava tubes below the lookout, sending geysers as high as 30 feet through the blowhole. The bigger the waves, the higher the geysers. Visitors can literally hear and feel the waters rumbling below just before the eruptions.

During whale season (late December through early April), visitors may also see whales breaching or spouting at the surface.

You Can Visit Iconic Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu

Halona Beach Cove, Oahu. Photo: Hawaii.com member Kathy N.

Just below the scenic outlook is one of O‘ahu’s most iconic beaches, the Hālona Beach Cove. The “Peering Place” is mostly visited in the summer months when ocean is calm, and if you plan on walking down to the beach wear protective footwear for the steep, rocky descent. This is the beach made famous by the iconic love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, who shared their epic kiss and rolled around in the surf and sand in the 1953 classic ”From Here to Eternity.” Recent moviegoers may be more familiar with the site as “Whitecap Bay,” from the fourth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series, dubbed “On Stranger Tides.”

There is a Lava Tube at Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu

Halona Beach Cove, Oahu. Photo: Hawaii.com member Margaret A.

At the back of the beach there is a long lava tube, or cave, that travels into the mountain. Bring a flashlight if you plan to explore it, and make sure you visit on a calm day when surf isn’t high.

The Drive There is Among the Most Scenic on the Island

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu

Halona Beach Cove and Blowhole, Oahu. Photo: Hawaii.com member John K.

The blowhole is just a 20-minute drive outside of Waikīkī and getting there is half the fun because you’re traveling on the scenic Kalaniana‘ole Highway that takes you past Hanauma Bay and Koko Head Crater and along the coastline. Have your camera ready as soon as you get past Hanauma Bay. You won’t be disappointed. Just a mile past the blowhole is the world-famous bodyboarding beach, Sandy Beach.

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