Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

Kawela Beach

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Clear shallow tide pool at Hawaiian North Shore beach

Kawela Beach is a hidden gem on the North Shore where you can find clear blue water and an uncrowded shady spot on the sand. This is a great spot to just relax and fun for kids since there are a handful of tidepools to explore!

Kawela Beach is different from Kawela Bay Beach, which is next to the famous Turtle Bay Resort. This beach is much more lesser-known. In fact, I couldn’t really find any additional information when I searched for it!

Rocky island in turquoise water at Hawaiian beach on the North Shore of Oahu

Kawela Beach Parking & Location

Kawela Beach is located in Kahuku on the North Shore of Oahu. If you are traveling northeast on the Kamehameha Highway coming from the Windward coast, this beach will be on your right-hand side soon after you pass Turtle Bay.

There’s a small dirt parking lot right off the Kam hwy where you can park your car and have quick access to the beach. You’ll just need to climb down 2-3 feet of rocks and you’ll be on the sand.

View of Hawaiian North Shore beach with turquoise waters between two trees

Other than two graffiti-covered porta potties, there are no facilities at this location. You can find restrooms and showers further down the road at other beaches including Sunset Beach.

Kawela Beach Highlights

I stumbled upon this beach recently during the winter season when the waves are typically larger on Oahu’s North Shore. However, on days when popular surf spots like Sunset or Pipeline were big or messy, the waves here were calmer than you’d expect on a North Shore day in February.

Lauren (girl) sitting in shallow tide pool at Hawaiian North Shore beach

Kawela Beach has a bunch of neat tide pools that kids can search for small sea critters in. During high tide, water fills a pocket of sand on the right (east) side of the beach, creating a shallow little pool perfect for small kids (or relaxing adults 😉). This is also a great family beach since there are tons of shady spots under the trees.

Clear shallow tide pool at Hawaiian North Shore beach
Hand holding pieces of green sea glass found on Hawaiian beach

This is a great spot to search for sea glass in the sand along the shoreline!

Swimming and Snorkeling:

I didn’t end up swimming at Kawela Beach since I was alone during most of my visits here and didn’t want to risk getting caught in a strong current with no one around! 


The sand beneath the waves looks a bit rocky in places, but I’m sure you can find a sandy pocket of space to splash in on a calm day.

bright turquoise water at a white sand beach

Ocean Safety Disclaimer: Beach and ocean conditions can be extremely dangerous and certain activities may require a certain level of ability and skill. Always take proper safety precautions when near bodies of water and pay special attention to weather forecasts, tides, currents, and safety signage. Visit hioceansafety.com to view current wind & surf reports and additional safety information. As the trusty old saying goes: When in doubt, don’t go out! 

Close up of Rocky island in turquoise water at Hawaiian beach on the North Shore of Oahu

There’s an interesting little rock island a few hundred feet from shore. I’ve seen turtles popping their heads up in the water around here. It may be interesting to snorkel in this area, but do so at your own risk! There are no lifeguards on this beach and it is often empty.

Hawaiian green sea turtle popping its head out of the water
Hidden Gem

If you’re looking for something more off-the-beaten-path on the North Shore, add this to your itinerary! It’s a beautiful spot to find a bit of peace and quiet before you hit the busier North Shore beaches.

If you are driving through Kahuku to get to Haleiwa area, you could stop to pick up a plate lunch (like garlic shrimp from the Kahuku food trucks) and bring it here to have a beach picnic.


Kawela Beach is a ##NorthShore hidden gem! Expect to find turquoise water, ##tidepools, turtles + a bounty of sea glass at this ##Kahuku beach on ##Oahu

♬ SUNNY DAY - Matteo Rossanese

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About Laur

Aloha, I’m Lauren! One of my favorite things to do is explore the Hawaiian island of Oahu and nothing makes me happier than sharing what I’ve learned over the past 7 years with those planning their own adventures. I started Lauraloha Travel to help you enjoy every minute of your experience from planning all the way to paradise. Mahalo for exploring with me!

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